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Marines party in true Greek fashion

By Lance Cpl. Dustin M. Rawls | | June 23, 2005

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Station and Exercise Desert Talon Marines partied the night away June 23 at the Toga Barracks Bash between Barracks 920 and 930 on the air station.

Attendees had opportunities to munch on free food, battle it out it with pugil sticks, and jam out to the sounds of a free concert by Ginger Lewis and the All-American Band.

The event was the final big bash held by the Single Marine Program and Semper Fit for visiting Desert Talon Marines, said Angie Marchman, SMP director.

"We've had several events during Desert Talon to make sure the visiting Marines had something to do while here," said Marchman. "This Desert Talon is almost over, so we wanted to send the Marines off with one last bang."

The party's main event was a concert by rising star Ginger Lewis and the All-American Band, said Marchman.

"They came here as part of their 'Support the Troops Tour,'" Marchman added. "They put on a great show for the Marines."

Marines were just as intrigued by Lewis' beauty as by her music.

"It was a great show because they were playing some good music, and there were a few beautiful women on the stage," said Lance Cpl. Leon Branchaud, Marine Aircraft Group-29 ground supply clerk.

In addition to the concert, there were free hot dogs, hamburgers and sodas for everyone.

"I'm glad they were barbecuing," said Branchaud, a native of North Smithfield, R.I. "The chow hall here is good, but it was really nice to eat something different."

Personnel from Infinities helped out at the event by setting up a beverage table of their own, said Marchman.

Another activity Marines participated in at the bash was pugil stick fights.

"That stuff is great," said Branchaud. "I'm not that good at it, but it's still a fun time. Everyone seems to be enjoying the competition."

Branchaud said the events that were hosted by SMP and Semper Fit during his stay here have really helped his training.

"We're training to deploy," he said. "The operational tempo here is supposed to be really close to what it'll be in Iraq. At the same time, preparing to go to war can be stressful at times, and these parties give us an opportunity to relieve some of that stress."

SMP and Semper Fit also host events during the Weapons and Tactics Instructor course, and collect feedback from Marines during both exercises to better tailor the program to the needs and wants of the service members.

"We just want the Marines to have a good time while they're here," said Marchman. "They're training to protect our freedoms, and they deserve breaks and rewards for doing so. These events are opportunities for visiting and station Marines to kick back and relax in the midst of their intense training.

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