The day started with the children being ushered past tables of candy and toys into the gymnasium where the Marines and volunteers had organized a myriad of games including a sack race, tug-a-war and face painting.
“This day couldn’t get any better,” said Staff Sgt. Wade Wilson, a reconnaissance Marine with the ground combat element, BSRF 12. “I feel like I’m really making a difference with these kids.”
A large group of children gathered around a face painting station staffed by Marines and headed by Wilson.
Batman, American flags and butterflies were among the more popular designs the Marines painted on young faces.
“Regardless of what you know about Marines, they all have a special place in their hearts for kids,” said Sgt. Maj. Gary Jacobs, BSRF 12 sergeant major.
When the games wound down the Marines and volunteers served the children lunch as American music played on the sound system.
“It’s great of you to help; we couldn’t have made this happen for so many kids without you,” said Crossman, while the Marines handed out sandwiches and cakes.
As the day ended, Marines distributed the toys and clothes provided by United Hands Romania.
“The Marines get along so well with the kids, I would not have expected this,” added Crossman.
The Black Sea Rotational Force is Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force training with 19 countries in order to facilitate interoperability with U.S. partner nations and promote regional stability in the Black Sea and Caucasus regions.