Magazine article Parks & Recreation

P&r This Month

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

P&r This Month

Article excerpt

"I'm really pleased to say that recreation is alive and well on our military bases," says Nancy Moon, guest editor of this month's issue of Parks & Recreation magazine. "There is a group of professionals out there working hard to show you the benefits of recreation, and I believe we just keep getting better." Moon, community services director for the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Department at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, is representative of the thousands of MWR professionals who are providing rest, relaxation, and recreation for active-duty and retired military personnel and their families worldwide. In times of peace and conflict, MWR is charged with the difficult task of keeping those in our Armed Forces fit, healthy, and in high spirits.

Harriet E. Rice, CLP, public affairs officer for the U.S. Army Community and Family Support Center, describes how Department of the Army civilians are delivering MWR programs to the thousands of troops deployed to Bosnia in support of Operation Joint Forge.

The MWR specialists have been serving Operation Joint Endeavor soldiers since the winter of 1995. Eating, sleeping, living, and working in tents or wooden buildings alongside the soldiers they serve, these resourceful and dedicated professionals volunteer for 120-day tours of duty at camps in the Balkans, operating recreation centers that are sometimes open 24 hours a day (p. 44).

When the MWR Department at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, California, opened eight vacation cottages on Lake Havasu, its intention was to give sailors, marines, and their families a place to get away for a little rest and relaxation. The venture accomplished this ... and a whole lot more. Located just three hours from the combat center, on the California-Arizona border, this isolated vacation spot offers visitors a host of year-round activities, says author Tom R. Wilson, the combat center's MWR marketing director (p. 50).

Although outdoor recreation opportunities abound for personnel stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, there are certain challenges -- namely language barriers -- that prevent American service men and women from taking full advantage of their possibilities. It is Iwakuni's MWR Department that bridges this cultural gap, Doriann Geller, an MWR public affairs technician, tells P&R readers. From the provision of gear to detailed maps to reservations, MWR's Outdoor Recreation program makes the camping experience pleasant and worry-free (p. 54).

Marine Corps Air Station Yuma's Martinez Lake Recreation Facility, nestled in the foothills of California's Chocolate Mountains, has become one of Arizona's premier outdoor retreats, says Larry Foos, MWR marketing director at MCAS Yuma. Facility manager Mike Castello feels confident that the quality recreation activities -- especially the world-class fishing -- will not disappoint visiting service men and women and their families. "For so many, it's a dream," Castello muses (p. 58).

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar credits the success of its running events to one thing: individuality. Each event -- whether it be the Las Vegas Fun Run/Walk or the Runway 10K and Flight Line Bike Classic -- offers something unique to participants. …

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