MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. -- Marine Wing Communications Squadron 28 hosted their annual family day Aug. 8, inviting family and friends to view the day-to-day operations of the squadron at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C.
Attendees had a chance to tour the squadron’s facilities, view Marine Corps Martial Arts and Combat Fitness Test demonstrations, and hear from members of the squadron’s command staff during the event. The event was a success, with more than 75 family and friends attending, according to the squadron’s commanding officer, Lt. Col. Jaime Macias.
“This is one of the key components of our operational readiness,” said Macias, a native of Queens, N.Y. “If our families are not as strong or as robust as the other components of our operational readiness, the Marines won’t be combat ready. The more we increase the relationships with our families, and the stronger the support system is at home, the more prepared our Marines are for combat operations.”
Family members from as far away as California took part in the event, which took more than a month of planning. This is the third year MWCS-28 has hosted a family day and each year the turnout has increased. The success of the event depends on the planning and oversight of the squadron’s family readiness officer, according to Macias.
“Events like this are able to happen because of the family readiness officer. Having our FRO fully integrated in the command team allows us to really keep our relationship with families active,” said Macias.
Many Marine Corps commands have FROs who act as advocates for the extended Marine Corps family. Commanders and their staff rely on FROs to maintain a connection with their Marines’ spouses, parents and siblings, according to Gloria Payoyo, the MWCS-28 FRO.
“It’s really good for the families to understand what their Marine does,” said Payoyo, a native of Honolulu. “(During the event) we do a few things that are that are general to the Marine Corps, like the CFT and the MCMAP demonstrations, and then we take them on a walking tour, where they learn what each squadron section does.”
The walking tour was the most important part of the event because it helped family members learn and understand what individual contributions their Marine makes to the success of the squadron, said Payoyo.
“Sometimes mom and dad don’t understand why their Marine can’t call home every day. I think family day helps the families understand what they’re Marines do for the squadron.”