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Sgt. Diego Marmolejo wins the Civitas Sentinel Award

By Cpl. Aidan Parker | Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort | October 26, 2021

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MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT S.C. -- Sgt. Diego Marmolejo, an air traffic controller with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Beaufort, South Carolina was awarded the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce 2021 Sentinel Award for Military Citizenship. 


“Since becoming the Single Marine Program (SMP) president, the program has engaged more with community efforts thanks to Marmolejo,” said Ashley Mccartney, Single Marine Program Coordinator for MCAS Beaufort.


During his time serving as the program’s president, the SMP adopted a highway and a portion of the Spanish Moss Trail through the Adopt-a-Highway Program where service members take responsibility for litter control and promote beautification, taking care of a portion of South Carolina’s roadways. The SMP has continued its ongoing relationship with Habitat for Humanity in Hilton Head and Beaufort where the Marines volunteer their free time helping paint, raising walls, tiling and roofing.


“We’ve been working with Habitat for Humanity for about a year and a half at the Hilton Head office,” said Marmolejo. “We started with them back in August of 2020 and have built over six houses in the community.”


According to McCartney, Marmolejo’s efforts have helped the SMP receive numerous awards in the past year, since becoming the program’s president. To name a few, a Certificate of Appreciation from the National Society of the Son’s of the American Revolution, a Certificate of Appreciation from the Port Royal Police Department and the Lower Region Group Leadership Award from the South Carolina Litter Control Association.


Coming from MCAS Iwakuni, Japan, Marmolejo said he experienced a disconnect from the service members and the local community there. After arriving to Beaufort, he explained he was comforted in the way the community here embraces the military population more. 


“I think it’s a very special thing, the way the community recognizes the military and their families, and hopefully we can be used as a model for what a good relationship between service members and their community can be,” he said.


Marmolejo hopes to pass the torch someday as the president of the SMP to someone who is as passionate about the relationship between service members and the community as he is, and will continue to encourage increased community involvement. His wish is that other SMP programs will be impacted by his efforts. 
 


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