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U.S. Marines enjoy a meal during the Holiday in the Barracks event hosted by the Single Marines Program at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, Dec. 22, 2021. Various local organizations came together to provide the Marines with a free meal and gift bag for the upcoming holiday season. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl. Mitchell Johnson)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Mitchell Johnson

Single Marines Program hosts Holiday in the Barracks

27 Jan 2022 | Lance Cpl. Mitchell Johnson Marine Corps Base Quantico

The Single Marines Program (SMP) held their annual “Holiday in the Barracks” event at the Marine Corps Base Quantico SMP recreation center Dec. 22, 2021.

Every year, volunteers with the SMP spread holiday cheer by providing service members with a holiday meal and gift bag full of items ranging from candy to clothing.

“Most of the individuals that volunteer, volunteer because they want to support their fellow Marines and the Single Marines Program. They want to give back,” said Tina Walton, SMP recreation supervisor.

The purpose of the “Holiday in the Barracks” event is to give Marines a sense of family when they are unable to spend it with their own over the holidays.

“We provide meals for the young men and women who can't make it home,” said Walton. “Some of them come from as far as California…what we do is provide a homely environment…to present a comfortability like being home,” she continued.

The volunteers at the SMP understand that being away from home during the holidays may be difficult, especially for the young Marine living in the barracks. The SMP recreation center strives to bring Marines together by giving them a place to gather and call their own.

“It's very important for their mental state and very important to keep their morale up,” said Walton.

The Marine Corps established the SMP in 1995 with a mission to improve the quality of life for single Marines and Sailors. While the Quantico SMP focuses on young, single, enlisted Marines and Sailors, they welcome single parents, geographically separated service members, and officers alike.

The SMP recreation center facilities include a movie and lounge room and a video game room with a few arcade games, where Pac Man and Deer Hunter continue to be a fan favorite amongst the Marines.

Brian Lewis, SMP lead recreation assistant, encourages Marines to take advantage of the social events that brings them together and gets them out of their barracks.

“Don't spend the holidays alone,” said Lewis. “Come watch tv, watch movies, play video games - if you just want to relax, then come by!”

While the SMP offers a recreation space for single Marines, a large part of their mission is encouraging community involvement. The SMP offers many ways for single service members to seek out and participate in volunteer opportunities. The best way to stay up-to-date with events and connected with the SMP is through Eventbrite, Facebook, and the SMP webpage calendar.

For more information about the SMP program, volunteer opportunities and events visit https://quantico.usmc-mccs.org/single-marine-program/

If you would like to be added to the volunteer opportunities email distribution list, please email mccsquanticosmp@usmc-mccs.org or call 703-432-0363


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