MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- Combat Center leadership and Marines with various units aboard the base participated in the 77th Annual Pioneer Days Parade in Twentynine Palms, Calif., Oct. 19, 2013. They represented not only the Combat Center as a whole, but the various ranks of Marines who support the local community.
“It is always nice to see the Marines get involved,” said Sam Moore, assistant fire chief, Combat Center Fire Department. “This parade brings the base and local community together to have a good time.”
Pioneer Days celebration began Oct. 17, 2013 and lasted until Oct. 19. The multi-day event consisted of a parade, carnival, pancake breakfast hosted by the Twentynine Palms Fire Department, chili dinner, K-9 demonstration by the Combat Center’s military police dog handlers and a static display by the Explosive Ordinance Disposal unit.
“We had a lot of different things to show the community that many people don’t get to see every day,” said Sgt. Jesse Stuteville, EOD technician. “Pioneer Days has been going on for a while and it’s an amazing opportunity to play a part in such a big tradition.”
Pioneer Days commemorates the history of Twentynine Palms with events held in honor of the Native Americans, miners, cattleman, and homesteaders who came before the modern community and the Combat Center.
Maj. Gen. David H. Berger, Combat Center commanding general, Col. James Hanlon, Combat Center chief of staff, and Sgt. Maj. Karl Villalino, Combat Center sergeant major, participated in the parade while greeting all of the people attending. Other Marines rode in tactical vehicles and marched throughout the parade.
“It is very motivating to march in front of people while wearing the United States Marine Corps uniform,” said Cpl. Derek Bamba, Combat Center color guard. “Being surrounded by people who support what you do and the uniform you wear gives you a sense of belonging.”
After the parade, Marines and the people of the community had a day and a half to enjoy the rest of the festivities brought to them by the Pioneer Days celebration. The Marines look forward to participating again in next year’s festivities