MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
The 3rd Combat Engineer Battalion held a family day as a farewell to the Marines and sailors deploying to Afghanistan at the Desert Winds Golf Course March 5 from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
This was the first time 3rd CEB has hosted an event like this since the battalion was reactivated last year.
More than 500 Marines, sailors and family members of the battalion participated in an afternoon of free golf, food and games.
The day started with 36 two-man teams competing in 18 holes. Many of the players had never golfed before and needed a little practice before the competition.
“The golfing was the main attraction for the day,” said Sgt. Maj. Robert Sites, the battalion sergeant major and Kenton, Ohio native. “We had so many teams participate that we had to start the games early.”
During the golf tournament many Marines and sailors went to the driving range to work on their swing. Others went to the back of the Duffers Retreat with guitars, dominos and card games as others bought drinks and conversed with one another.
Afterward, families took their children to an area filled with picnic tables, blow-up bouncing castles and a pugil sticks arena. The arena quickly became a popular attraction, and children were encouraged to take on their parents.
“This is a good time to mingle and try to meet people,” said Stephanie Graves, the wife of Sgt. Sidney Graves, and native of Jackson, Miss.
The battalion is slated to deploy to Afghanistan later this spring.