RALEIGH, N.C. (Feb. 3) --
The night was dark as a crowd huddled together in the cold waiting patiently for the next act. Dark figures moved about on stage, gathering around the drums in center stage. The lights went up and the band 3 Doors Down ran to the edge of the stage performing for thousands of cheering fans.
The Cherry Point Single Marine Program took participants to the Raleigh Amphitheater in Raleigh, N.C., to view the opening concert of the National Hockey League’s All-Star Weekend Jan. 28.
Thousands of people came to watch performances by The Zambonis, The Performing Assets, 3 Doors Down and a fireworks finale. While the Marines may have been few in numbers, the bands welcomed them as being more than just fans and faces in the crowd.
“I think the Marine Corps is one of the greatest things in this country,” said Dave Schneider, The Zambonis’ lead singer and guitarist. “They’re helping us, serving us just doing their duties. It’s an honor to play for them.”
The Marines enjoyed the opportunity to enjoy some fun and entertainment outside of the local area around Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point.
“The Single Marine Program gives us an opportunity go get off the base,” said Lance Cpl. Matthew S. Smith, an electronic countermeasures technician with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 14. “It gives us the freedom to get out of the barracks. I didn’t know about the concert until I got the e-mail from the Single Marine Program, so if it weren’t for them I wouldn’t have been able to go.”
The Single Marine Program opens the door for Marines to enjoy events out of the ordinary. The program will also sponsor trips to Busch Gardens, Williamsburg, Va., and to see the professional basketball organization the Charlotte Bobcats in the near future.
“The Single Marine Program is meant to improve the quality of life for Marines and Sailors on the base by providing recreational activities,” said Nicole A. Hall, a Single Marine Program recreation assistant. “With events such as these, it gives them the opportunity to not only have a change of scenery, but to also have a great time.”