Photo Information

Maj. Robert Piper, executive officer, Chemical Biological Incident Response Force, II Marine Expeditionary Force, thanks the medical staff at Civista medical center for donating baskets of food here Nov. 20. The LaPlata High School Choir entertained during the ceremony with holiday music.

Photo by Cpl Leslie Palmer

Community reaches out to local Marines and sailors

20 Nov 2007 | Cpl. Leslie Palmer

“There are people in the civilian world that truly appreciate the Marines risking their lives daily for freedom,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Lawrence Pieper, religious program specialist, Chemical Biological Incident Response Force, II Marine Expeditionary Force.

To show their appreciation, the medical staff at Civista Medical Center in LaPlata, Md., donated more than 10 baskets filled with food to CBIRF Marines here Nov. 20.

“It shows a win-win situation for both sides,” Pieper said. “It shows that the civilian side believes in the armed services. We feed off of each other. We need each other for survival even more so now as the military environment becomes more joint with the civilians factoring into that.”

Cmdr. Kelvin James, CBIRF chaplain, said the Civista medical staff and CBIRF Marines and sailors have a close relationship because of the quality of care the staff provides. The closeness is significant because if a real-world medical situation occurs, the Civista medical staff would help take care of injured CBIRF Marines and sailors.

“Many of our devil dogs and their spouses come to this facility and utilize their services … they come here specifically because of the excellent care they provide,” James said. “They are our first responders in medical care.”

The Marines and sailors also received some high level praise from the Civista medical staff who are thankful for their nation’s Marines, said Pieper.

“I’m very appreciative we are able to contribute in some small way to our military heroes who work for us every day, protecting our freedoms so that we can go about our work in this wonderful country … and they pay such an ultimate price,” said Chris Stefanides, Civista Medical Center President and Chief Executive Officer.

Giving the baskets to the Marines put a different spin on what being a medical professional is all about.

“We’re not a medical facility that just provides medical care, but (we also provide) care for the community,” said Mollie Strotkamp, unit secretary with Civista.

This is the second year the Civista medical staff donated baskets of food to CBIRF Marines and sailors.

Chemical Biological Incident Response Force