Marines lend a hand during SMP Days of Service

By Denise CaskeyJune 26, 2023

Base Cleanup
Marine Sgt. Isaiah Fox power washes grime off a wall April 21 at Henderson Hall campus of Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall during the final day of the Single Marines Program Days of Service. (Photo Credit: Courtesy) VIEW ORIGINAL

JOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSON HALL, VA. — Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Marines from the Single Marine Program took part in SMP’s annual Days of Service event April 17 to 22, lending a hand to a variety of organizations around the community on and off the base.

SMP Days of Service was implemented in 2015 to align with the program’s pillar of community service and recognize the value of community involvement as part of leadership development. Days of Service takes place during National Volunteer Week, which began in 1974.

“Days of Service is essentially a whole week of community service that Marines do for their city or the installation, whether on a joint base or a Marine Corps installation,” said Cpl. Dylan Brito, president of the JBM-HH SMP Council.

In previous years, joint base Marines have volunteered to clean up Arlington National Cemetery, feed the hungry around the National Capital Region with Grate Patrol, a mobile outreach program operated by the Salvation Army, and mentor children at the Cody Child Development Center.

This year, in addition to feeding the homeless on Grate Patrol, the Marines also volunteered at the JBM-HH Thrift Store, helped the USO prepare items for distribution around the NCR and, on April 21, closed out the event by cleaning up the Henderson Hall campus.

SMP Thrift Shop
Marine Lance Cpl. Jasmyne Wright, left, and SMP employee Allie French, center, assist Jeane Moore, director of the JBM-HH Thrift Shop, front, with organizing and labeling items while a customer browses in the background April 18 as part of the Single Marines Program Days of Service. (Photo Credit: Courtesy) VIEW ORIGINAL

“A small group of Marines assisted the (JBM-HH) Thrift Store with unloading deliveries, moving large items, itemizing, cleaning isles, and tagging inventory,” Ethan Coddington, SMP coordinator, said of the day SMP aided thrift store employees. “We happened to go on the day that they got a ton of items donated, so the workers were incredibly grateful.”

Some volunteer opportunities, such as Grate Patrol, are ongoing events Marines participate in outside of Days of Service. Brito, who joined the Marines in January 2020 and came to JBM-HH in July 2020, said Grate Patrol is his favorite volunteer event and he does it as often as he can.

Although the SMP program emphasizes community service, Brito said Marines are not required to volunteer or take part in Days of Service, but he thinks volunteering gives them good experience and a different perspective on the outside world.

Whether the Marine is volunteering at the CDC, providing mentorship and leadership to children, or helping to nurse a dog or cat back to health at a local animal shelter, Brito said he believes volunteering creates a sense of pride that comes from feeling like what they’ve done has had some kind of impact on someone else’s life.

“You're essentially taking care of the community which is your family,” he said.

Organizations seeking volunteers can reach out to Ethan Coddington, at 703-220-1001 or For Marines interested in volunteering, visit the Henderson Hall events page on Eventbrite.