Marines

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Members of the Single Marine Program aboard Marine Coprs Base Camp Lejeune and Camp Johnson gather together outside the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. The SMP group recently attended a Carolina Panthers' football game.

Photo by Cpl. Damany Coleman

SMP gives service members NFL experience

6 Oct 2011 | Cpl. Damany Coleman

Marines and sailors with the Single Marine Program aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Camp Johnson recently attended a Carolina Panthers versus Jacksonville Jaguars National Football League game at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.

The SMP is a Marine Corps Community Services program that gives single Marines and sailors in the area an opportunity to get off base to socialize with their peers and see more of what North Carolina has to offer.

Members with the SMP, Panthers and Jaguars fans alike endured the rainy football Sunday game and witnessed the Panthers’ soaked 16-10 victory over the Jags.

Panthers’ rookie quarterback, Cam Newton, had a pretty difficult time being the “passing machine” he had been in his first two games. One reason being the obvious not-so-good playing conditions, but he was also faced with a new challenge from the Jaguars’ defense.

Pfc. Matthew Chen, a personnel administration student aboard Camp Johnson, said the SMP was an opportunity to see different parts of the East Coast.

“I’m from California and since I like to travel, I want to experience different things and take advantage of the SMP,” said Chen. “I’m not a Panthers fan but I got to see their stadium. I want to see every stadium within my lifetime.”

Pfc. Christopher Geer, a supply warehouse clerk with 2nd Supply Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 25, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, a Panthers fan, took the time to critique the 2010 Heisman Trophy winner.

“Cam (Newton) could’ve done a little better with his passing,” said Geer. “He threw behind and kind of low so his receivers couldn’t get it but other than that, he got us back in the game in the last quarter with the final touchdown.”

Geer added he had a blast on the SMP trip and plans to attend many more.

Pvt. Demetrius Turner, a supply school student aboard Camp Johnson, said it was a new experience attending his first professional NFL game.

“I will definitely do more with the SMP program,” said Turner. “It was different, being able to do things you normally wouldn’t be able to do. I had a lot of fun and it’s good to get to know other Marines of different ranks and jobs and enjoy something we have in common.”

For more information about the SMP and upcoming trips, visit the website mccslejeune.com/smp.