SAN DIEGO --
When people think of the military, painting pictures does not usually come to mind, but every week service members here take time out of their day to do just that.
More than 15 Marines and sailors from Marine Corps Air Station Miramar spent their Friday afternoon making a cafeteria spick and span, passing out food, painting flowers and reading books with the students of Lexington Elementary here March 22.
Marines and sailors with Marine Wing Headquarters Squadron 3 have been volunteering at the school since January.
“I volunteered because it was an opportunity to work with kids and help out around the community,” said Sgt. Adam Derbigny, an imagery analyst with MWHS-3, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, I Marine Expeditionary Force.
Marines picked up trash and power washed the tables and floor in the cafeteria. Other volunteers spent time in a classroom passing out supplies and helping students paint pictures of lilac flowers.
While some Marines and sailors assisted students with their creative side, others spent time with fifth graders reading in the school’s book club.
Since the Marines have been coming to the school, children that didn’t have a desire to read are now excited to read, explained Tita Cordero-Bautista, the program facilitator for the school. It’s really beneficial for the students to work with them because they serve as role models for the children.
The Marines and sailors also took charge of loading bags full of food for more than 400 students from lower-income families, who are part of a school program that gives the students enough food for the weekend.
“I feel like they need us,” said Sgt. Robert Lee, an imagery analyst with MWHS-3, 3rd MAW, I MEF. “We serve the community the same way we serve the country. We do more than just fight wars.”
The Marines and sailors were phenomenal, explained Cordero-Bautista. They participated in a humanitarian mission in their own backyard. This community has people here who need help and the Marines and sailors continue to give back to them.
Through volunteer work, Marines and sailors continue to be the example of how compassionate service members can be with their communities.