MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
The Marine Corps has a rich history and traditions that today’s Marines and Sailors continue to forge upon to extend the legacy to the men and women who will follow them.
Marines from 2nd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion saw their part in the Corps’ lore when they took a quick Friday morning KC-130J flight from Cherry Point to the National Museum of the United States Marine Corps in Quantico, Va., Dec. 2.
“Today was about giving back to our Marines,” said 2nd Lt. Justin Gaines, the second platoon commander with 2nd LAAD. “For the past couple of months they have been putting forth the effort and this is a good way for us to give back.”
The battalion’s command made arrangements for the trip weeks in advance.
“This shows the Marine Corps’ rich history when you just look around the museum and you can see how much we’ve evolved,” said Lance Cpl. Laylon Wilson III, a motor transport operator with 2nd LAAD. “At the World War II exhibit they have a piece of glass from the bombing of Nagasaki,”
Wilson added. “My grandfather was in the Navy on a battleship and saw the explosion.” As the Marines viewed the exhibits patrons thanked them for their service and former Marines offered first-hand accounts of their time served in the Corps.
“My favorite part about today has been talking to all the retired Marines that work here,” said Sgt. Robert Basham II, a field radio operator with 2nd LAAD. “Listening to them tell you about how it was in their day and all of their knowledge really brings the experience to life.”
Basham said the museum unifies past, present and future Marines by highlighting the sacrifices, valor and accomplishments of those who came before them.
The outing concluded with 2nd LAAD making some of its own history by promoting Charles Smith and Paul Sanders to lance corporal in front of the museum’s entrance.
“Coming here allows us all to be brought back to why we chose to join the world’s greatest fighting force,” Gaines said.