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12th Marines visit, clean orphanage

Date Posted: 2003-12-25

YAKANAMA, Japan When someone is in need of help, Marines are known to do what they can to help out. For nearly 50 years, the Marines of 12th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division have been doing just that at the Yakanama Seibi Home.

According to Navy Lt. Thomas A. Ianucci, chaplain for 3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, when the home was built, the orphanage couldn't afford to finish the building so 12th Marines saw the opportunity and jumped at the chance to help.

"The Marines of 12th Marines somewhat adopted the home and have been helping out however they can since," the Virginia Beach, Va., native said. "Every time 12th Marines come here for training, we try to come here to help."

During a visit Dec. 10, 25 Marines from various sections in the regiment visited the home and took on several tasks.

Nearly 50 children come to the home during the time they are not in school. Although the children were not there during the visit, the Marines were still glad to be there.
Almost every Marine stepped out of their vehicles and started looking for rakes and paintbrushes right away. After the chaplain coordinated the details, they swiftly began their work, raking leaves and painting two stairwells.

The Marines had almost finished the job after nearly 2 hours of work and started looking around for anything that sparked their interest. After a few Marines walked into the building, they started noticing plaques with their logo and found it surprising.

During their exploration, they stumbled onto a bookshelf full of photo albums. Each Marine grabbed an album and started flipping through the pages.

Among the pages, they saw pictures of Marines playing with children, raking leaves and celebrations from many years ago. They also found one book that people sign when they visit and a few noticed a couple names they recognized.

When they finished putting away the brooms, rakes and paintbrushes, the Marines were invited inside for a warm meal with the workers at the home. They enjoyed some homemade spaghetti and bread for the meal.

Although the trip to the home was scheduled during the first day of off-base liberty, the Marines were glad to volunteer during their day off.

According to Lance Cpl. Kenneth E. Causey, vehicle mechanic, T Battery, 3/12, the visit was good for the Marines because it shows we are good neighbors.

"I like to help out and do good for those less fortunate than me," the Rockmart, Ga., native said.

Ianucci said the trip was an overall success and said he feels good seeing the Marines wanting to help out.

"This helps let everyone know that although our main focus coming here is training, we also help out and benefit the community," Ianucci said.

When the children return here after school is out, Causey said he hopes they notice the difference.

"I want the kids to enjoy a nice, clean place that they can enjoy. It feels good to be a part of making that happen."

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