MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
The sound of children’s laughter resonated the air as Marines, Sailors and their family members gathered in the Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252 hanger for the 7th annual Winter Wonderland at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, Dec. 11.
The Christmas-themed event, hosted by the family readiness officers of Marine Aircraft Group 14, was the meeting place for more than 700 attendees to fellowship and build relationships with people from all 12 subordinate units of MAG-14.
“Events like this breeds cohesion within all units of MAG-14,” said Michael McGuinness, the family readiness officer of MAG-14. “When all of the brother and sister squadrons get together they foster an environment of esprit de corps that’s felt throughout all echelons of the command.”
This year, families were able to indulge in a Christmas meal, play games, get their face painted, write letters to Santa and even tell Gunny Clause what they wanted for Christmas.
“This was the first time that we offered a traditional Christmas meal at the event,” said McGuiness. “The FROs prepared nearly 80 turkeys with multiple fixings like green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy and dinner rolls.”
While the food was great, nothing compared to the moment Gunny Clause landed at the air station and walked out of a KC-130J Super Hercules to deliver gifts to the children of MAG-14.
“I love that this event was for kids young and old," said a MAG-14 spouse. “There was a variety of things to do and I would absolutely recommend other families attend next year.”
Events like Winter Wonderland creates a support group for the families to get together and get to know other people in the squadrons, which helps build a good support system for when spouses are deployed, explained the spouse.
“I am looking forward to next year’s event,” said the spouse.