View Full Version : Bandages, Beans, Bullets...and Books!

12-13-05, 06:06 PM
Bandages, Beans, Bullets...and Books!
MCB Camp Pendleton
Story by Cpl. Antonio Rosas

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (Dec. 13, 2005) -- Six Marines, including Maj. Gen. Michael R. Lehnert, Camp Pendleton’s Commanding Officer, volunteered several hours of their time to make a lasting lifetime impression on local youngsters.

But these Marines did not perform any duties related to their job in the Corps, rather they read storybooks to the elementary students at Bonsall West Elementary School for the Adopt A School Program Nov. 15.

The Marines who represented Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Base, made a pact with the Adopt A School Program to work closely with the students and participate in everything from tutoring in subjects like math and reading to performing physical fitness programs.

“The Marines involved in this program provide a positive example for the kids,” said Capt. Stan E. Bednar, Marine Corps Installation West Regional Plans Officer. “It also serves the younger Marines in making them more well rounded citizens.”

When Marines offer their services for volunteer work there is a slew of opportunities that one can tackle however, something as simple as showing up one time to a school and interacting with the children can have a big influence, explained the 26 year-old from Anchorage, Ala.

After answering a volley of questions from the students on topics such as rifles and blowing stuff up, the Marines were allowed to flex their leadership skills on the young minds.
The students were fascinated with the fact that some Marines actually work in desk jobs and don’t necessarily perform training exercises every day, explained Bednar.

They learned that someone such as Cpl. Simon J. Longoria, an administrative personnel clerk with H. and S. Bn., Marine Corps. Base, aids Marines with paperwork and items such as pay.

“It was weird because I’m not used to being around kids,” said the 24 year-old from La Puente, Calif. “They were intimidating at first but after answering some questions and seeing a lot of smiles, I felt a lot closer to the kids.”

Longoria, who was hesitant to volunteer for such a program at first, has now begun looking into volunteering for other similar programs such as Big Brothers, Big Sisters. It’s something that provides personal satisfaction and provides an opportunity to do something different and be a role model to the kids, said Longoria.

Bednar, who has been spearheading the program with the elementary school, pointed out that the school’s principal has gone as far as promoting six leadership traits in his pupils that directly reflect some of the 14 leadership traits, or JJ-DID-TIE-BUCKLE, known by every Marine.

Anyone interested in donating even one hour of his or her time is urged to contact Capt. Bednar at BednarSE@pendleton.usmc.mil