MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
Cherry Point Marines and Sailors followed the smell of 500 individually seasoned chicken halves and two full 110-pound pigs cooking as ten grills were fired up for the bi-annual New Bern Military Alliance Fall Chicken Picking at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., Oct. 1.
The NBMA of the New Bern Chamber of Commerce teamed up with local business representatives to host the free event for the service members housed at the barracks.
The mission of the NMBA is to maintain a positive relationship between the businesses in New Bern, the surrounding area and the service members of Cherry Point.
“The real purpose of the chicken picking is to enhance the relationship between the civilian community and the Marines,” said Sonny Roberts, co-chairman of the New Bern Chamber of Commerce.
According to Roberts, the alliance was founded with the purpose of enhancing mutual appreciation and interactivity between service members and community members as a way to foster a better understanding of the lifestyles and commitments of both communities.
“We like having the chamber members and volunteers out here cooking,” said Roberts. “It gives them a chance to get to know the Marines and develop relationships because we really are all one big community.”
These events are beneficial for both the service members attending and the volunteers hosting the event, said Roberts.
“I always have an awesome time when I come to these chicken pickings,” said Lance Cpl. Nickolass Rouse, an avionics technician with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 14. “I love trying the different varieties of chicken. They’re always delicious.”
According to Rouse, the great food and chance to step out of his day-to-day schedule is his reason for returning.
“We all really appreciate the volunteers coming out here to serve us,” said Rouse. “It makes me feel good knowing that they are giving up their time to make our day better.”