MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- On a bright and sunny day, children from around the Combat Center could be heard running and playfully laughing across Felix Field during the Lifestyle Insights Networking Knowledge Skills’ Combined Arms Exercise for Kids at Felix Field, Nov. 25, 2014.
“The goal of the LINKS CAX for Kids is to show the children what their parents do on a day-to-day basis,” said Amber Bilderain, LINKS program manager. “All of the children here understand their parents are Marines but they might not understand the things they do as Marines.”
This was the 8th LINKS CAX for Kids and the event is held twice a year in the spring and fall. More than 80 children attended the event that taught them several aspects about the Marine Corps, which included enlisted and commissioned ranks, close order drill, a modified combat fitness test, an inflatable bounce house obstacle course, samples of a Meal Ready-to-Eat, and a static display of military vehicles.
“I think this program is great, it’s the second year that my son participated in it,” said Staff Sgt. Adam Gamber, section chief, 3rd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment. “These kids get a hint of what I do and what their parents do.”
At the event students from the Marine Corps Communication- Electronics School acted as squad leaders and mentors for the group of children and answered their questions throughout the day.
“We also want to show the children things like [Marine Corps] customs and history also life skills such as how to cope with their parents being deployed,” Bilderain said.
The LINKS program also hosts an annual exercise for spouses that mirrors the CAX for Kids schedule. It teaches military spouses’ about pre-deployment training, Marine Corps customs and courtesies, and several classes to educate spouses about when their service member goes on deployment.
For more information on how to participate call 760-830-1696.