MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan --
Service members aboard Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, volunteered with the Single Marine Program to clean the Kintai-area in Iwakuni, Japan, Sep. 4, 2015.
Various organizations and tenant units aboard the air station foster the friendship between the U.S. and Japan by conducting these community relations events each year.
“Today we are cleaning up at the Kintai bridge area as a community outreach event to let the Japanese know were not just here as a fighting force but to help the build the community and keep it clean as well,” said Lance Cpl. Jared Lee, the SMP representative with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152.
Lee’s responsibilities as a SMP representative are to attend events and help facilitate them bridging the gap between event coordinators and the squadrons on the air station.
Lance Cpl. William Deas, an airframer for the KC-130J Super Hercules aircraft with VMGR-152, said Americans serve as ambassadors while in a foreign country and as such are responsible to create a positive image of not only America but its armed forces as well.
“This is my second SMP event,” said Deas. “I encourage my shop to participate in community service events with programs like SMP because you can not only better yourself, but our community as well. These events reflect positively on the Marine Corps as well as let’s our host nation know we’re not here to just take up space but we’re here to give back as well.”
Approximately 24 volunteers spent more than two hours picking up litter along the side of the road.
Lee said giving back to the community is important to him because he is an ambassador for the U.S. and wants to help build camaraderie between service members and the community.
“I hope the Japanese get a sense of comfort that we are here to help in any way we can whether that would be fueling jets to fly and protect this country or help clean up the area,” said Lee.