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1st Tank Battalion Marines and sailors help remove a tree stump from Richard Krekemeyer’s, WWII veteran, native of Twentynine Palms, Calif., front yard during Reach Out Morongo Basin, Jan. 26, 2015. Nearly 70 Marines worked on a host of projects from Yucca Valley, to Twentynine Palms, Calif. (Official Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Medina Ayala-Lo/Released)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Medina Ayala-Lo

Combat Center Marines volunteer in local community

2 Feb 2015 | Lance Cpl. Medina Ayala-Lo Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

In an effort to support the local community, Combat Center Marines and sailors participated in Reach Out Morongo Basin, Jan. 26, 2015.

Approximately two years ago, Navy Lt. William Broderick, chaplain, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, native of Fort Lauderdale, Fl. started projects with the 1st Tank Battalion. They were home-repair projects through an organization called Reach Out Morongo Basin, a non-profit organization geared toward helping the elderly and handicapped.

“It was a big hit. We did two projects with Tanks, and when I came to 3/7, we decided to be a little more aggressive and see if we couldn’t bring the battalions together,” Broderick said. “Today is kind of a joint effort between 3rd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment and 1st Tanks.

Although 3/7 couldn’t participate due to unforeseen training obligations, there was still a large turn out, with nearly 70 Marines working on a host of projects from Yucca Valley to Twentynine Palms, Calif.

“It’s team building with the Marines themselves,” Broderick said. “They work together in a non-stressful environment and really get to bond with the owners. The idea is that our Marines will be out there getting to know the people that we defend.”

Reach Out Morongo Basin and a Combat Center Marine visit the site of a project in advance to see if the project is feasible to do in a day. The volunteers make sure the homeowner has the tools to complete the project and if they don’t, the tools are provided for them.

“It not only helps the senior citizens and disabled we’re working with, but I think it helps the young men and women from the base who are volunteering,” said Robin Schlosser, executive director, Reach Out Morongo Basin, native of Twentynine Palms, Calif. “It gives them a sense of community again, to be able to get out and interact with the people.”

Marines work together to accomplish the mission, whether it be overseas or in the community, they have set goals for the future.

“My hope for the future is that the momentum we’ve created doing these projects will continue,” Broderick said. “This is one of those things where entire battalions come together for a day to do something really positive.”

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms