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Okinawa Corporals pitch in, spruce up senior home

Date Posted: 2005-07-15

CHATAN, OKINAWA, Japan— Twelve corporals and three instructors from 3rd Transportation Support Battalion's Corporals' Course, class 3-05, cultivated the cluttered yard outside of the Yomei-En Senior Home here June 22, as a community relations project.

The corporals, who graduated July 1, cut grass, pulled and cut weeds, washed windows and swept walkways at the senior home. They also removed debris from around the building.

"This is about the fourth time corporals’ course has volunteered at this home in the last year," said Staff Sgt. Eric D. Holt, the staff noncommissioned officer-in-charge of corporals' course. “Corporals’ course has done this in the past, but not with every class. We are trying to make it a permanent part of every course.”

After the Marines had finished cleaning the outside of the home, they were invited inside to meet and converse with the home's residents.

“It’s good to get out and help the community,” said Cpl. Demetrious D. Fuller, a motor transport operator with motor transport company, 3rd TSB. “It shows that Marines are here to help everyone.”

Yomein- En is home to more than 70 seniors, four of which are older than 100 years old. Yomei-En is a special-care home for senior citizens whose families can no longer take care of them, explained Yoko Yohen, the section chief of nursing at the home.

“Normally the seniors don’t get to go out,” Yohen said. “The volunteer work with the Marines is one of (the senior citizens’) few opportunities to visit with people. (The seniors) always look forward to seeing anyone from outside the home.”

"It’s good we’re able to help them out,” said Cpl. James C. Amy, a motor vehicle operator with motor transport company, 3rd TSB. “The staff here is really busy, and this gives us a chance to give them a break.”

Volunteering to clean the retirement home is not a graduation requirement for the corporals' course, but it helps the students develop a good neighbor thinking and pride in community service, Holt explained. Everyone at the home seemed appreciative of what the Marines had done for them.

“This was a good chance to get out in the community and give back to the locals,” said Cpl. Nathaniel A. Tabb, a heavy equipment mechanic, with support company, 3rd TSB. “It makes our presence felt.”

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