CAMP H.M. SMITH, Hawaii --
Just before the rush of the holidays, Marines, Sailors and civilian Marines assigned to U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific invited their families to enjoy the annual MarForPac holiday party at the Pollock Theater here Dec 16.
While the service members and their spouses mingled with each other, their children were well entertained by a variety of activities.
Outside the theater, a strip of bubble wrap was set up so children could jump around making popping sounds with every step, while others made stockings, blew bubbles or played video games.
Lt. Gen. Duane D. Thiessen, commander of MarForPac, brought a hand-crafted game similar to air hockey, comprised of a wooden box with two sticks used to slide a puck back and forth. Although not as technologically advanced as the video games, the children challenged each other almost all evening with the game.
A few adults participated in the tacky sweater contest, but Lance Cpl. Jeremiah J. Harper, videographer at combat camera, MarForPac, swept the competition with his handmade, stuffed animal sweater. The time he took sewing a stuffed animal on to his sweater paid off when he won the Ali’i Kai Catamaran dinner cruise for two.
Just before the party, Casey S. Fleishmann, the Headquarters and Service Battalion family readiness officer, said she was really looking forward to the ukulele performance featured at the party and wanted to see everyone enjoy themselves. However, as soon as guests arrived with their tacky sweaters she changed her mind.
“I lied earlier,” Fleishmann said, in regards to what she was looking forward to the most. “What I was really looking forward to was Lance Cpl. Harper’s sweater.”
After dinner was served, 11-year-old Kody Kiyokawa, one of Hawaii’s youngest ukulele performers, played a few Christmas carols and even the Marines’ Hymn.
Many Marines enjoyed bringing their family to the Christmas party event hosted by Headquarters and Service Battalion, and were pleased with the enthusiastic involvement of the command here at MarForPac.
“I have been to a lot of Christmas parties, but I felt this one was well organized and had a lot of activities for the kids,” said Staff Sgt. Robert B. Cook, productions chief at combat camera, MarForPac. “The general’s involvement with the children was amazing. I’ve never seen a general devote that much time to the children and be that involved. It was really heartfelt.”