MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- Aircraft Rescue Firefighters with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron hosted a holiday party for the Tsuta Children’s Home inside the ARFF compound, Dec. 13, 2014, aboard Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan.
The party is part of a continued relationship between ARFF and the Tsuta Children’s Home organizations.
“We host this event annually to spread goodwill and cheer to the Marines and the members of the children’s home,” said Gunnery Sgt. Nathan Lanham, the embarkation chief with ARFF. “I know the Marines like having the children visit and enjoy being able get to know them.”
The Marines aren’t the only ones who benefit from the children’s visit; ARFF also invited the MCAS Iwakuni Girl Scouts to the event. According to Lanham, the holiday party presents the children with a great opportunity to make new friends.
“This is our third year in a row being here,” said Hyla Melloy, programs chairman with the Girl Scouts. “The girls and I enjoy being here and being able to help those who may be worse off than us and to catch up with old friends.”
As part of their participation, the Girl Scouts sang Christmas carols for the visitors, put together a cookie decoration station and donated $500 worth of hygiene products, raised by cookie sales held throughout the year.
As the party continued, the children received a visit from Santa Claus, who passed out gifts to station youth and the children from the home.
“A majority of the gifts handed out are bought by the Marines,” said Staff Sgt. Robert Tidquist, an ARFF section leader. “We do get donations from the (Marine Thrift Store), but most are hand-picked for the children.”
Tidquist added that he enjoys being able to bring holiday cheer to the children from the home and also expressed his wishes to continue working with the home for many years to come.