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Marines spread Christmas cheer to Asunaro Nursery

Date Posted: 2003-12-25

CAMP SCHWAB, Okinawa, Japan A group of 15 Marines from Ammunition Company, 3rd Materiel Readiness Battalion, 3rd Force Service Support Group, aboard Camp Schwab attended the Asunaro Nursery School in Nago Dec. 11 for a day of interaction, song, dance, and overall fun with local Okinawan children to spread goodwill and cheer during this holiday season.

According to Cpl. Adam Erskine, records clerk, this marked the fifth year these Marines have gone to the Asunaro Nursery School to spread goodwill.

When the Marines arrived at the nursery school they removed their shoes and stepped into the schoolhouse where they were greeted by a brisk "good morning" from approximately 50 Okinawan children. The Marines then replied with a motivated "good morning" of their own. After the introductions were completed, the children led the Marines in an array of Okinawan songs accompanied by dances, which they had practiced.

"After we line up and introduce ourselves, be prepared. When they get released they're going to rush us," Erskine told his Marines.

The children seemed very excited about having the opportunity to interact and play with the Marines. The fact that the Marines spoke choppy Japanese at best, and the children knew very few English phrases such as "nice to meet you", did not deter either group from enjoying themselves and having a good time.

This was evident when the Marines went for a walk with the Okinawan children. Marines walking down the streets of Nago with a child on their shoulders and many more walking along side them, was a sight that brought a smile to the faces of numerous local Okinawan bystanders.

"This gives the Marines a chance to give back to the local community and get into the holiday spirit themselves," said Erskine. "It also helps to maintain the relationship between the Okinawans and the Marine Corps."

The children will thank the Marines for spending their day with them by visiting them on base and performing a traditional Japanese dance as well as inviting them to Nago to attend the annual Cherry Blossom Festival.

"Every Marine here on Okinawa should go out, learn about the culture, and find some way to do some good," said Erskine.

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