Children #16 A Boy and His Mission

A Birthday On Base

What do you get when you match up a 5 year old boy and a few Chinook Helicopters…

Add a few friends…

This past weekend we celebrated my son’s 5th Birthday.  A girlfriend of mine and her husband are both Marines and Helicopter Pilots…pretty cool right!?  So cool that they were generous enough to host us at the Camp Pendleton Helicopter Air Base.

I had the chance the week before to go check out the site so I could plan the day for all families. Goosebumps began as I entered the camp and they did not stop throughout my entire visit.  The hustle and bustle of weekdays on site are amazing.  I was wide eyed with amazement and gained an even deeper respect for our troops.

As I approached the base, several Chinooks were in and out of the launch pads within minutes. Troops of soldiers would march by then another group followed shortly thereafter. Pretty impressive.

Even with 4 kids, married and in my late 30’s, I was ready to sign up….something about that environment gets me going.  It really is a special community.   I came back with even more excitement then before.

My ideas were in place, plans were laid…ready for action!  Invites were hand delivered in a large manila envelope marked “confidential” wrapped with twine.  Invites enclosed were to be worn day of event.

Hire Security…I’ll take a retired Captain of the Air Force anyday!!!

Set up security clearence…

Don the Camo Face Paint..  I hired a face painter to handle all the troops, Tracy from Artovator was amazing!

A visit to the Mess Hall…

08:30 for an early start…pulled together a continental breakfast with a coffee bar to help all wake up on an early morning Saturday am!

Prepare directions and Soldier Snack Sacks for the drive down to the base.  The kid bags had a mini-water, graham crackers, military crayons and camo pad and cheese and crackers.  Seargent Snack Packs were prepared for the Adult Marines- they included a large water and a trail mix sack.  Directions to the base and the lake were included.

Lead a 13 car caravan down to base together! About a 45 minute drive…we actually made it “somewhat” together in So Cal traffic!  We arrived at our Troops University- First Mission Accomplished!

We were welcomed inside the University by our friends.  You could hear a pin drop as our Marines shared about the Chinooks we toured and their battles in Vietnam and Iraq.  It got even better as we learned about our friends tours to war as well.

Then the Marines let our troops loose…

They supplied uniforms and helmets for the kids to try on and run about…

The big boys had fun too!

After the navigation through the Chinooks it was time for our next mission.

We arrived to Lake O’Neil ready to attack!

Drill Seargents were ready for us!

The Troops came hungry to the Mess Hall. I pre-ordered kids meals the night before for the mini marines and the big boys enjoyed an adult buffet of sandwiches, chips and fruit salad.

After rescuing their soldier out of the lunch box, their next mission was to save the wildlife, both on land…

And water…

Finally our soldiers were ready to find their fellow troops.

Bags were spread all over the grounds for Marines to locate…in their find was a bag of green army men, a parachute trooper, mini cannon ball, and a camo paddle bar.

They hurried back to base camp to share findings.

After their hard work, a salute to the troops and thier leader was in order

Even the little one was amazed

A typical Jackson finish…why not a game of golf? I’m telling ya..this Pendleton community was very special.

Time to rest and reflect…

Need to be back in boots in just a few hours!