5/10/2012 By Lance Cpl. Michael Iams , Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — About a dozen Marines of various companies from Security Battalion volunteered their time to help clean up the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society Thrift Store on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, May 9.

The Marines help clean and fix the windows and window screens to allow for better ventilation during the Thrift Store’s summer sales.

“Being a first responder, these Marines deal with the many crises and law enforcement activities around Camp Pendleton,” said Lt. Cmdr. Charlie A. Owens, battalion chaplain for Security Bn. “Doing community service like this allows them to interact in a different way that’s less stressful.”

The Marines were given a small orientation upon arrival on volunteering and rules and regulations on being a volunteer at the store.

“The (NMCRS) owns the Thrift Store and caters to service members and their families supplying them with things ranging from household goods to uniform items,” said a volunteer of the store. “We really like to serve the service members and for them to come back and help us out is really great.”

This is the first time Security Bn. is helping out the NMCRS, said Owens.

“We hope to develop relations with the Thrift Store and be able to do more volunteer work with them,” he added. “Doing community service is also another means to foster leadership in the Marines as well as help them in their career.”

The Marines signed a form for volunteering and had the opportunity to fill out a time sheet for the number of hours they worked when they finished.

“Community service serves as a tool for character development and is an essential aspect of personal growth,” said Col. Gino Amoroso, commanding officer of Security Bn. The Marines went to work taking down and washing all the windows and window screens.

“It was an easy choice for me to volunteer here,” said Cpl. Bryan M. Baird, a military policeman with Military Police Company, Security Bn. “The (NMCRS) is always helping out service members and now it’s my time to help them out.”

As the Marines took lunch, they sat with the volunteers of the store and shared information about themselves with each other.

“Being here and being able to do this for the (NMCRS) is a lot of fun,” said Lance Cpl. Ethan Wormell, a corrections specialist with Brig Company, Security Bn. “I really enjoy how volunteering makes a difference and how people appreciate the things you do no matter how big or small it is.”

Along with developing a great partnership, this is a way to show the Marines another aspect of what the base provides for them and their families, said Owens.