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Marines work behind the scenes to give back to St. Louis

By Lance Cpl. Daniel A. Wetzel | | June 23, 2011

Marine Week 2011 has lots of displays and demonstrations out in the open for all to see, but some of the best work is happening behind the scenes. This was the case at the local Habitat for Humanity ReStore and a mobile branch of the St. Louis Area Food Bank.

“It’s great to come out and show America what we do as Marines,” said Lance Cpl. Christopher Mann, a rifleman with 3rd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment. “Working for the people in St. Louis shows that we’re not just [war fighters]."

Nightly, Marines are seen on news and web outlets tirelessly fighting insurgents overseas, but across the globe they show that the same dedication to countless communities.

Gary Mazanec, distribution director, logistic services, Coca Cola distribution center, said it was great to work with Marines while giving back to the community; to see them as more than just defenders of the nation.

The food bank offered a large variety of provisions, most of which was donated by local vendors. Families drove the through a production line of sorts, where Marines and local volunteers loaded their trunks. Almost 200 vouchers were given to the community for food, all of which were cashed in and with the remaining food additional families received assistance.

Across town at the same time, Marines helped the St. Louis chapter for Habitat for Humanity. They worked in a “Re-Store,” a Goodwill style hardware store reselling donated building supplies and furniture.

“We’re here for the community to help them build more affordable homes,” said Anne Marie Spitz, the Re-Store communications and events coordinator. “It was great to see the van of Marines show up. They were able to move the heavy things and arrange the cabinets; something we wouldn’t have been able to do without them at this time.”

Marine Week 2011 focuses on exposing St. Louisans to the Corps, but more importantly having Marines interact with and make long lasting improvements in local communities.

For more information on Marine Week St. Louis visit marines.mil/marineweek or Facebook.com/Marines