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Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany


Readiness Enabler for Operational Forces  •
‘Front porch vibe’: More than 200 attend first community fair

By Marti Gatlin | Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany | September 25, 2015

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Red and white plaid cloths covered many picnic tables. Sunflowers attached to mason jars wrapped with blue and white or red and white bandanas and filled with assorted candies sat on the tables.

Sunflower decorations, hay bales, buckets, chalkboards and balloons along with the table settings might have given Boyett Park a “front porch vibe,” Sept. 24.

More than 200 service members and their families feasted on hamburgers, hot dogs, barbecue, baked beans, corn-on-the-cob, popcorn and ice cream at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany’s Marine and Family Programs first Front Porch Community Fair.

Paula Caserio, director, Family Care Branch, MCLB Albany, explained the event was “initiated from Headquarters Marine Corps to try to get families out of their houses, off social media and really connect again in person.

“It is like a Marine Corps reunion for our families to bond, eat food, have a DJ and listen to some music and relax,” she said. “(We want them to) understand the culture of the area they live in — a ‘front porch vibe’. It will give them the feeling of Southern hospitality.

“I hope they’ll develop some friendships with people they don’t often get to interact with,” Caserio added. “Whether you are active duty on a deploying installation or on a non-deploying installation, family life is hectic so it’s an opportunity to come together and not work. It’s about the active duty and their families,” she continued.

Numerous adult and children’s activities were held during the fair. Staff sergeants Jeremy Olson and Shawn Palmer raced each other on tall tricycles around hay bales. Olson crossed the finish line first and announced his victory.

Adult tricycle races were held every 30 minutes to “bring out the kids in our adults so everyone can truly have a good time,” Caserio said.

Teens and children even tried to ride the tall tricycles.

Spouses painted door hangers. Children of all ages played various games. They tossed rings onto glass bottles, threw bean bags and tried to beat one another by blowing up balloons with bicycle-like pumps until the balloons popped in the “boom blaster” game.  They also jumped around on bouncy castles.

Author Dr. Georgella Wright of “My Daddy the United States Marine,” signed her book and conducted storytelling through a puppet show for the families.

Marines and their spouses mingled with other couples.

From Columbia Station, Ohio, high school sweethearts Pfc. Jared Armstrong and his wife, Jaci, attended the Front Porch Community Fair.

“It’s a good event and well-organized people put it together,” said the 19-year-old Marine. “A lot of people are smiling, eating and having fun.”

“I like it,” Jaci, 18, said. “I wanted to get out here and meet new people. I’m looking to make some new friends. The food was good.”

They visited with their friends — another high school sweethearts couple, Lance Cpl. Chadd Arnold and his wife, Taylor, from Fortville, Indiana.

Also 19, Arnold said he came “to support the base, enjoy myself, mingle and introduce my wife to other wives.”

Taylor, 18, came to be with her husband and learn about Albany.

“It’s a new place, different from Indiana and I’m trying to learn about it,” she said. “(The fair is) a good (way) to communicate with other people and a good way to know other people.”


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