U.S. Marines Make an Investment in Cambodia’s FutureMy comments: I love the Marines but this is only the beginning of what the real mission will be, and that is to protect the oil that Chevron has discovered off the coast of Cambodia and balance Chinese expansion into the region as well as the world. If you want to read more about how this story began and where it is headed, click on this link.
Phnom Penh International Airport, CambodiaAugust 29, 2007Story by Sgt. Ethan E. Rocke, MCB Camp Butler
Marines from Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, delivered almost 2,000 pounds of school supplies, clothing and toys to the Catholic charity Maryknoll at the Phnom Penh International Airport in Cambodia during a recent stop in the country.
Sister Regina Pellicore, Maryknoll’s project director for health and education in Cambodia, accepted the donation for her organization, which, among a myriad of other charitable endeavors, works to educate underprivileged Cambodian children.
"What we want to provide for the children is a good education as well as other social services," Pellicore said. "I believe Cambodia’s future lies in education, and this contribution will help to educate 1,200 children."
MAG-36 service members collected materials from the military community on Okinawa for months and unit leaders enlisted help from the U.S. Embassy to find an organization that could best use the donation to benefit Cambodia’s people, according to Army Maj. Chris Mills, chief of the Embassy’s Office of Defense Cooperation.
"The embassy has a strong relationship with Maryknoll," Mills said. "Many of these children are already struggling just for survival, and what (Maryknoll does) is truly commendable. We’re very happy to be able to support that."
MAG-36 Commanding Officer Col. Ben Mathews and MAG-36 Sgt. Maj. James Peterson personally delivered the donation to Sister Pellicore. The unit leaders made the trip on a KC-130 from Marine Aerial Refueler Squadron 152 during a two-part mission to deliver the materials and pick up a detachment of service members from Marine Wing Support Squadron 172 who completed civil assistance projects in southern Cambodia Aug. 26.
"With MWSS-172 down here, we saw an opportunity for a good delivery," Mathews said. "We’re going to try and keep this going for years to come."