MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Spouses of Marines and sailors competed in the Spouses Lejeune Area Kickball Association or SLAKA Oct. 13-14. Most of the spouses were wives of Marines and sailors aboard Camp Lejeune, but husbands and spouses from other commands could also share in the camaraderie.
All proceeds that the tournament raises from concessions and other donations go to Wounded Warrior Battalion – East with the remaining funds donated to the Camp Lejeune Fisher House.
“This tournament benefits Wounded Warrior Battalion – East’s Warrior Athletic Rehabilitation Program through concessions and the optional entry fee challenge. We donate the money to go toward that program,” said Caitlin Lewis, SLAKA’s commissioner. “The concession items are donated from all the teams, so that way we can maximize the funds that are donated.”
The members of SLAKA not only play, but also umpire and sell concessions and help out the tournament wherever needed.
“The purpose of SLAKA is to help spouses and give them an outlet, while also getting them together for something besides just lunch,” said Brodie Lien, one of the SLAKA coordinators.
The association was established in 2010 by spouses of Battalion Landing Team 3/8 (3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment), to have fun and build camaraderie before the unit left for its deployment.
“We aren’t the service members, but we are here to support them and give them a way to have fun that they and their spouses can enjoy,” said Lien.
As two teams played each other, teams that were in their down time would cheer them on and clap for the team they wanted to win. After the game the spouses and coaches would circle up and cheer ‘2, 4, 6, 8, who do we appreciate’ and shout the name of the team they just played to show no matter win or lose it was a good time.
“Our three pillars of SLAKA are charity, competition and camaraderie based on a spouse event,” said Lien. “I enjoy being a part of SLAKA and its fun getting to see all the competition and fun that these spouses have while supporting our troops.”