Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | Dec. 24, 2015

Hikariga Oka Nursing Home Hosts Christmas Party for 7th Communication Battalion

By Cpl. Devon Tindle

KIN TOWN, OKINAWA, Japan – Members of the Hikariga Oka Nursing Home hosted a Christmas party for Marines with 7th Communication Battalion at Hikariga Oka Nursing Home, Okinawa, Japan, Dec. 18, 2015.

The nursing home hosts the party annually to thank the battalion for their continuous community outreach projects. Since 1994 Marines from 7th Comm. Bn., III Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group, III MEF, regularly volunteer to help maintain the home’s grounds and organize routine cleanups.

“For about 20 years, we have been working with the nursing home,” said Capt. Maria Harley, the Headquarters company commander with 7th Comm. Bn., III MHG, III MEF. “We like interacting with the residents, and they like to interact with us. It also helps us with shedding a good light on our battalion in Kin Town, keeping the bond between our two countries strong.”

The Marines volunteer twice a month help with everything from mowing the lawn to picking weeds out of the garden, according to Harley, from El Campo, Texas.

“We get a select amount of Marines to go help with picking up leaves, mowing the grass, and various yard work around the home,” said Harley. “Helping around the nursing home allows the Marines to interact with the residents. Some of the residents don’t have families so, when a Marine walks up to a resident and shakes their hand and says, 'Ohayou gozaimasu (good morning),' it puts a smile on their faces and makes their day.”

The Marines and nursing home residents take turns providing food for holidays, according to Ayako Ginoza, the director of the nursing home.

“In November the Marines brought food for the Thanksgiving feast and we wanted to repay that to them by providing them with Okinawan food for Christmas,” said Ginoza, from Kin Town, Okinawa, Japan. “The Marines do so much for us around the home that we are extremely thankful for their help and willing to repay them anyway we can.”

The Christmas party brings smiles from the Okinawan nursing home patrons and the Marines. Though the residents and the Marines don’t speak the same language, they didn’t let that get in the way of sharing a great day together with songs, presents and food.

“Events like this bring the Marines and the Okinawans together in one place,” said Ginoza. “It makes the residents happy, the workers happy, and the Marines. This event has been going on for so long that I believe the relationship with the Marines and the nursing home will continue for generations to come.”


Like Us
Follow Us



U.S. INDOPACOM announces establishment of Joint Task Force Red Hill
220630-N-BD629-1009 CAMP H.M. Smith, Hawaii (June 30, 2022) Commander, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command Adm. John C. Aquilino addresses members of the media during a press conference announcing the establishment of Joint Task Force Red Hill. JTF Red Hill, in close coordination with the State of Hawaii, will oversee the safe and expeditious defueling of the Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, demonstrating DoD’s commitment to remove fuel as quickly as possible, in a safe and informed manner, and with full transparency to regulators, intergovernmental partners, and with the people of Hawaii. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Shannon M. Smith/Released)
July 1, 2022 - CAMP H.M. SMITH, Hawaii – Adm. John C. Aquilino, Commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, announced the establishment of Joint Task Force Red Hill (JTF Red Hill) on June 30.The Secretary of Defense directed the standup of JTF...

Rim of the Pacific 2022 Officially Begins
Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022 participants network at the Southern California opening ceremony. Twenty-six nations, 38 ships, four submarines, more than 170 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC from June 29 to Aug. 4 in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity while fostering and sustaining cooperative relationships among participants critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans. RIMPAC 2022 is the 28th exercise in the series that began in 1971.
June 30, 2022 - U.S. Navy -- Twenty-six nations, 38 surface ships, four submarines, nine national land forces, more than 30 unmanned systems, approximately 170 aircraft and more than 25,000 personnel will train and operate in and around the...

Chief of Naval Operations, Japanese Chief of Staff Meet to Discuss Maritime Security
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday meets with Chief of Staff of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Adm. Ryo Sakai during an office call at the Pentagon, June 28. The two leaders discussed maritime security and ongoing efforts to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific.
June 30, 2022 - WASHINGTON -- Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday hosted the Chief of Staff of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Adm. Ryo Sakai in Washington, D.C., for an office visit, June 28.The two leaders discussed...

Remarks by U.S. Ambassador Peter Haas on Account of U.S. Independence Day 2022
Remarks by U.S. Ambassador Peter Haas on Account of U.S. Independence Day 2022.
June 30, 2022 - U.S. Embassy in Bangladesh -- Good afternoon, everyone! And thank you for joining us for this celebration of the 246th anniversary of U.S. independence. Independence Day in America is a day of red, white, and blue; a day of...

The U.S. Provides Immediate Assistance to Respond to Drought in Kiribati
US $500,000 in humanitarian assistance to respond to the drought across Kiribati
June 30, 2022 - SUVA, U.S. Embassy in Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga, and Tuvalu -- The U.S., through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is providing US$500,000 in humanitarian assistance to respond to the drought across...