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Talon Savoie, 4 months, sits with mom, Shelby, during the 3rd CEB Baby Shower. The unit held a battalion-wide baby shower for the 36 pregnant and recently pregnant spouses while the unit is deployed to Afghanistan.

Photo by Cpl. D. J. Wu

3rd CEB mothers get a helping hand

24 Jun 2013 | Lance Cpl. Lauren Kurkimilis

3rd Combat Engineer Battalion’s Family Readiness Office teamed up with a local nonprofit organization, Soldiers’ Angels, to help 3rd CEB spouses with a battalion-wide baby shower, June 13.

When 3rd CEB began their deployment a few months ago, the battalion had 36 pregnant wives. The baby shower brought them together to bond and gave the new and expecting mothers a helping hand. The mothers came together to share their experience through their pregnancies, play baby-related games and build a support group within the battalion.

“Soldiers’ Angels came out here and sponsored our battalion baby shower,” said Erika Capistran, 3rd CEB family readiness officer. “3rd CEB is currently deployed and during the deployment, we’re going to have 36 babies born. In the past 10 days we’ve had six babies. To say that we’re having a baby boom is an understatement.”

Soldiers’ Angels and their network of volunteers made large contributions toward the event. The group collected and packaged baskets of gifts and door prizes for both mommy and baby. This is the group’s first trip to the Combat Center to help with event. The organization, based out of Pasadena, Calif., has volunteered their time to other area military bases.

“We had contacted Soldiers’ Angels and they were more than gracious to come up here and host a battalion baby shower for us,” Capistran said. “We’re actually the first battalion here in Twentynine Palms to have one, so we’re excited and honored to be the first.”

Dozens of pregnant and recently pregnant spouses attended the event and the scale of the shower was a surprise to many of them.

“It’s awesome,” said Brittany McGinn, new 3rd CEB mom. “I knew there were a lot of girls that were pregnant in our unit, but I thought there were just going to be just a few of us here and it would be low key. Just getting all these donated gifts is very impressive and I just feel very blessed and very thankful for the support.”

For some of the wives, whose families live far from Twentynine Palms, the battalion’s event provided an experience they might otherwise not have had. The Marine family can fill an important role. 

“My family is on the East Coast, and I don’t have any family out here,” McGinn said. “I didn’t really have a baby shower out here except for a few friends. Having something like this, especially with your husband gone, is a huge morale booster. I’m just really thankful.”

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms