Marine Coprs Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. --
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif.— Service members and volunteers from 1st Supply Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, I Marine Expeditionary Force organized a drive-in holiday event for their families, Dec. 22, 2020 on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California. The battalion recognized an opportunity during the holiday period to celebrate Christmas in a unique way with the families following the challenges Covid-19 caused throughout the year.
The first event consisted of a parade with all sorts of vehicles decked with Christmas decorations families were able to watch from the comfort and safety of their own vehicles. When the parade concluded, the families proceeded to drive to the next event, greeted by Santa Clause. Santa Clause boasted with holiday cheer, and delivered gifts for the children such as books, blankets, toys and much more.
Carolyn Burgen, the Deployment Readiness Coordinator with 1st Supply Battalion, facilitated the event, and ensured proper Covid-19 measures were in place during the event to ensure the safety of both volunteers, and the participants.
“The purpose of this event is to bring joy and fun during this hardship year that our families have had as well as the opportunity to volunteer for the Marines and Sailors,” said Burgen.
When asked about the safety measures put in place to prevent the spread of the virus, Carolyn stated “Everybody participating had their temperatures taken prior to their entrance. We kept the Marines and Sailors spread out to avoid large groups, mask were to be worn at all times, including the families who stayed in their vehicles,” said Burgen.
Lance Cpl. Steven Duran, inventory management specialist, Headquarters & Service Company, 1st Supply Bn., 1st MLG, volunteered to be a lead during the event and explained how incredible it was being a part of an event where he could witness first-hand the happiness it brought families.
“It feels great because being a Lance Cpl. you’re only given minimum responsibilities,” said Duran. “Having a role in something like this can show a lot to your unit and chain of command.”
According to Duran and other fellow volunteers, this event makes a great impact to everyone involved because it creates cohesion to the unit by bringing together different sections to do something special for our families, all while being safe maintaining proper Covid-19 safety measures.
The volunteers for this event varied from different sections and companies within 1st Supply Battalion, all with the same mission to spread Christmas joy. Although this holiday event is held annually, due to the Covid-19, the event differed slightly this time around. Burgen and the service members of 1st Supply Bn. was very pleased with the outcome of the event this year, and will plan for an even bigger event next holiday season.
(U.S. Marine Corps Story by Lance Cpl. Ulises Salgado)