MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. -- A group of 13 sailors from Aviation Survival Training Center Cherry Point visited the National Museum of the Marine Corps on Friday for a day of learning.
Lt. Cmdr. Thomas P. Murphy, the director of the center, said the center’s staff regularly goes on trips to places of naval historical significance. In previous trips, the group visited the CSS Neuse, a Confederate ironclad from the Civil War, and the USS North Carolina, a highly-decorated World War II-era battleship.
“These trips are an opportunity to bond with a small staff,” Murphy said.
Murphy summed up the reason the sailors selected the museum, a destination generally known as a mecca of Marine history.
“Where we are located, at Cherry Point, we support the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing,” Murphy said. “That’s our sole reason for being there.”
Navy Lt. Maile L. Richert, a division officer with the center, said she enjoyed meeting with the various museum docents who were involved in the battles they taught about. She spoke with a veteran who fought on Iwo Jima and now teaches at the section of the museum dedicated to the battle.
“It’s more than you would get from reading from a book,” Richert said. “It’s an actual person there who is telling you things he noticed when he was coming off the boat or trudging through the water."
The museum evoked a sense of brotherhood with the Marines they work alongside every day said Chief Petty Officer Robert P. K. Craig, a division chief with the center. The picture of history the museum painted hit home for him
“One of the biggest things that draws me in here as a Sailor, besides the fact that I have spent almost 18 of my 21 years with the Marine Corps in some way, is that this museum ties in that Navy and Marine Corps team,” Craig said. “From the exhibits of World War II, where they are talking about Guadalcanal, to the exhibits where they show the corpsman treating casualties through Vietnam, it’s promoting the core of the Marine Corps, but it’s pulling in that we did this as a team.”