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By Zara Flores
The 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, led by First Sergeant Ryan McCrary, conducted a beach cleanup at North Beach, as well as performed maintenance at Park Semper Fi on Feb. 18, as part of their routine community service project.
The group of 120 adopted Marines conduct community service projects in the city every quarter, or every three months. San Clemente was one of the first cities in the country to adopt a Marine Corps unit back in 1996 as a way to bring the members and community together.
The city often provides deployment packages and family outreach. The city also hosts barbecues, Christmas parties and get-togethers to support the Marines, according to Wayne Eggleston, the executive director of the Heritage of San Clemente Foundation.
Eggleston said that between all of the Marines, there is a lot of manpower that is utilized by the community, whether they are appointed a project by the city based on the current needs or being contacted directly for help by local schools and organizations.
While many of their projects revolve around Park Semper Fi and beach cleanups in the San Clemente area, Eggleston added that schools and teachers get in contact for help with projects since many Marines’ children attend school in the area.
McCrary said in his 19 years of service, he has never experienced a community that sponsors and takes care of Marines like San Clemente does.
“Just to give back to them, any little thing that we can do to just make the city of San Clemente that much better, or to help just maintain the appearance, whatever little things we can do, we’re all about that,” McCrary said. “This is our way to give back to the community.”