CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Marines from II Marine Expeditionary Force’s 8th Communication Battalion recently found a way to turn routine training into more than just basic conditioning.
While executing a six-mile hike on Sept. 4, 2015, the Marines raised enough canned goods to supply Onslow County Outreach, a local homeless shelter, for roughly a month.
“The battalion strives to not only do the basic hike requirements for necessary combat readiness, but to exceed that standard and help out the community while conducting training,” said Gunnery Sgt. Kevin Kearns, the communications chief with 8th Comm.
Each Marine carried canned goods during the conditioning hike and dropped them off at a collection point halfway through the march. This unique event facilitated the collection and delivery of more than 1,800 cans of food to support those in need within the community.
“Finishing this six-mile conditioning hike allows us to stay ready and alert for whatever training comes next,” said Sgt. Rosendo Mendez, a barracks manager facility chief for the unit. “We joined the Marine Corps to set the example, not only among us, but for all the citizens of our nation.”
Many of the Marines who participated in the event were visibly enthusiastic about helping those in need.
“Bringing everyone together and helping out the local community is what this is all about,” Kearns said.
The unit is comprised of approximately 1,000 Marines and sailors, who provide secure expeditionary communications support to Marine Air-Ground Task Forces, Marine Component Headquarters, and other command elements to enable command and control.