MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Marines gathered at the Goettge Memorial Field House parking lot for the Headquarters and Support Battalion physical training session to support the Combined Federal Campaign aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune Oct. 3.
Marines, families and civilian employees participated in the annual five-kilometer race. The battalion, as well as other units, participated by running in formation as the unit’s monthly physical training event as a way to raise awareness among the Marines. Those who donated 10 dollars the event were able to compete against other racers and received shirts for bolstering the day's contributions. The CFC Onslow County's goal is to reach $1 million during the campaign season which started Sept. 1 and last through Dec. 15.
"They give every day in the jobs they do, and for them to give to the CFC is amazing," said Alicia Hill, the executive director of the CFC Onslow County. "It warms your heart to know these young service members are our future."
More than 200 CFC campaigns throughout the country and internationally help raise millions of dollars each year. There are hundreds of organizations one can choose to donate to.
"It's important to donate to these charities because these charities effect us or someone we know in a helpful way," said Sgt. Maj. Michael Rowan, the sergeant major of HQSPTBn.
To support Rowan's remark, Lt. Col. David Bardorf, the commanding officer of HQSPTBn., asked the Marines to raise their hands if they knew someone with cancer or a service member with the Wounded Warrior Battalion. Hands were above the heads of nearly every Marine.
"I've donated to the Wounded Warrior Foundation," said Lance Cpl. Godfrey Burrell, an administrative clerk with HQSPTBn. "Those service members are injured, and they still find the motivation to drive them each day. They motivate me with their actions. This is my way of giving back to them."
The majority of participants who donate are junior Marines, some of who support their families with them as well as family back in their hometowns. Nevertheless, they're able to lend a few dollars to a good cause. Bardorf said their actions speak to the character of the young men and women who are serving our Marine Corps today.
"It's a sense of volunteerism, a sense of being a part of something bigger than you," said Bardorf. "The very type of person who raises his right hand and volunteers to serve our nation during a time of war is the exact type of person who's going to reach in their pocket, even if all they can offer is a dollar or two a month, to help those in need."
Throughout history Marines are recognized as some of the most fierce war fighters ever known, and parallel to this is their ability to be kind and compassionate. They're the worst enemy of enemies and the best of allies.