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MCAS Yuma Marines use Single Marine Program volunteer opportunity to help animals

By Lance Cpl. Reba James | | June 24, 2013

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Several Marines aboard Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., volunteered their time at the local Humane Society of Yuma shelter to walk and care for the dogs, as a part of the Single Marines Program, June 12.

“MCAS Yuma Marines have been volunteering on and off for several years here,” said Misty Cicala, a Yuma native and volunteer manager at the Humane Society of Yuma.

Volunteering with non-profit organizations, such as the Humane Society, provides service members with community interaction, and allows them to make a difference in someone’s life.

“It’s great to see them out here volunteering. On days [Marines] come out to volunteer, we know that the cats and dogs will be handled and walked,” said Cicala. “It’s a relief to know that the animals will receive some kind of interaction.”

One of the many benefits of having SMP here at MCAS Yuma is the chance for service members to interact with peers and the community in a positive manner.

Some Marines wish they could volunteer more:

“I try to volunteer once a week, but they only do the SMP volunteer opportunities every other week,” said Lance Cpl. Ashley Marasheski, an ordnance technician with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 13. “This is my favorite event, but I feel so bad for them because they’re so helpless. This [opportunity] makes me happy and it makes my week to be with the cute dogs.”

The Humane Society volunteer option is popular, because Marines get to play with animals as volunteers during the week under SMP. All SMP volunteer options address real problems in the community and allow service members to help people and animals alike.

“I encourage volunteering, and highly recommend it, whether it’s at the food bank, local hospital, or hospice care centers,” said Cicala. “There are so many volunteer opportunities in this community.”

“Personally, it feels good to go out and volunteer because it feels like you go out and give back to the community,” said Lance Cpl. Michael Musick, an air traffic controller with Air Traffic Control at MCAS Yuma. “Being in the military and doing our job is tough at times, but it’s still good to give back. I enjoy it and, if a lot of other people volunteered, they would feel the same way.”

The Marine Program’s objective is to involve more single, enlisted Marines and sailors in program’s activities. However, geographical bachelors, single parents and single officers are welcome to participate.

Programs offered to Marine’s include monthly recreational events, community volunteer options, life skills building and healthy lifestyles development.

Marines and sailors who sign up are plugged into the Yuma community at places like the Humane Society, local churches or schools.

Marines and sailors interested in the Single Marine Program can get more information at the recreation center, which is open Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or by calling (928) 269-6556.

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