MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. -- Good tidings were plentiful at the annual Christmas tree lighting held in front of Cherry Point’s Marine Corps Exchange Nov. 30.
The event featured Christmas carols, free refreshments, door prizes and even a visit by Santa. As the evening drew to a close, there was an outdoor showing of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”
Lt. Col. Eric Weissberger, the executive officer for the air station, thanked all the Marines, Sailors and families who came out to the event, as well as those overseas for the holiday season.
“It’s nice seeing all the families come out here,” Weissberger said. “Realizing that some of their loved ones are deployed, it’s nice to have this coming together.”
Not only do events like this support the families back home, but they also support the Marines and Sailors overseas, said Weissberger.
“You’re away from your family and all you have are your friends,” said Weissberger. “That’s where things like this come in.”
The feeling of community was strong at the event. Service members and their families came together to officially welcome in the holiday season.
“It’s just a community,” said Rosemary Hong, who is married to Sgt. Scott Yonemura of Marine Wing Communications Squadron 28. “I feel like part of this big military family.”
Lance Cpl. Elias Irizarry, a Fixed-Wing Aircraft Safety Equipment Mechanic with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252, said he felt the event offered a familiar sense of the holidays to Marines and Sailors who may not have family nearby.
“It brings us all together as a family, both in and out of the Corps,” said Irizarry, who was at the tree lighting with his family. “Fellow Marines who don’t have families nearby have one here.”