Gulfport Seabee Base Welcomes In Community - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

04/09/05

Gulfport Seabee Base Welcomes In Community

Gulfport Seabees are known for their construction skills. Their latest project is to build a better with the community.

On Saturday base welcomed people who are interested in what goes on in military life.

For seven year old Thomas Fulcher it's like playing a video game. H

is father who is a Gulfport Seabee says exercises like the simulation of a machine gun attack aim to teach the boy more than how to shoot straight.

"It gets him more interested," said David Fulcher. "It makes him have a better understanding of what I go through when I do deploy. He's gone through a couple of deployments. I was over in the desert for six months in 2003 so it was kind of a hard deployment. Anytime you're away from your family its real hard."

Quinton Hartage is another concerned father.

His son is serving right now in Iraq. The Seabee Bases open house gave him the chance to get a better handle on the weaponry troops are carrying.

Hartage said "I was interested in the M-60 machine gun and the M-1, the M-14 and the M-16."

By seeing and touching equipment, the base hopes to give people a better understanding of what the military does.

Commanding Officer Capt. Will McKerall said "We have a lot that happens inside the gates and perimeter of this space. We thought it important for them to understand and see or at least have the opportunity to know what we do here at Seabee base Gulfport."

McKerall says with so many Seabees living in the Gulfport and Biloxi. the base is not just a friend to the community but also part of it.

"This is just the start. I can see us having 10,000 to 20,000 people come through this and for us to make this a celebration that we all enjoy every year."

by Danielle Thomas

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