View Full Version : Reaching out to others...Marines bring fun, caring to children

09-25-03, 06:23 AM
Reaching out to others...
Marines bring fun, caring to children
Submitted by: MCB Camp Butler
Story Identification Number: 2003924205450
Story by Fumio Iha

CAMP SCHWAB, Okinawa, Japan (Sept. 25, 2003) -- Take 60 children, add 100 Marines on a hot summer day on the beach and what do you see? A beach full of laughter, joy and smiles for everyone.

Every August, children along with their chaperons and the members of Nago City Single Mother's/Widow's Welfare Association are invited to celebrate the annual Big Brother's/Sister's Day with servicemembers stationed here.

"The children are excited today, because they don't get a chance to spend time with male role models often," explained Tomiko Yonamine, president of the association. "When they hear about the event, their spirits are uplifted. We are extremely happy that the Marines play with them."

The children, their one-day brothers, fathers and sisters began the day at Oura Wan Beach with a stretching exercise prior to water activities and games. The children paired with service members to play on the beach. Marine Corps Community Services
provided first time experiences for many of the children with donations such as ocean kayaks and water tricycles for the enjoyment of all.

The children, accompanied by service members, spent the half day enjoying water activities and games, then moved on to chow down on hamburgers, hotdogs, baked beans and cakes that were provided by the United Service Organization.

"The hot and steamy weather would have no impact on the fun experience that the children would have during the Big Brother's Day," said Navy Lt. Cmdr. John Gayton, Chaplain, 1st Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment. "It is the shared joy of events such as this that are so important to our cultural understanding."

Yonamine agreed saying, "Both parties should remember to remain together as brothers and sisters, and teach and learn from each other despite of language and culture barrier."

When the day came to an end, the children and their American brothers and sisters promised to gather again soon for another occasion. Everyone who participated in the event left Oura Wan Beach with smiles on their faces.


Marines and Sailors stationed at Camp Schwab were invited to come out to spend the day with children of the Nago City Single Mother's/Widow's Welfare Association and their chaperones. The servicemembers and the children spent the day playing in the water off Oura Wan Beach, Camp Schwab, Okinawa, Japan, and eating food provided by the United Service Organization.
Photo by: Courtesy Photo