CORPUS CHRISTI — On Wednesday, Marines from MATSG-22 over at the Naval Air Station- Corpus Christi celebrated the month of the military child by visiting dozens of Corpus Christi Independent School District students.
“They are all active-duty military children right now,” Jennifer Brady, the assistant principal at Kolda Elementary School, said.
Students took part in a military-like field day at the depot.
“Our campus is named after a fallen Marine, and we want them to recognize that we aren’t just people of knowledge but of service as well,” Brady said.
According to the Department of Defense, there are more than 1.6 million military children who face challenges because of their parent's service. And on average, military families move every two to three years.
Each time a child is moved, they have to start at a new school and make new friends.
“We want to give back to our kiddos and celebrate how amazing they are and their ability to transition with their families to different cities,” Brady said.
About 35 Marines were on campus, putting the kids through some serious boot camp. The Marines partnered with the BATCELL Innovation Office at Training Air Wing 4 under the Chief of Naval Air Training for this special visit.
“Showing them what the Marine Corps is like,” Second Lt. Kaitlin Warnke said. “We have a physical fitness test.”
Wednesday's visit was all in good fun.
“They love having their face painted,” Brady said. “They think it’s amazing being in the simulators, working out with the Marines.”
Thirty engineers from Huntington Ingalls Industries also joined in on the fun.
“We brought some rockets out for them to play with, and they’re just overwhelmed with how fun it is,” Anthony Navarrette, HEI’s Program Manager, said. “Brought some puzzles for them to get out there and engage in.”
Volunteers said they hoped to bring smiles to kids and maybe even a little understanding of how and why their parents serve their country.
“I think more than anything they appreciate someone who just wants to spend time with them,” Brady said.