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Sofia, 10, and Miguel, 6, play dress up in authentic military uniforms during the Military Kids Birthday Bash Nov. 5 at the Barber Physical Fitness Center. The sibling’s parents work at The Basic School aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico.

Photo by Ida Irby

Quantico's kids celebrate 240th Marine Corps Birthday

12 Nov 2015 | Ida Irby Marine Corps Base Quantico

Children joined in on the excitement surrounding the Marine Corps 240th birthday during the 4th annual Military Kids Birthday Bash hosted by the Marine Corps Family Team Building at the Barber Physical Activity Center aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico.

Children experienced a playful version of the tough training necessary for their parents to serve in the military. Military themed actives included: rifle marksmanship with Nerf guns, building model aircraft, pretend combat fitness test and camouflage face painting.

Upon arrival each child, ages three to twelve, received a passport to have stamped at each activity station, to symbolize the way military families travel around the world to fulfill different missions.

Traditionally the Marine Corps birthday is celebrated with a formal ceremony. To fill that space in the Military Kids Birthday Bash, guest of honor Sgt. Maj. Thomas L. Johnson and Col. Todd J. Oneto, Headquarters and Service Battalion commanding officer, served cake to the youngest and oldest and members of the group, a military tradition that symbolizes the passage of knowledge through the ranks.

“We are celebrating our military culture, as well as the military family as a unit, because November is month of the military family,” said Stephanie Taber, MCFT family readiness trainer.

The strength of the Marine is measured by the strength of the family, said Joyce Murphy, Family Readiness Programs Manager who has seen many Marine Corps birthdays first hand as child and spouse.

Support for this event was provided by members from New Parent Support, Exceptional Family Member Program, Family Advocacy Program, Quantico School Liaisons, the Base Fire Department and volunteers from the Quantico Middle/High School Junior ROTC.

Our partners here on the installation provide an “abundance of support to base activities,” and their attendance provided an additional point of contact for military families, Taber said.

— Writer: iirby@quanticosentryonline.com

Marine Corps Base Quantico