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Lance Cpl. Marco N. Adams joins other Marines from Camp Hansen and Kin Town Chamber of Commerce members in tilling soil around a topiary during a highway beautification project.
Lance Cpl. Marco N. Adams joins other Marines from Camp Hansen and Kin Town Chamber of Commerce members in tilling soil around a topiary during a highway beautification project. (Warren Peace / Courtesy of USMC)

CAMP HANSEN, Okinawa — One thing every Marine hears when he or she first arrives on Okinawa is that being a good neighbor is just as important as being a good Marine.

And 13 Marines from the Installation Personnel Administration North on Camp Hansen took that to heart recently by spending an afternoon landscaping a section of lawn next to the camp along Highway 14, pruning the topiary garden to form the words: KIN TOWN and CAMP HANSEN.

The Marines meet with members of the Kin Town Chamber of Commerce every Wednesday to work on the garden, according to Marine public affairs.

“This area is our responsibility as well as the local community’s,” said Staff Sgt. Micah T. Wilson, a personnel chief with IPAC North, according to a news release. “In the last eight months we have come a long way in enhancing this area and giving the Marines a sense of pride in their community.”

Chamber of Commerce member Mithuko Okuma said he appreciated the Marines’ work and supports their presence in the community.

“We need the Marines,” he was quoted in the release as saying. “Most of us believe we need them for our economy and our protection.”

After three hours of hard work, the Marines also enjoyed sharing cold beverages and sata andagi — Okinawan doughnuts.

“I enjoy working with and talking to the Okinawans,” Lance Cpl. John F. Vanecek was quoted as saying in the release. “It feels good to help out and make things look nice. The point of us being here is to help the community.”

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