Marines land at local middle school
Story, photos by Art Giberson
leaves is a two-man job which is handled with dispatch by a student/Marine
Paquete lends a hand with a flower bed|
More than 50 Marines from the Marine Aviation Training Support Group
and and Aviation Maintenance Squadron-One (AMS-1) recently made a Clean
and Green landing at Bellview Middle School. Their mission: mingle with
6-7-8-graders, emphasize the need for education, rake, plant flowers and
shrubbery, and in general have fun and leave the campus in a clean and green
From the moment they arrived in the Cradle of Naval Aviation, AMS-1 staff
and students have worked diligently to create a positive interaction between
the Marines and the community.
One of their first projects was the adoption of Bellview Middle School as
a Partner in Education. However, according to Diane Gunlock, a parent/educator
at the West Pensacola school, there is some doubt as to who adopted who.
We sort of adopted them, Gunlock said during the April 3 Clean
and Green project. It would be very difficult to accomplish all of
our goals without the Marines. Theyre wonderful. The kids love them,
and are always willing to do whatever we request of them...from tutoring
to cleanup and fix-up projects.
This is great, said 12-year-old Jacob Moffett, referring to
the schools annual Clean and Green. It sure beats sitting in
a classroom. This way we get a chance to mix with the Marines and do something
for our school.
Whether the kids realized it or not, the importance of education and staying
in school was consistently being emphasized by the Marines.
I want to be a professional basketball player when I grow up,
one young man said, tossing a basketball into the air. Not me,
clamored in a six-grader, Im gonna join the Navy...or maybe
Great plans, praised Pfc Paul Radich. But a good education
is important whether youre in the NBA, or one of the armed forces.
The students saw a very practical application of the importance of education,
when Maj. Robert A. Doss promoted one of the Marines, Kevin Jenkins, to
lance corporal prior to the start of the Clean and Green project.
by an eager group of future pro athletes and service men, Pfc. Paul Radich
sings the praises of education whether in the basketball court or in the
Bath joins other Marines in leaf-raking chores at Bellview Middle School.
Edward Lindstrom and two newly made friends plant flowers near the main
walkway of the school.|