The Single Marine Program celebrated the grand opening of the Marine Lounge at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, July 14, 2017.
Originally located on the second floor over Crossroads Mall, the Marine Lounge was moved to make it more available to single and unaccompanied service members on the air station.
“We are still at Crossroads, however, we are on the first floor,” said Oana Ivanoff, the Marine Lounge Manager. “It makes it more accessible to our demographics.”
The grand opening featured various events for people to partake in.
“We had a video game tournament, movie marathon, sumo competition and karaoke competition,” said Ivanoff. “We also had a raffle every 30 minutes.”
The Marine Lounge offers many amenities to single and unaccompanied service members. They can take advantage of free Wi-Fi, gaming systems and movies.
“I’m a big video game player,” said Seaman Miguel Prima, a preventive medicine technician and SMP representative at the Robert M. Casey Medical and Dental Clinic. “When I first saw the new chairs, systems and games that they offer, I was pretty impressed.”
Ivanoff said tablets were available for service members to check out and the new movie room offered a better experience because of the new recliners, an 86-inch television and a brand new surround sound speaker system.
The SMP provides volunteer opportunities and trips around Japan that service members can sign up for and participate in.
“We have day trips that are usually free and we provide transportation. All they have to do is sign up,” said Ivanoff. “We also try to schedule at least three volunteer events a month.”
On top of the trips and volunteer opportunities, the SMP provides a comfortable place for sailors and Marines to de-stress and spend time with their friends.
“The Single Marine Program is like a family away from home,” said Prima. “It’s a way to connect with other people and have fun. Our jobs can be stressful and we need to remember that we have programs like this that support us.”