US Marines and sailors chose to celebrate their Easter and spring season event by inviting children from orphanages in the area to enjoy a day of food and games at the Combined Arms Training Center (CATC) in Camp Fuji, Japan. On March 30, service members who were assigned at CATC Camp Fuji and Japanese orphans celebrated together, promoting goodwill and friendship between the local population and the US service members assigned there.
“The purpose of the event was to reach out to orphanages in the area and give these kids a chance to experience a different culture,” said Master Sgt. Bryan C. Compton, a food service specialist with Headquarters Company, CATC Camp Fuji. The event gave the Japanese children a look into a very different culture – they played some games, had their faces painted, and also got a taste of American food like pizza and cupcakes, all done with Marine and sailor volunteers taking care of them. The service members also prepared Easter baskets for the kids containing new toys from donations made by the service members who volunteered. “I like to get involved because I think it brings the kids a lot of joy and shows that people care about them,” said Compton.
Events like this usually allow the military personnel go beyond the barriers of culture and language and force them out of comfort zones. Compton added that showing compassion to the less fortunate kids is really what made the event work. “I am amazed with how many volunteers we got for the event,” said Cpl. Stephen N. Shorter, an administrative specialist with CATC Camp Fuji. “We got so many volunteers for the event that we were actually overstaffed, but I think the most important part is that so many are willing to give up their time for things like this.”
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