Marines

Elementary school children visit Lejeune K-9 unit

23 Apr 2010 | Lance Cpl. Victor A. Barrera

More than 20 first grade students from North Topsail Elementary School visited Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, April 23.

The students started off the day by witnessing a change of command ceremony after which they were given a tour of a legal administration office. The children also visited and ate at Messhall 9.

The students thought they were going back home after eating at the messhall but they had a surprise waiting for them. A stop was planned at the Military Police working dog training area.

The students were able to watch a working dog, Arzan, go through an obstacle course. Arzan leapt over walls, ran up and down stairs and ran through tunnels.

With each leap the children would scream in delight and clap their hands their faces full of joy.

“This has all been fun,” said Declan O’Leary, a student with North Topsail Elementary School. “My favorite part was when the guy was bit by the dog because it was funny.”

The Marine that was bit was part of a demonstration to show the children how a dog would take down a ‘bad guy.’ The Marine wore a protective suit but the massive dog still managed to toss the Marine which caused laughter and astonishment to be heard from the bleachers where the students were seated.

“The children had a great time,” said Bridget Wortman, a first grade teacher. “They learned a lot and got to see actual Marines and learned what they do.”

The kids were not the only ones who had a good time. The dog handlers enjoyed the experience as well.

“This is absolutely the funnest (sic) part of my job,” said Sgt. Sara Gregrow, a military working dog handler with Military Police Company, Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. “To be able to show the kids the animals and get the reactions is absolutely fun.”