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The cookout for the 101 Days of Summer Drug and Alcohol-Free Challenge held at Afterburners provided participants with hamburgers and hot dogs, billiards, air hockey, ladder golf, corn hole, horseshoes and volleyball. The main attraction, however, was the water slide. The attendees took turns cooling off.::r::::n::

Photo by Lance Cpl. Kevin T. Ferguson

SMP cookout makes a splash with water slide

4 Aug 2011 | Lance Cpl. Kevin T. Ferguson

Each month throughout the summer, the Single Marine Program will host a cookout at Afterburners. Service member participation in this month’s cookout held June 11 counted for points toward the service member’s respective unit for the 101 Days of Summer Drug and Alcohol-Free Challenge. The challenge is a summer-long campaign to promote the elimination of illegal drug use and to promote the safe use of alcohol in the military community. The chance to earn points for their unit drew participation, but this seemingly, was not the main attraction. It soon became apparent that the event was dominated by the water slide as evident from the children of the Afterburners staff members to the ‘big kids’ playing around on the water slide. When the event started at 4 p.m. there were few in attendance, but slowly, participation picked up and groups of bathing suit clad Marines were loading plates with burgers and hot dogs and heading out to the water slide. Even service members from other Tri-Command installations were found mingling with Fightertown Marines. Lance Cpl. Traci Cruz, a Headquarters and Service Battalion ammunition technician from Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, said she was attending a welcome home brief for her husband’s squadron when she heard about the event and she decided “to hang out with friends and check out Afterburners.” Cruz was not equipped with a bathing suit and could not enjoy the water slide her fellow service members held so close to their hearts. “A water slide and free food… I’m down,” said Lance Cpl. Jacob Denson, a Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 115 airframes mechanic. Denson enjoyed the water so much, he was later found relaxing in the mini-pool attached to the end of the slide. Benjie Pangelinan, the Air Station Single Marine Program coordinator, said making the choice to get the water slide was a group effort. “It was just getting together with the staff and thinking outside the box,” Pangelinan said. They did not have access to a swimming pool, so the slide was the next best thing and they had success with similar attractions before. “The last time we had a water slide it was a big hit, so I figured it would be this time too,” said Sarah Leverett, an Afterburners recreation attendant. For information on future SMP events, visit or check out To see where your unit ranks in the 101 Days of Summer Drug and Alcohol-Free Challenge, see Sports Page.