Four Marine Corps Air Station Yuma Marines paid a visit to 4th Avenue Junior High School for its Career and College Readiness Day in Yuma, Ariz., May 4.
Two Marines hailed from station Explosive Ordinance Disposal and the other two from Combat Logistics Company 16â€™s motor transportation department. For two hours of the morning, the Marines answered questions about the Corps as they observed the various EOD and CLC-16 equipment brought for display.
â€œI think itâ€™s important for young people to talk to military members and get their feet wet,â€ said Kerry Morse, a 4th Avenue Junior High School teacher and a Bennington, Vt., native. â€œI started asking my students what they wanted to do for careers as they got older, and a lot of them were interested in the military. They need to prepare now. The choices they make now will effect what they can and canâ€™t do later on. Their choices today do impact their future.â€
â€œThey asked what they had to do, and we told them to graduate, get good grades, make sure you have an education and stay out of trouble,â€ added Cpl. Timothy Owens, a CLC-16 motor transportation mechanic and a Louisville, Ky., native.
The event began with excitement in the air, and it was plain to see the enthusiasm written on the faces of the students as they caught their first glimpses of the EOD robots and bomb suit, as well as the CLC-16 seven-ton truck.
â€œThe kids were so excited when the Marines got here,â€ said Morse. â€œWhen they got here at seven, the kids ran right over to see them and what they brought.â€
â€œWhen they saw the truck, they ignored the fire trucks and ran straight to us,â€ added Owens. â€œWe had the biggest crowd out of everyone there.
In addition to providing information about a possible future in the military, events like this are important in establishing transparency to the local community of the activities of Marines on MCAS Yuma.
â€œIt lets them see what we do, and that it isnâ€™t just about world war,â€ said Owens. â€œI had a couple of kids ask me if Iâ€™ve been to war yet, and itâ€™s not all about that.â€
â€œThe military presence in Yuma is huge,â€ added Morse. â€œItâ€™s important our students understand what their mission is and what they do for the community.”
All in all, the presence of the Marines at the career fair helped to foster a healthier and more positive relationship between the Marines and the community.
â€œWhen civilians see us out there helping kids and teaching them about what we do, it puts a positive image in their heads,â€ said Owens.