Marine Corps Air Station Yuma-based active duty and retired service members along with some of their family took a holiday trip to Sedona, Ariz., Dec. 7-9. The holiday trip was hosted by Arizona Adventure, a MCAS Yuma event coordinator program that arranges events year round for Marines, Sailors and military dependents to attend.
For some Marines on the trip who are not going home for the holidays and have to work, the getaway meant much more.
“During the holiday season, some Marines have to work through their holiday vacation,” said Lance Cpl. Graham Atwater, an Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron firefighter and a native of Argyle, Tex. “So, I believe trips like these are needed to at least give us some sort of time off and relax.”
For the others, this was a family trip to enjoy some time together in an otherwise busy work schedule.
While in Sedona, people attended the annual Red Rock Fantasy light show, a spectacle that has been a Sedona tradition for the past two decades displaying approximately 1,000,000 lights in honor of the Christmas season.
“With this being my first time, I didn’t know what to expect from the festival,” said Cpl. Robert Hedgepath, an H&HS firefighter and a native of Naples, Fla. “I was highly impressed by it and wouldn’t mind seeing it again next year.”
With the show not being the only motivation to go to Sedona, the group also enjoyed the sights and sounds of the city nestled in the red rock canyon environment.
“This was a great change of scenery,” said Hedgepath. “Yuma is all desert and sand, where Sedona actually has trees, grass and mountains. It was a beautiful place to be.”
Beyond Sedona, attendees also visited nearby Flagstaff, Ariz. There they did some sightseeing as well as shopping around.
“Just like Sedona, Flagstaff was a great place to get away to recharge my batteries,” said Hedgepath.
As the group returned to Yuma rejuvenated, MCAS Yuma Arizona Adventures took solace knowing they helped make this a better holiday season for some of the few and the proud.