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Patriotic Article
Military
By USMC Cpl. Lisa R. Strickland

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Elementary School Visits Cherry Point
(September 16, 2009)

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Petty Officer 1st Class Joseph Andrews holds his daughter, Ella, so she can see out of the Air Traffic Control Tower during a field trip with Arthur Edwards Elementary School, Sept. 2. Andrews chaperoned for the tour with his twin daughters’ kindergarten class.
Petty Officer 1st Class Joseph Andrews holds his daughter, Ella, so she can see out of the Air Traffic Control Tower during a field trip with Arthur Edwards Elementary School, Sept. 2. Andrews chaperoned for the tour with his twin daughters' kindergarten class.
 MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. (9/9/2009) — Arthur Edwards Elementary kindergarten classes toured Cherry Point squadrons for the students' first field trip of the year, last week.

As part of the tour, the children visited Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 366, Air Traffic Control, and the Aviation Survival Training Center. The tour began at HMH-366, where the children had the opportunity to go inside a CH-53E Super Stallions and even sit in the cockpit.

“It was a nice change of pace to see 40 little smiling faces at work,” said Capt. Tom Nicholson, a pilot and Assistant S-4 officer with HMH-366, the Hammerheads.

The captain said despite their age the children had some complex questions for him ranging from how a helicopter flies to what all the buttons do. The captain said he told the children it took him months to figure out what all the controls did in the cockpit.
“I was surprised at such good questions they had about the helicopter,” Nicholson said.

He said one child asked why Marines shoot at the enemy and why we fight.

“I deferred the question to the sergeant major,” said Nicholson.

But, before Sgt. Maj. James Crewell, the Hammerheads sergeant major, could answer the question another child rang out with a simple statement.

“Because, we're keeping America safe,” the kindergartner said.

“That's a great answer,” the sergeant major agreed with a smile.

Petty Officer 1st Class Joseph Andrews, a small boat electrician at Cherry Point Naval boat docks chaperoned for his twin daughters' class, Sept. 3.

“My favorite part was the tower and seeing the kids watch the planes take off,” said Andrews.

Even though the Sailor works aboard the air station, he said he learned new things on the tour.

“I found out how they get the weather from all around the country. That was interesting for me,” said Andrews. “I also saw radar where they communicate with all the pilots, just like in the movies.”

Andrews said when his two girls got home that afternoon all they talked about was the aircraft they had seen and sitting in the cockpit of the CH-53. At bed time, Erin and Ella said, “Goodnight, Hammerhead,” to their father as they fell asleep. Even though he's not with HMH- 366, Andrews said he thought it was cute.

“The field trip made it more realistic for the military children, especially with parents on the flight line,” said Andrews. “It brings the job close to home.”

Article and photo by USMC Cpl. Lisa R. Strickland
Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point
Copyright 2009

Reprinted from Marine Corps News

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