ARLINGTON, Va. --
One hundred thousand people descended on the National Mall May 7-10 for Public Service Recognition Week, which honors men and women who serve as federal, state and local government employees.
This year, the Marine Corps sponsored several exhibits during the four-day annual event to showcase some of their capabilities and interact with the public.
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in service of others,” said Michael L. Rhodes, acting director of administration and management for the Department of Defense.
One of the Marine exhibits, which was sponsored by the National Museum of the Marine Corps, featured historical items from the Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.
All of the relics on hand were used in battle, said Sgt. Michael Bustamante, a member of the National Museum of the Marine Corps’ visitor services. "All of these items have been there, done that."
Marines from The Basic School in Quantico, Va., displayed several weapons from the Corps’ arsenal, such as the M-41 Saber System, the M-252 81mm mortar and the M777 Howitzer, which uses 155mm rounds.
"It's a good opportunity for the general public to come out and see what we do," said Staff Sgt. Raoul Sheridan, platoon sergeant of Battery H. "We are here to let the public play around with this stuff."
One goal of the weapon display was to show the public how simplified Marine Corps equipment is and how it's used within a unit, said Staff Sgt. Christopher Gordon, a maintenance chief with Company D.
Marine Corps recruiters from all over the Washington area attended the event and held pull-up challenges. Anyone who could do 10 or more pull-ups received a free Marine Corps T-shirt.
"We are here to get the word out about the Marine Corps," said Sgt. Patrick Behnke, a recruiter from Alexandria, Va. "There are a lot of opportunities and jobs to give back to your country that many are not aware of."
"We aim to please, whatever you want, we got it," Bustamante said. "You don't know where you’re going if you don't know where you've been. Teaching our history was our biggest mission this week."