For most Marines at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, 7:30 a.m. on a Monday morning means time for work. But, for Marines of Section 2, Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting, they are just coming off a 48-hour shift beginning of their weekend and a section outing, Oct. 29-30.
“We see each other more than our own families a lot of the times because of our work,” said Gunnery Sgt. Marcos Martinez, the ARFF section 2 leader and a native of Holtville, Calif. “So, getting together outside of the work space is important to get to know each other.”
Most of the functions consist of going out to breakfast in the morning or going to the Fun Factory out in town, but Martinez had bigger plans for this one. To do this he enlisted some help from Arizona Adventure, a program on base that plans recreational outings for Marines.
“After I came back from deployment, I did the Adrenaline Rush program with Arizona Adventure and it was a great time,” said Martinez. “So, I wanted to do something similar for my section to show I appreciate them. “
So, Martinez and Arizona Adventure cooked up a new event for them. They put together a road trip to Pirates Cove Resort in Needles, Calif. for two days and one night.
“We got to do something out of the ordinary,” said Lance Cpl. Graham Atwater, an ARFF firefighter and a native of Argyle, Tex. “It was a well-needed change of pace.”
It may have been only one night but they made sure it was jam-packed full of things for Marines to do from land, air and sea. They started out with that Monday afternoon taking a boat ride down the Colorado River, then waking up the next day to do a zip line and a bungee jump. The group finished the trip with a 4-hour ATV trail ride through the desert.
“Marines are full of adrenaline and energy. Doing things like ATV riding helps exert it in a safe controlled manner,” said Martinez.
“It is stuff like this that makes me enjoy the Marine Corps and my job as well,” said Atwater. “It dissolves all of the stress of our work schedule and all the strain that it puts on us.”
As any unit outing should be, the trip ended with the Marines telling stories, enjoying each other’s company, and releasing all the stress that occupies their job. Also, showing and building the necessary trust and brotherhood needed for Marines that are constantly with each other like the ARFF unit.