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Linda Gonzalez, a Marine spouse with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 364 and an Austin, Texas native, pitches during a kickball tournament aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., June 14. The tournament was part of the Committed and Engaged Spouses’ Sports League. The Committed and Engaged Spouse initiative, started by 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing Commanding General Maj. Gen. Steven Busby, highlights the service and sacrifice of military spouses, and works to develop opportunities to engage the community in camaraderie.

Photo by Cpl. Michelle Piehl

Kickin’ it with the wing: Committed and Engaged Spouses hold kickball tournament

16 Jun 2014 | Cpl. Michelle Piehl

More than 200 spouses participated in a kickball tournament, as part of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing Commanding General Maj. Gen. Steven Busby’s Committed and Engaged Spouse initiative, aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., June 14.

The Dragons of Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 16 took on the Huskies, also of MAG-16 and Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 232, in the final round, defeating the Huskies 3-1.

Lelia Brady, 3rd MAW family readiness officer, said that more than 12 teams from units throughout the 3rd MAW joined together to create the tournament. She explained that the combined effort would not have been possible without the assistance of Marine spouse Ashley Ta, a volunteer with the Committed and Engaged Spouses’ Sport League (CESSL) and Baytown, Texas native.

“All the spouses are happy and they’re eager to play,” said Ta, who played with the Venom Vixens of Marine Aircraft Group 11. “They are glad we have a league for them now.”

Ta explained that events like this allow networking opportunities for the spouses to meet people from other units. It also gives them an opportunity to switch from being in the crowd cheering, to being cheered for by the crowd.

“It’s just fun,” said Ta. “It’s not for their husbands, it’s not for their kids; this event, everything that we’ve done, is for them so that they know they are appreciated.”

Seeing everybody come together as a team was the most exciting part of her day, explained Ta.

“I couldn’t think of a better day for [my wife, Cindy and me] to finish our two years at 3rd MAW than to be here,” said Busby, presenting a trophy to the winners of the tournament.

In addition to the kickball tournament, the event featured a bounce house for children, a cornhole tournament for the Single Marine Program and the opportunity for various units to raise ball funds through concessions sales.

 “This defines, for us, what we are after in the spouses: being able to engage with each other [and] take care of each other,” said Busby. “Perfect day. Absolute perfect day.”

The quarterly CESSL tournaments are slated to continue with volleyball, August 2014.


3rd Marine Aircraft Wing