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Sgt. Juan Ramos, heavy equipment mechanic, 3rd Combat Engineer Battalion, shares an embrace with his daughter, Zuly Ramos, 8 months old, during a slow song at the "Princess of the Castle" event Feb. 7, 2014, hosted at the Officers' Club. This event is the first of its kind for 3rd Combat Engineer Battalion.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Charles Santamaria

3rd CEB fathers, daughters share special night

7 Feb 2014 | Lance Cpl. Charles J. Santamaria

Music played as Marines danced with their daughters during the 3rd Combat Engineer Battalion’s Princess of the Castle event Feb. 7, 2014, at the Officers’ Club. The event featured tables for families to eat, a full assortment of snack and entrees for dinner, and a dance floor for the fathers and daughters to dance the night away.

3rd CEB returned from deployment this year and with this event were able to spend a special moment with their daughters.

“It’s our first time doing this as a unit on our own,” said Erika Capistran, family readiness officer, 3rd CEB. “It was just a great opportunity to have the ‘princesses of the castle’ here with their fathers making memories that will last a lifetime.”

Volunteers for the event, along with coordinators for the unit, made the event come together so the fathers of 3rd CEB could have a memorable night. The music varied from slow music for the fathers and daughters to fast dance music that led the daughters to jump for joy while their fathers watched.

“I really appreciate that the volunteers went out of their way to bring the Marines and their families together when we have to spend so much time away from them,” said Cpl. Derick Eapapcia, heavy equipment mechanic, Support Company, 3rd CEB. “The number one thing that I missed while I was in Afghanistan was my family and an event like this brings me closer to my daughter. It makes me feel grateful to the people that set this up and I’m speechless for that.”

Volunteers for the unit also saw the importance of the event for the Marines and their families.

“It’s a special night for them to spend a night with their fathers,” said Amber Culp, volunteer, wife of Capt. Jeremiah Culp, executive officer, Co. B, 3rd CEB. “When a father is gone for so long on deployment, these moments are the ones they cherish the most. It makes me feel good about what I’m doing for them as a volunteer.”

The battalion is scheduled to be deactivated this year and coordinators for the unit understand how valuable times like this are.

“We’re excited that we got to do this for our battalion,” Capistran said. “I’m honored to be part of these special moments that these girls will remember and cherish for the rest of their lives.”

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