Story by Sgt Sarah Ralph on 04/29/2019What you give isn't necessarily about the time or coin you're willing to donate, but about the selflessness and kindness you're contributing to others. Community service doesn't require people with college degrees, high paying jobs or a long resume. Anyone can contribute to their community, which is exactly what Marines from Marine Corps Air Station Miramar did at the USS Midway located in San Diego. The Single Marine Program (SMP) Days of Service' is a Marine Corps wide event that started in 2015. This movement allows Marines to engage with the local community and lend a helping hand.
MCAS Miramar's Single Marine Program Days of Service consist of multiple events on different days throughout the week such as; cleaning and restoring the USS Midway, picking up trash from Fiesta Island and Presidio Park, fitness challenge at a local elementary school and an Unwasted Warrior Weekend.
Restoring the USS Midway is one of the most historic events during Days of Service due to the significance of the ship and its history. Marines went aboard the Midway to assist with restoration work throughout the ship, clean high traffic areas and receive background history about the Midway.
"The ship receives a minimum of two thousand visitors a day," said Steve Suslik, safety operation specialist and volunteer coordinator at USS Midway. "The Midway represents the military to the public, we want to represent the military in a professional and clean fashion. Having the Marines come on deck allows the staff to do things we normally couldn't accomplish on a day to day basis. We like to call the Midway, America's living symbol of freedom,' having it in excellent condition for all the guest to see is truly amazing."
Participating in affairs such as the Days of Service shows the community that Marines take care of their history and the local environment. My goal is to partake in anything that will help make the community better says Lance Cpl. Steven Mara, administrative clerk with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron.
"The SMP is usually known for their community involvement and volunteerism. The Days of Service brings a bigger light because it is more than one base; it is the entire Marine Corps," said Katie Weeres, single marine program coordinator at MCAS Miramar. "This broad of an event allows the Marines to do things that aren't the typical SMP fitness events, but grants them the ability to do events such as restore the Midway and beach cleanups."
Having the ship remain in the local military community enables Marines to give back to those who served before them. MCAS Miramar's SMP Days of Service is more than volunteering, it is showing the San Diego community we take care of our own whether through helping other service member's local environment, or neighbors in San Diego.