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Photo Information

Shawn T. Cole, an 11th grader in high school, looks through the sights of a .50-caliber Browning machine gun during a static display Marine Corps weapons in Central Park, N.Y., May 25. Cole said he plans on joining the Marine Corps in a few years.

Photo by Lance Cpl. John Scott Rafoss

Marines show off guns in New York City

27 May 2007 | Lance Cpl. John Scott Rafoss 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit

Marines from the 10th Marine Regiment conducted a static display of Marine Corps weapons in Central Park and Times Square during Fleet Week 2007 on May 24 and May 25.

During the display, the Marines showed off their knowledge as they provided demonstrations to city residents of the capabilities of Marine Corps weapons.

"We came out today to show the American taxpayers what they are spending their money on," said Sgt. Jonathan D. Rumbolt, 10th Marine Regiment fire-direction-control man. "We came out to give them a greater familiarity with our weapons and let them see what we use to protect them."

The display showcased such weapons as the M-16 rifle, the .50 caliber Browning machine gun, the MK-19 grenade launcher, and the M-203 grenade launcher, firepower that many New Yorkers see only in the movies.

"The weapons were awesome," said Shawn T. Cole, a junior in high school. "I watch the Military Channel a lot, and it's pretty cool to come out and actually hold these weapons. You always see these weapons in the movies, but it is a whole new world when you get to actually hold them. It's way different to be able to sit behind some of these weapons than to watch Rambo use them on television."

Even with the some of the heavy firepower on display, many of the on-lookers said they got a kick out of seeing and holding the M-16 rifle.

"It was awesome when the Marines showed me how to load and ready the M-16," said Cole, who plans on joining the Marine Corps when he gets out of high school. "The rifle was my favorite."

To help kick it up a knotch, the Marines provided a martial-arts demonstration and invited some of the observers to participate.

"I learned how to get someone off of me if they are choking me," said Jonathon A. Sisti, a junior in high school. "Having a Marine teach me is the best way to learn it. I would rather have a Marine teach me than a martial-arts teacher."

In Times Square on Friday, the Marines brought out the pull-up bar, offering free Marine Corps t-shirts to male participants who could do 20 pull-ups and to females who could execute a dead-hang for at least 70 seconds.

"There were a lot of strong guys out there who could do 20 pull-ups easily," said 1st Lt. Aaron R. Powell, 10th Marine Regiment data officer. "There were also a lot of people out there who were surprised how hard dead hang pull-ups are."

"A lot of the New Yorkers were impressed with the Marines doing pull-ups," added Powell. "They had some studs out there doing pull-ups who were probably drill instructors, doing like 30-35 dead hangs. They definitely had some pull-up monsters out there."

According to Rumbolt, the event was a success and generated a positive response from city residents.

"Normal people don't get to see this stuff on a day-to-day basis, and they got a kick out of what we were showing them. I love to do events like this.”