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The Provost Marshal Office’s Drug Abuse Resistance Education Lion, Daren, interacts with community members during the Joshua Tree Community Days Summer Splash at the Joshua Tree Community Center in Joshua Tree, Calif., June 18, 2016. (Official Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Levi Schultz/Released)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Levi Schultz

Marines bond with community during Summer Splash

24 Jun 2016 | Lance Cpl. Levi Schulz Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

As Xyliana began her usual routine, community members, young and old, gathered around to gain a better view. On her handler’s command, “get,” she lunged forward toward her intended target inciting silence and awe throughout the crowd.

Marines from the Combat Center joined the Military Working Dog section as interacted with the Morongo Basin community during the fourth annual Joshua Tree Community Days Summer Splash at the Joshua Tree Community Center, June 18, 2016.

In addition to MWD section’s K-9 demonstrations, volunteers from the Provost Marshal’s Office showcased the Mobile Command Post along with Daren the Drug Abuse Resistance Education Lion. Additionally, Marines with 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion displayed Light Armored Vehicles and the Explosive Ordinance Disposal unit provided a display of their equipment such as the ground robotics system, Talon IV.

“Most children don’t have the luxury of being able to meet military members up close very often,” said Tammie Moore, recreational coordinator, Joshua Tree Recreation and Park District. “For those who don’t have members of the military in their family it’s a good way for them to see a good role model here in the community.”

The Marines took time to answer questions from spectators. Sgt. Blake Secant, military working dog handler, PMO, said he really enjoyed being able to share his work with younger members of the community.

“If I had seen something like this when I was young, and then thinking about joining the military, it would have given me a good idea of the opportunities available,” Secant said. “It’s really great to be out here building a strong relationship with the community.”

According to many of the Marine volunteers, the event was a great opportunity to meet new people within the local community and build lasting bonds.

“I want to thank all those that serve who are willing to come out here and give up their time to do the community a service and raise public awareness,” Moore said.

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