MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, S.C. --
Afterburners held a “Singles Painting Party” for Valentine’s Day at aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, Feb. 14.
The party was hosted by the Single Marine Program to bring Marines and Sailors together for the holiday while also offering a new learning experience through art of painting.
“This is probably the most fun I’ve had in a long time,” said Lance Cpl. Steven R. Kerlagan an armorer with Marine Wing Support Detachment 31. “My job comes with a lot of added stress, so being able to come out here and just relax, meet new people , and paint is a really a breath of fresh air.”
The Single Marine Program was founded to provide opportunities and improve the quality of life for single Marines and sailors. On top of hosting parties, the SMP hosts excursions such as cruises and ski trips, events that help boost morale like Poker and Trivia nights, as well as finding opportunities to volunteer in the local community.
“We at the SMP really love what we do,” Joe Juarez, a volunteer with the Single Marine Program. “Being able to give back to the service members who do everything for us is definitely the driving force behind why a lot of us at the SMP do what we do.”
The origin of Valentine’s Day is still blanketed in mystery but historians trace its roots to the Roman holiday of Lupercalia, a ceremony that was celebrated annually during the month of February. The Pope at the time adopted the festival as a Christian feast day in 496, declaring February 14 to be St. Valentine's Day. Which St. Valentine the pope wanted to honor is still a mystery; there were three early saints by that name. One was a priest in Rome; another was a bishop in Terni and the last Valentine nothing is known about except that he died in Africa. Surprisingly, all three of the Valentines allegedly died on Feb. 14.
“I’ve used the SMP tons of times, I’ve gone on trips and been to different parties they’ve hosted,” said Lance Cpl. Christian Moreno, a videographer with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron. “I can honestly say that this is the best Valentine’s Day I’ve ever had. Sitting here and seeing a room full of my friends while we all just hangout and paint really makes me thankful for the SMP and all of the things they do for us.”