JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Marines aboard Camp Lejeune are celebrating their new partnership with students of Onslow County.

Clyde Erwin Elementary Magnet School now welcomes the Headquarters Battalion 2d Marine Division. Friday’s ceremony marks the beginning of a relationship for years to come, benefitting both service members and students.

“Our theme this year is together we soar. This partnership is exactly what we are looking for. Those in the community that can come in and just help our Eagles soar,” said Principal Kelly Coward-Kirschner.

The division was welcomed to the school with open arms.

“I think when they walked in with the flags, the show of colors, and they did the anthem, it was pretty beautiful,” said student Simon Caro.

Students gave the Marines artwork they had made and military children read speeches about their experiences. 

“Even though it’s sometimes hard, the good times are always worth it, I’m proud to be a military kid,” said another student, Avery Walker, in her speech.

Then, they gave a partnership pledge to one another.

“We’ll be helping with STEM activities, field day, you might catch us proctoring a test for them or with them rather, things like that,” said CPL Aamir Bolden with the Headquarters Battalion 2d Marine Division.

Now students can’t wait for them to visit again.

“Since I’ve heard of the adoption, I’ve been pretty excited to see the military all over school,” added Caro.

“To be able to show what the Marine Corps mission is and that we give ourselves to our nation’s calling, but also to serve our fellow citizens,” said CO Damon Burrows of Headquarters Battalion 2d Marine Division.