Children experience Marine Corps tradition
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- Children dressed up, danced, ate and experienced a Marine Corps tradition during the Mini-Marine Corps Ball in the Club Iwakuni ballroom at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, Oct. 23, 2015.
The children, ranging from 5 to 12 years old, learned traditions of the Marine Corps Ball including, the marching of colors and the cake cutting ceremony where the oldest and youngest Marine present are presented the first slice of cake.
“You get to show the kids what their parent’s experience,” said Sgt. Maj. Darnell Richardson, Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 12 sergeant major. “It’s special sharing the tradition with the kids because they’re the reason why we do what we have to do every day. My favorite part was introducing the Marine recruiter, drill instructor and combat instructor to explain what kind of phases Marines go through,” said Richardson.
This is the fifth Mini-Marine Corps Ball held at the Club Iwakuni ballroom.
“We have over 300 tickets that we gave away absolutely free through our grant money from the Boys and Girls Club of America,” said Eugene Clark, Youth and Teen Center director. “When the kids hear ‘mini ball’, they know it’s time to get all dressed up and get excited. Of about 500 kids on base, around 345 of them got tickets tonight.”
The children enjoyed a ceremony and saw an abbreviated version of what their parents experience at the Marine Corps Ball.
“I enjoyed it,” said Richardson. “The kids are my motivation. It’s a morale booster not only for them, but for us also.”
Richardson said Mr. Clark did an outstanding job at putting this event together and encourages him to keep this program going in the years to come.