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Marines deliver gifts to locals with help from family abroad

Date Posted: 2004-01-29

CAMP SCHWAB, Okinawa, Japan Although the Christmas holidays have come and gone, Marines from 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, currently assigned to 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, continued to share gifts with the less fortunate in late December Five Marines from Company G, visited the Nagomi Children's Shelter in Henoko on Dec. 27 with 60 Christmas gifts for the 15 children who live at the orphanage. Although the Marines delivered the gifts, they were all purchased by civilians from Connecticut, according to Cpl. Charles H. MacWilliams, team leader for Company G.

"It started when a group of children from the orphanage came to Schwab for an afternoon `get-together' at Oura Wan Beach," the Woodstock, Conn. native said. "I spoke with my mom who lives in Connecticut soon after about what happened, and within a few days I received several packages in the mail from her which contained 60 gift-wrapped toys for the kids at the orphanage."

Lucy S. MacWilliams, mother to Cpl. MacWilliams, has been an avid supporter of the Marines in 2/6 for a few years. According to Cpl. MacWilliams, his mother and her coworkers at Day Kimble Hospital in Putnam, Conn. send Christmas gifts to the Marines of Company G every year. This year Lucy MacWilliams and her associates decided to donate gifts to the orphanage with hopes her son may learn something.

"I've always appreciated the actions my mom has taken over the past couple of years since I've been with this unit," Cpl. MacWilliams said. "I think this time she's trying teach me how good it feels to brighten up someone else's day."

Along with the gifts, Marines from Company G raised $200 for the orphanage during a raffle held the night before.

When the Marines arrived to deliver the gifts and donation, the children at the orphanage were jumping with excitement, according to Cpl. MacWilliams.

"It was definitely a good thing to spend part of the holidays with these kids, especially during a time when I'm away from my own family," said Lance Cpl. Arthur R. Csonka, team leader for Company G. "Hopefully they will remember what we did for them and continue to give to those less fortunate when they grow up."

Along with Csonka, Cpl. MacWilliams feels the actions taken by his fellow Marines and his family back home were very important.

"We are here as ambassadors so I think it's important to show the Okinawans the diversity of the Marine Corps," MacWilliams concluded. "We should show people that we do more than just blow things up."

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