Hammerheads talk military with middle school students

17 Oct 2012 | Lance Cpl. Samantha H. Arrington

October is career month at H. J. MacDonald Middle School, and as in years past, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point personnel were invited to give a presentation to the children Oct. 12.

Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 366 adopted H. J. MacDonald through the air station's adopt-a-school program, and Marines regularly visit to interact with the students or conduct volunteer work. On this occasion, six Marines ranging in rank from lance corporal to captain shared their experiences in the Marine Corps and answered questions ranging from the Marines' basic training to their hobbies and free time.

“I’ve been taught about a lot of what the Marines talked about. But there was new stuff I didn’t know like their basic training,” said Ashley S. Hubley, a 6th-grader. “My favorite part was just listening to how their jobs interest them and what they do for fun on their off time. “

More than 25 students were drawn from a school raffle to attend the discussion. The students were 6th, 7th and 8th-graders.

“I like this because it gives me a chance to give back to the community and shed light on the positive things that the Marine Corps is doing stateside,” said Cpl. Matthew Bolton, an aviation maintenance administration specialist and native of Augusta, Ga.

Valarie Nasser, a teacher at the middle school, explained that having the Marines visit the school gave the students a broader view of the options for careers in the future.

“I think for the diverse amounts of students we have, it opens their eyes to other possibilities other than becoming common things like doctors or lawyers,” said Nasser. “I believe it is very helpful to open up other doors. These Marines become the students' role models a lot of times.”

Other careers that will be highlighted throughout the month include human services, technology, trade and industry, arts and entertainment, and education.

“This experience is very fun and it’s great interacting with the kids and listening to all of the different questions they had,” said Lance Cpl. Daniel S. Dyson, a CH-53E helicopter airframe mechanic and native of Boston. “They definitely impressed me with their hunger for military knowledge.”

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point