MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan --
Marines from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, spent a day knee-deep in dirt and debris assisting the Iwakuni City Volunteer Council, August 14, 2014, to clean up around houses in Sunayamacho, Iwakuni that were affected by mudslides caused by Typhoon Halong.
Typhoon Halong peaked as a Category 5 Super Typhoon, causing landslides, mudslides and heavy flooding, resulting in deaths, injuries, and damage throughout Japan.
“Mudslides tend to cause a lot of damage and it is too much for the committee or the residents to take on by themselves, which is why we are very grateful for the volunteers,” said Kenji Kuwabara, director in charge of base policy with the Iwakuni City Hall.
More than 30 service members volunteered to help out the local community clean up the typhoon damage.
“We may live on base, separated by gates and fences, but this is still our community,” said Lance Cpl. Grant Donnelly, aviation ordnanceman with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron. “This gave us a good opportunity to come out and help the Japanese locals and prove that we care about the city and country that hosts us.”
Kuwabara said the work put in by the Marines and other volunteers made a huge difference.
“The extra hands the Marine Corps offered to the community are greatly appreciated,” said Kuwabara. “It’s great to see that they are our neighbors and that we can come together during a time of need and work to make it better.”
While volunteering, the Marines impressed the locals with their physical strength and strong work ethic, said Kuwabara.
“The physical capabilities of the Marines were impressive,” said Kuwabara. “They are well-trained, have good teamwork, and just seem to have a strong ability to get things done efficiently and quickly.”
Donnelly said helping out the community was dirty, smelly and tiring, but more than worth it.
“It was a hard day’s work for a good cause and I would be beyond happy to do something like this again,” said Donnelly.