MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. (September 8, 2011) --
When Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 3’s color guard took the field, hundreds of people stood up in respect for the national flag and the Marines carrying it. The military took center stage that night at Grainger Stadium, home of the Kinston Indians, when the Indians supported the squadron with a military appreciation night, Aug. 31.
After spending eight months in Afghanistan and with more deployments on the horizon, VMAQ-3 organized a special unit fun night with the Indians. The squadron enjoyed hot dogs, burgers and beer at the tailgate party before the game. Afterward, the Marines and their families attended the game for free. The Kinston Indians military appreciation night events involved both civilian and military components serving to improve the relationships within VMAQ-3 and with the community.
The unit get-togethers can be useful family functions that provide opportunities to mingle and help Marines and their families to get to know each other.
“The family aspect of unit get-togethers is important because I just moved here and now my family can meet everybody’s wives and kids,” said Sgt. Joshua Nieves, an airframe mechanic for VMAQ-3. “It brings us as a unit closer together because now she met all the Marine’s wives so she has someone else to rely on. It’s not always just going to be us two alone.”
According to Nieves, the spouses creating a social network is helpful because they can be a source to pass information and can help provide support to one another. The event also allowed Nieves, who was previously stationed in California while his family stayed in Florida, to spend more time with his daughter.
Unit parties also serve to improve the atmosphere of the workplace even after the party is finished.
“Military appreciation days are good not only for unit morale, but also unit cohesion,” said Cpl. Jacob B. Mol, tool room manager for VMAQ-3. “Basically, bringing us together and having a good time makes it easier around the work area. It gives us things to talk about and memories to enjoy while we’re working which can make everyone altogether happier.”
Mol explained that he was humbled by the community hosting the military appreciation night. He said knowing the community appreciates the work helps make the job easier.
The color guard provided the public a point of focus for the military appreciation night. More than one employee at Grainger Stadium thanked Marines for their service.
“They’re taking the opportunity to show us that they understand our sacrifice and the stresses we go through by being deployed in harm’s way,” said Lt. Col. Marty Moore, commanding officer of VMAQ-3.