U.S. Marines based in Krtsanisi Training Area volunteer to help at Tbilisi infant house (May 27)

marines_003TBILISI, Georgia – For the second time in two months, U.S. Marines provided a clean up crew for a local infant house in Tbilisi, Georgia, May 10, 2015.

The Tbilisi Infant House is a state-run home established for orphaned children with special needs. More than 50 children under the age of six currently live in the home with conditions varying from Down syndrome to verbal and audible challenges. Fifteen Marines stepped away from their jobs as infantrymen, motor transportation mechanics, and communication specialists to work in the local community during their days off, completing over 160 hours of community service to date.

“This is not the first time the Marines have supported our orphan house, as they visited us in years past to lend a helping hand,” said David Pavliashvili, the Director of the Tbilisi Infant House. “We would like to thank each and every Marine for their charity work, which is very important to our institution.”

The volunteers removed more than 400-cubic-yards of trash and debris from a playground at the Infant House. The Marines with the Georgian Deployment Program advise and assist the Georgian soldiers prior to their deployment to Afghanistan in support of the NATO Resolute Support mission. This group of Marines is based near Tbilisi.

“It was a great experience clearing out the back yard and cleaning the playground so that the kids can use it,” said Cpl. Dylan Hale, the postal clerk for GDP-RSM. “Given the opportunity, I would like to go back and continue to make improvements.”

U.S. Marines had combat roles in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also served in a humanitarian capacity after natural disasters in Nepal, Haiti and Japan.

“It shows we can be both humanitarians and warfighters in any clime or place,” said Lance Cpl. Anton Jones, field radio operator for GDP-RSM.

GDP-RSM is a rotation of Marines in Tbilisi working with Georgian Armed Forces to improve military capability for NATO’s Resolute Support in Afghanistan. While deployed to the country, the Marines will be performing community relations events to help promote international relationships and friendships. The Marines that make up the GDP-RSM come from both the Select Marine Corps Reserve and active duty units across the United States.

“It was a rewarding experience that shows we are here for more than just training with Georgian soldiers,” said Navy Lt. Teddy Ajero, the medical officer for GDP-RSM.