On Saturday the 30th of May, we came together as parents and leadership, to say farewell to our outgoing Young Marines CO, MsSSgt, J. Perez and to welcome our new Young Marines CO, "Gunny" Yehl.
In a fun few hours before the rain, parents were invited to compete in events with their Young Marines. As the rain settled in over the area, we retired indoors and settled in for the award presentations, the speeches, and the ceremony; during which a fine spaghetti dinner was served.
During our magnificent spaghetti dinner that was cooked by the Vasquez family, and served by several of our parents and leadership spouses; several heartfelt speeches were given, including an inspiring speech by Lance Cpl, Paul Croft who spoke of his pride in the Young Marines and the kind of people the organization turns out.
A heartwarming message was read by CO Perez, as sent by the parents of former Young Marine Tamburo, who is soon to be on his way to boot camp. Both speeches brought a palpable air of reverence to the room, as did the formal changing of command ceremony that followed. YM Chaplain Widjokongko stood witness to the exchange of the sword and the relieving of duty. (It was the quietest I have ever seen our "smurfs.")
CO Richard Perez also took time to recognize the efforts of parent volunteers and hand out certificates.
After dinner Myself and other parent volunteers served seconds on the dinner, made sure everyone got to eat, and then brought out our symbolic desert. Three cakes were served. The first was a fancy, store bought cake to represent the new life that Ms Sgt Perez was going to. The second was a "thrown together" cake volunteered by some parents. It represented the joyful mess that our new CO Yehl is inherriting. The third was a chocolate cake, lovingly handmade by Mrs. Bateman, to symbolize the extra planning and the behind the scenes backup our leadership always seems to have.
A final fun activity had the YM's get a raffle ticket for the one lucky enough to get to shave off Doc's beard. The beard, that he says he misses already was shaved by a few different Young Marines, including our raffle winner.
All in all, it was a very nice evening. (Even though CO spilled some of the sauce in the oven.)