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Okinawa children share Christmas spirit with 12th Marines

By: Kathy Baker

Date Posted: 1998-12-25

A festive scene was set at the Camp Hansen USO for the arrival of fifty students from the Okinawa Christian School this past Monday. Students came to spread Christmas cheer and spend time with their host, the 12th Marine Regiment at Camp Hansen. Coordinated by USO Manager Lee Kramvik, Chaplain Biadog from 12th Marines, and Marine volunteers, students enjoyed a Christmas dinner and candies donated by Noriko Brittain from AIU, the Marine Corps League, and VFW Post #11435.

Laughter filled the USO as students chatted with their adopt-a-school hosts. According the Colonel J. T. Kelly, Commanding Officer 12th Marines Regiment, "We adopted the school as a community project about a year ago. Over the past year, Marines have volunteered their time to work at the school in projects ranging from painting the school to playing sports with the kids."

Behind the scene, volunteers were busy cooking dinner and making sure the kids had a great time. As a token of their appreciation, the students performed a Christmas show for those who attended. Students grades 3rd to 6th sang Christmas songs and songs in sign language. The school’s superintendent Mr. Cullen Ohashi thanked the 12th Marines and the USO staff for hosting the Christmas party. "The school wanted to show their appreciation for all the support the 12th Marines have shown us. With projects such as painting our school, the Marines have saved us over $75,000," said Ohashi. "This is one way in which we could give something back to the Marines," he said. The holiday spirit was out in force at the Camp Hansen USO as one student summed up the evening’s event by saying the best part was being with the Marines!

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