MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan --
Four Marines from the Installation Personnel Administration Center here visited Josho Hoikuen school Tuesday to interact with Japanese children.
The Marines visited Japanese children ages 3 to 5-years-old.
Being the Christmas season, the holiday spirit is all around.
“We got into the Christmas spirit and spread the American culture, bringing it to the Japanese,” said Pfc. Michael Hicks, IPAC information management branch legal administrator.
“It was amazing to be able to go out and experience the Japanese culture, how they go to school and what they do on a daily basis,” said Hicks.
The Marines sang Christmas carols and listened to the Japanese children play them music.
“I was surprised how talented they were; it was breathtaking,” said Lance Cpl. Vincent Wong, IPAC personnel management branch personnel clerk. “It was really fun and entertaining. I never knew kids could play musical instruments like that. I’m amazed at what they learn at such an early age.”
As students that young in America, we never learned to play musical instruments at that age, said Hicks.
Not only were the children musically talented but they were well disciplined as well.
“I loved the little kids; I was really surprised at how focused the kids were,” said Lance Cpl. Michelle Thach, IPAC outbound management branch outbound clerk. “They were really well behaved; they have a lot of discipline.”
The children received a piece of chocolate from Santa as they each told him what they wanted for Christmas.
The discipline is obvious when you see the kids leave the room with the same piece of chocolate in their hand.
“It’s so adorable how much self control they have because they won’t eat it until it’s their lunch time,” said Sgt. Anne Laha, IPAC administrative speacialist.
As the children sat and enjoyed the visit from Santa, Pfc. Michael Hicks, and his elves, they made sure it was known that they wanted gifts by raising their hand, waiting to be called on to tell Santa what they wanted.
“They got to experience Santa coming in and giving them the holiday spirit,” said Hicks.
“I felt that it was a very good thing, not only for myself and the Marines that went, but the students in the classroom as well,” he added.
Not every time IPAC decides to go to the school is there a Marine dressed up to show the kids the holiday spirit.
However, the kids are always hilarious and can always make you smile, said Laha.
For the junior Marines who went, this was their first time interacting with Japanese children.
The Marines enjoyed it so much they are looking forward to more trips.