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Carol Byers, president of the Aquia Evening Lions Club, Lt. Talia Bastien, Headquarters and Service Battalion manpower officer, during a dinner at the Aquia Harbor Country Club March 25.

Photo by Ida Irby

Sounds of Freedom and other blasts from Quantico

30 Mar 2016 | Ida Irby Marine Corps Base Quantico

The Aquia Evening Lions Club of Stafford, Virginia held their monthly meeting at the Aquia Harbor Country Club March 23. Many club members live less than 15 miles from Marine Corps Base Quantico and had the opportunity to speak with someone about the noise coming from the installation.

“The process of making Marines is a loud one,” said guest speaker 1st Lt. Talia Bastien, Headquarters and Service Battalion manpower officer.

Bastien, a representative of the community aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico, titled her speech, “Why Quantico makes noise.”

“There are many things unseen, but unfortunately heard [that occur on base]. We are loud,” said Bastien. “People have a certain perception of the base, the Marines and our mission. I wanted to talk to you and give you an additional perspective. Marines talk loud and walk heavy. We are professional warriors and we love what we do.”

The sounds produced aboard the installation are often referred to as the “sounds of freedom.” MCBQ also serves as the hub for live fire and ammunition training for many units in the National Capital Region. Service members and civilians undergo real training in preparation for real combat.

“Quantico is truly the crossroads of the Corps, where all officers come to be trained,” said Bastien. “Officers Candidates School (OCS) is a noise making machine. [It is rarely still]. The drill instructors are loud, but don’t worry you probably won’t hear the screaming from your homes.”

The noise doesn’t end at OCS, but continues to The Basic School where officers are taught basic military strategy for officers. During a training cycle, sounds may include military aircraft, mortars, M240 machine guns, cadences sang on a run, firing of a Field Howitzer gun or the roaring of a military tactical vehicle.

Many of those same Marines in training make “noise” within the community. On any given day you can find a Marine volunteering their time to support events or raise money. Whether it is the Navy-Marine Corps Relief society, Toys for Tots or Combined Federal Campaign, Marines take care of Marines.

Members at the seminar chatted amongst themselves about how they have experienced the noise in their own homes. Crooked frames, jumpy puppies and even the suspended use of a coo-coo clock were some ways the ladies were affected by the vibrations from the blasts. More than half of the group were spouses of retired service members, who shared their experiences of living on and around different installations.

Since its inception in 1981, Aquia Evening Lions Club members have been dedicated to making a difference by helping those in need. The club calls itself the largest and most active service club organization, having more than 1.4 million men and women members in more than 300 countries.

The club provides eye exams and eye glasses to children in need throughout the community. Their outreach also extends to local families housed at The Haven, a shelter for women and children.

Both the Marines and the women of the Evening Lions Club serve others. Each group was formed with a precedent of supporting their community and making the world a better place to live in. The women continue to stand by their motto, “We serve.”

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