Families find Easter eggs, friendship before deployment
By Pfc. Sullivan Laramie
| | March 27, 2013
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
The cloudy morning brightened as children darted through the woods in search of colorful eggs – and new friends.
The family readiness officer for Combat Logistics Battalion 6, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, Mary C. Mathews, hosted an Easter egg hunt for the unit’s families here, March 23.
“The kids loved it,” said Mathews. “At first they could care less [about] what’s in the eggs and wanted to get as many as possible, but after that they sat around for another 15 to 20 minutes, opening every single egg to see exactly what was in each [one].”
The children not only got new toys and some candy, but they got the chance to make new friends; that friendliness opened new doors for their parents.
“It was nice to get out of the house and have somewhere to go with my son,” said Breyona L. Millard, a Bakersfield, Calif., native and the wife of Sgt. Matthew E. Millard, a small-arms repair technician with the unit. “It’s good to get all the parents together and go Easter-egg hunting with the kids before the [Marines] get deployed.”
CLB-6 is currently conducting pre-deployment training on transportation, engineering and medical practice at Fort Pickett, Va. The unit is scheduled to deploy in a few months.
Mathews hosted the event to establish friendships within CLB-6’s families so they could support each other during the deployment.
“If they show up to these [events], they start to make those friends,” said Mathews. “They do find that person they click with, whether it’s a similar personality or if it’s the fact that their children get along well. Forming those relationships early helps build their support networks so when they are having that crazy day they know they’ve got another spouse within the battalion they can call.”
By the time the children found all of the eggs, most of them had a new friend by their sides. Groups of children then sat down with their parents to dig through their new found treasures.
“Everybody was a little quiet at first,” said Mathews, a native of Danvers, Mass. “It took the parents a little bit, but once the kids started warming up to each other, the parents followed pretty quickly. It’s amazing how they can go to a playground or go to an area where they know absolutely nobody and within five minutes they’re [making friends with] someone new.”
The unit has other family events such as beach parties and a family day scheduled for the coming months, but Mathews and her assistants decided an early start would help the families.