CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Outdoor activities, cartoons and toys are childhood past times that we’ve all enjoyed at one point in our lives, whether it was 20 years ago or today. The 2nd Marine Logistics Group is pushing to make reading a part of that list.
The MLG hosted a book reading open to all of its Marines and families at Marston Pavilion aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., May 25, 2011.
“We were trying to come up with an idea that would be fun, promote education and bring families together,” said Suzanne Dana, whose spouse is Brig. Gen. Michael G. Dana, the 2nd MLG commanding general. “As we were in the process of putting the event together, this book was brought to our attention. I read the book and fell in love with it.”
Event organizers chose “The Little Marine with a Flag”, written by Carissa J. Marine. The book is about a young boy who watches a flag raising with his father, a Marine, and is taught three ways to respect the nation’s flag.
Carissa Marine read the book to a room filled with children ranging in ages from two months old to 11 years old. They all gathered in a half circle and participated in an interactive reading session.
During the reading children asked questions, laughed and read along in their own books. After the children finished the book, they immediately began arts and crafts.
The children in attendance were able to make post cards and American flags out of hand paint for loved ones who are deployed.
“I think the event was great, the parents and children were all having a good time,” said Kim Cooley, the 2nd MLG family readiness officer. “The success of this event was so important. Now we can move forward in doing this once a quarter.”
With future book readings in the works, the next goal for the MLG is to do this event for different age groups to enjoy.
“We want to do this for all ages,” said Cooley. “We want to get teenagers here and even young adults. We want people of all ages to enjoy reading books.”
Though future plans are already in progress, the day belonged to Carissa Marine, who wrote the book when she was pregnant with one of her three children. She was honored that the unit chose her book for the event.
“I’ve done other book signings and readings, but this one was special,” said Marine, who is part of a military family herself. “Especially because I’m doing it for Marines and their families, it felt good to be here.”
As the event drew to a close, families exited the pavilion with books in hand, which was great to see, said Dana.
“These families will go home and read this book together. That was the goal,” said Dana. “That made the event worth it and that makes us more excited about the next one.”