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Marine Col. Doarin Lewis, commander of 3rd Transportation Support Battalion, receives a good conduct certificate from the Okinawa Chapter of the Japan Good Conduct Association for the actions of his unit.

Marine Col. Doarin Lewis, commander of 3rd Transportation Support Battalion, receives a good conduct certificate from the Okinawa Chapter of the Japan Good Conduct Association for the actions of his unit. (Fred Zimmerman / S&S)

NAHA, Okinawa — Two Okinawa-based Marine Corps units received recognition Saturday for their willingness to leave their camp confines and volunteer their time to various local communities.

The Okinawa chapter of the Japan Good Conduct Association awarded 3rd Transportation Support Battalion, 3rd Force Service Support Group, and the Medical Section, Headquarters and Service Company, Combat Assault Battalion, 3 Marine Division “Good Conduct” certificates during an afternoon ceremony. Navy Lt. G. Alan Fleming, 3rd TSB chaplain, spoke to those attending the ceremony.

“On behalf of the Marines and sailors on Okinawa, I’m humbled to receive this special award,” he said. “We are honored to serve the people of Okinawa. The good works done by the Marines and sailors are a token of our appreciation for our host country’s generosity, and also shows our desire to contribute to the communities where we live and work.”

Fleming said more than 200 troops in the unit have volunteered their time.

The unit’s commanding officer, Col. Doarin Lewis, said the community service “gives them an appreciation of the larger world we live in. We teach them to be selfless rather than selfish.”

His unit received the recognition for cleaning beaches, visiting orphanages, volunteering at senior citizen homes, and teaching English at two Okinawan schools.

Navy Lt. David You, battalion surgeon from the Medical Section, said the unit received the award because of its “group effort.” He said one of the most important things the unit can do is “serve those around us.”

You said the unit has taught English to both children and adults in Henoko and Nago.

One of the unit’s volunteers, Seaman Stephan Reeves, said he has been volunteering for about seven months.

“It’s fun to help people learn English,” he said. “You also make some good friends out of it.”

Seishin Oyama, chairman of the association’s Okinawa chapter, said he was very pleased to see Americans who live on Okinawa recognized.

“There are so many Americans on Okinawa and I knew that there were so many people who have been greatly contributing to the local communities,” he said. “I hear lots of such stories but no local media reports them.”

Oyama said he felt it was his duty to shed light on the servicemembers’ contributions.

“I know how hard it is to contribute to communities with a different culture and language,” he said. “Nevertheless, these people go out and offer their hands to local communities and less fortunate people.”


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