Twentynine Palms -- Marines and sailors with 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, enjoyed a day of snow filled fun at Bear Mountain Ski Resort in Big Bear Lake, Feb. 23, 2017.
The trip was provided to them courtesy of Operation Adrenaline Rush, a program established by Headquarters Marine Corps and executed by Marine Corps Community Services, which is aimed toward reintegrating Marines and sailors who have just come home from deployment through empowering small unit leaders, maintaining combat readiness, reinforcing unit cohesion and contributing to an improved climate perception.
“When Marines and sailors are in their unit environment, there’s a connection,” said John Murdock, coordinator, OAR. “But when we get them together outside of work, we have officers, mixed in with enlisted and junior Marines, so there’s a connection across the board.”
During the trip, Marines and sailors had the opportunity to snowboard or ski. The complimentary trip included a rental voucher for the equipment they needed, 2 hour lessons for beginners and lunch.
“At first I didn’t think it was going to be fun but then we got there and started learning,” said Lance Cpl. Omar Irizarry, rifleman, 2/7. “It was a really cool experience and I’m glad I got the opportunity to come. It’s a good time, it relieves stress, gets you away from the barracks and gets your mind off work. I would definitely try it again.”
While OAR is not offered to individual Marines, it is provided to units who have recently returned from deployment. Activities offered include kayaking, surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, snorkeling, outdoor rock climbing, fishing, archery and mountain biking.
“This program is hopefully introducing them to a tool to deal with the everyday stress,” Murdock said. “From carrying out their daily tasks, to training out in the field, to preparing for deployment, it’s stressful for these guys. I think it’s a good program and we want to involve as many units as possible.”