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Chase Gantz, 6, son of Capt. Wayne Gantz, Combat Center Aide-de-Camp, races his opponent during the Twentynine Palms Car Show and Street Fair at Luckie Park in Twentynine Palms, Calif., April 16, 2016. (Official Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Julio McGraw/Released)

Photo by Cpl. Julio McGraw

Combat Center supports car show, street fair

25 Apr 2016 | Cpl. Julio McGraw Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

Combat Center Marines and sailors displayed their love of cars and support for the community during the 16th annual Twentynine Palms Car Show and Street Fair at Luckie Park in Twentynine Palms, Calif., April 16, 2016.

The Combat Center and members of the High-Desert community came together to put on a car show, soap-box derby races and booths with vendors from around the Morongo Basin.

The Combat Center provided static displays of military vehicles from 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Amphibian Assault Battalion and Provost Marshal’s Office. Additionally, the Explosive Ordinance Disposal team displayed their operational equipment.

“We loved having the Marines out here,” said Christine Hoenigmann, executive director, Twentynine Palms Chamber of Commerce. “I was amazed by how many children were around the military vehicles and how the Marines interacted with all of them, explaining what they do and taking photos with them.”

Lt. Col. Dennis Sanchez, commanding officer, Headquarters Battalion, served as a guest judge for the car show. Participants entered more than 70 cars and motorcycles in the show, with vehicles ranging from classic cars like a 1959 Chevrolet Impala to modern cars like a 2016 Dodge Charger. Two static Light Armored Vehicles were also displayed by 3rd LAR and 3rd AABN showcased a static Amphibious Assault Vehicle.

“It’s really great to come out and interact with the community,” said Sgt. Jacob King, battalion commander’s gunner, 3rd LAR. “For some people in the community, we are the only Marines that they will ever interact with. It’s nice to be able to explain our jobs to them and reassure them that we always have their backs.”

In conjunction with the car show, a soap-box derby took place on Joe Davis Dr. between Marine Avenue and Wainwright Avenue, where approximately 30 children raced hand-built cars down the hill. More than 80 Marines from various units aboard the base volunteered alongside the Armed Services YMCA to aid in the derby’s success.

“This is a large military community but some children and people who live in the town don’t know what happens on base,” Hoenigmann said. “Having the Marines out here explaining the tools they use and showing what great role models they are for the children is great.”

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms