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Twentynine Palms, California
Marines connect with community for summer reading program

By Pfc. Margaret Gale | Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms | July 19, 2017

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Twentynine Palms -- The Combat Center’s Provost Marshal’s office held a military working dog demonstration for local residents, during a summer reading program at the Twentynine Palms Public Library, July 13, 2017.

The MWD section supports the continuing effort to foster a positive relationship with the community by providing education on MWD procedures and protocol.

The library’s summer reading program, Gear Up and Read, is a seven-week program aimed toward promoting literacy throughout the local community.The program is open to all ages and participants are eligible to win prizes for reading on allotted amount of books for the week.

“We like to have community involvement with our programs and the military is an important part of this community,” said Michael Jacome, Branch Manager, Twentynine Palms Public Library.

Four dogs participated in the presentation. The handlers helped to demonstrate the MWD’s strength, obedience and discipline to more than 30 reading program participants. The dogs obeyed commands to attack their targets, heel and escort people to designated areas, always keeping an eye on the target to ensure the safety of their handler. MWD handlers tested the dog’s obedience by changing commands throughout the demonstration.

“Coming out to the community shows what resources [they] have and what we are capable of doing,” said Lance Cpl. Julian Norris, MWD handler, PMO. “I think it’s a fun time to be with the kids and to show everyone what we do.”

During the presentation, the children pressed closer to the fence to try to get a better view of the action. Adults and children alike looked on in fascination.

“If you want to do anything Marine-like you have to go on-base and it all seems so separate,” said Victoria Thomas, a Twentynine Palms local. “It’s great that the Marines come out because it is an emphasis of community and it’s really good for the kids to see the different types of Marines occupations.”
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