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Smiles and Excitement at Children's Air Show Expo

Crane Elementary visits Yuma Children’s Expo as part of airshow
Lance Cpl. Jade Venegas/Marine Corps Air Station Yuma
A student with the Exceptional Student Services from the Crane Elementary School District poses for a photo during the Children’s Expo at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona, March 10, 2023. The event featured performances and educational displays of military aircraft and ground equipment allowing children with special needs to enjoy the Yuma Airshow 2023 in a controlled environment. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Jade K. Venegas)

A group of about 85 special needs students from Crane Elementary School District, on Friday, got their very own 2023 Yuma Air Show.

The main event takes place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., on Saturday.

Candace Brown, School Liaison Office of Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, says the kids got front row seats, face painting and a chance to interact with the Marines.

"The Children's Air Show Expo, is designed to give the students in this population the unique opportunity to experience the air show in a way that makes sense to them.”

Lance Corporal Raymond James Lotman, a small arms tech, says he and his fellow marines had a great time hanging out with the kids.

“It's wonderful to show them what daily life is like for us. Just trying to fix the weapons …. and it's nice interacting with the kids, making them smile.”

In addition to checking out the unloaded small arms under expert supervision, one of those kids, Rogelio Rubio, was taking in the sights and sounds of the jets and rocket powered vehicles, especially the giant plume of fire emanating from the rear of a converted 1940s era fire truck.

For more about the Yuma Air Show, visit