Tri-Command children celebrated the Marine Corps’ 239th anniversary during the Children’s Marine Corps Birthday Ball Celebration at the All-Weather Training Facility aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, Nov. 15.
Unlike other Marine Corps Balls this one allows Marines to celebrate and share the occasion with their children. During the event, Marines and their families eat, play games, and conduct ceremonial traditions such as the oldest and youngest cake cutting with the children.
“In the past two years, it has been difficult for me to take my family out and spend quality time with them,” said Staff Sgt. Thomas McQuade, a base facilities manager for Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island. “Two years ago I was stationed on Camp Pendleton, Ca., and was on a constant deployment rotation. During my three years stationed in California, I was deployed and away from my wife and twin newborn children more often than not. I missed out on a lot. Events like this allow me to share why I wasn’t with them when they were younger and show them a bit more of what I do on a daily basis.”
Roxanne Farr, the Lifestyle, Insights, Networking, Knowledge, and Skills program trainer with Marine Corps Family Team Building on Parris Island, says this event is a great way for Marines and their families to spend quality time and share the Marine Corps Birthday Ball traditions with their children.
“Events like this incorporate both fun and games for kids while providing Marines with the opportunity to share what they do when they go to the Marine Corps Ball, such as the cake cutting ceremony, with their children,” Farr said. “It also shows children a piece of Marine Corps life, customs and traditions.”
The ceremony featured obstacle courses, face painting, coloring, bounce houses, Marine Corps pugil stick training for children, a modified combat fitness test, and a military working dogs demonstration.
“This event is a great opportunity for Marines to spend quality time with their spouses and kids and become closer as a family,” McQuade said. “It got my kids asking questions about what I do and understanding that I can’t always be around, I might have to deploy and some of the traditions we as Marines hold dear. I look forward to this event next year and would recommend it to all families.”