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Opportunities made available to Marines

2 Aug 2013 | Lance Cpl. Paul S. Martinez

The Lifestyle, Insight, Networking, Knowledge and Skills organization, or L.I.N.K.S., held a class for Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron 3 Marines aboard the Combat Center July 26 to educate them about a variety of on-base resources and opportunities.

The program, which dates its 16 years of service to Marines and their families, can be traced back to the Combat Center.

“The goal of L.I.N.K.S. is to empower Marines and their families about the Marine Corps lifestyle,” said Gina Smith, L.I.N.K.S. trainer, Marine Corps Family Team Building. In the recent session, held only for Marines, topics of discussion include programs available aboard the Combat Center for recreation and personal assistance. This includes the Single
Marines Program, Marine Corps Community Services, Navy and Marine Corps Relief Society and the New Parent Support Group.

There are plenty of fun places to go for Marines and their families, such as Outdoor Adventures where service members can rent camping and party equipment, the base theater or Sandy Hill Lanes Bowling Center.

“If knowledge is power, be empowered,” Smith said.

In addition to what exists on base, the Marines in attendance were also taught about general but important Marine Corps topics, such as separation and deployment, pay and entitlements, and moving in the military.

“I learned what to expect in the future,” said Lance Cpl. Chris Datan, intelligence analyst, VMU-3.

If a Marine is new in the Marine Corps and they’re having all of these emotions about deployment, they should know that it’s normal, Smith said.

Marines participated in an exercise where they were given scenarios and asked to identify what organizations could help. For example, a Marine expecting a child can turn to the New Parent Support Group for parenting classes.

“We hope that Marines have knowledge,” Smith said. “And we want other Marines to pass (L.I.N.K.S.) on.”

With L.I.N.K.S. around, Marines that are new to the Combat Center or those seeking help during a major occurrence
such as deployment or relocation, will have a solid resource to help them be successful.

“I would recommend this class to others, especially if it’s a Marines’ first duty station,” Datan said.

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