Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif. --
Service members with 3rd Combat Engineer Battalion hosted a deployment workshop for the battalion’s children Saturday in response to the unit’s recent deployment to Afghanistan. The workshop introduced 3rd CEB kids to each other and provided games and activities to help understand and deal with the hardships of having a parent deployed.
“For us it’s important that we establish that this is not just daddy’s job; we are a family,” said Erika Capistran, family readiness officer, 3rd CEB. “We had the puppet show, focusing on deployment, mail call, where they received their care packages, and sending the notes off to Afghanistan.”
Each kid made a hand-written card for their father and attached it to a red balloon. The kids gathered together and released the balloons in hopes of reaching their Marines overseas.
The children also got the chance to explore a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle and received their own package of Meals, Ready to Eat, just like dad.
The kids at the workshop were each given a jar of M&M’s. Each night the kids will eat one, counting down the days until the jar is empty and the fathers are home safe.
“My favorite part was getting to see the (MRAP),” said Eric Salisbury, 9, son of Maj. Michael Salisbury, executive officer, 3rd CEB.
Although Salisbury loved the MRAP, he said he made new friends that day and enjoyed meeting other kids with dads who are deployed.
“The focus with our battalion is we’re a family, not just a battalion” Capistran said. “Everything is generated around family. That’s what we are: A 3rd CEB family.”
The battalion is scheduled to return to their family and loved ones at the end of the year.