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Five-year-old Devin Khaivilay throws a bowling ball down the lane Wednesday during Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 1's back-to-school family fun day at the Combat Center's Sandy Hills Bowling Alley. Devin was only one of many children who took advantage of free bowling and pizza throughout the night.

Photo by Pfc. Michael T. Gams

VMU-1 hosts family bash at bowling alley

28 Aug 2009 | Pfc. Michael T. Gams

Marines and sailors with Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 1 brought their family members to the Combat Center’s Sandy Hills Lanes Aug. 26 night for a back-to-school family fun day.

The bowling alley opened their doors and lanes to the unit’s service members and families and were offered free bowling and pizza.

Rachel Sandlin, the family readiness officer with VMU-1, and a Columbus, Ind., native, said the event started with Marines from the Provost Marshal’s Office giving a “Stranger Danger” class to school-aged children.

“The class was aimed to teach kids to be safe with strangers as they go back to school,” she said. “PMO also provided parents with the tools to make ‘Child ID Kits’ in case anything was to ever happen.”

Sandlin said because of the summer heat, VMU-1 has not gotten together in a couple of months, but they try to hold family-oriented events regularly to build unit camaraderie.

The single Marines and sailors were not left out. Groups of single service members could be found bowling and having a good time throughout the evening.

Sandlin said they decided to host a bowling event because of the large numbers of single Marines who requested a bowling trip, and because the bowling alley is a very family-friendly place.

“Normally we do park-type stuff — barbeques and picnics,” said Sgt. Salvador Caban, an aircraft mechanic with VMU-1, and Brooklyn, N.Y., native. “No matter what we do, though, it’s just good to get everyone together and have fun.”

Staff Sgt. Jeremy Rainwater, a work center supervisor with VMU-1, agreed, saying events like Wednesday’s are a good way to spend time with his family and the squadron.

“I had a great time, said his 10-year old son, Ansel. “It was a lot of fun bowling and it was really nice to spend time with my whole family.”

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