Marines in sweat drenched t-shirts shuffle around Steele Indian School Park filling wheel-barrels, digging ditches and cleaning up graffiti as a part of a Phoenix Renews project.
Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force - Phoenix partnered with the Keep Phoenix Beautiful organization during Marine Week Phoenix to host the event, Sept. 11, 2015.
“We’re just trying to utilize all of the Marines here while working side-by-side with the community,” said Gunnery Sgt. Byron Jacobson, the Infantry Weapons Repair Chief with 1st Maintenance Battalion.
Keep Phoenix Beautiful is a non-profit organization that focuses on involving and educating residents of Phoenix to use recycling management and beautification practices. Tom Waldeck, president and CEO of Keep Phoenix Beautiful was very appreciative of the Marines who came out.
“It’s awesome,” he said. “Marine Week is a very special week in Arizona and we’re so proud to have them here; especially on 9/11. It’s a very emotional time and to have Marines here on this day is great.”
Some of the activities included constructing a washhouse, building berms, removing graffiti panels and creating irrigation for vegetable fields. The park partners with many organizations that use areas of land for agricultural purposes.
“I think that it’s very important to do work within the community,” said Jacobson. “Most people think that we’re just war fighters, but I feel that by doing this it shows people that we’re just like them. Before we joined we came from a community and when we leave we’re going back to a community.”
Jacobson added that the biggest takeaway for the Marines involved will be cherished memories of a rare opportunity, since many do not have the chance to be a part of events specific to Marine Week.
The Marine Corps recognizes the importance of community. Marine Week is an opportunity to connect with the people of Phoenix and surrounding communities, and thank them for their continued support.