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2003: Marine Parents is Born
2004: Care Package Project begins
2006: Operation PAL launched
2006: Purple Heart Hero Support
2009: New Office, EGA Shop Opens
2012: USMC Licensee
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January 21, 2013

If this is the first edition of the Marine Parents newsletter you have received, WELCOME! If you are a returning reader we are glad you have joined us and are thankful for your support. This issue is a special one, in honor of the 10th anniversary of the Marine Parents organization. In this issue, we will highlight some of our achievements over the years, and also provide a link to a page where you can share your thoughts about this organization.

Click here to read about our 10th anniversary...

A special letter from the founder

Dear Marines and Families of,

Changes happen in our lives whether we invite them in or not. Being able to adapt and embrace uninvited change is a necessary but often difficult part of being an emotionally healthy person. Finding a place to connect and share® with others who have to adapt to the same life change offers immeasurable and significant help.


Ten years ago if someone had told me I'd be running a million-dollar nonprofit organization in 2013, I would never have believed it. That wasn't in my game plan and, after all, I was in charge of my life.


I didn't sign up for the Marine Corps, but I knew-from the time he was four years old-that my son would be a Marine. However, I had no idea that the contract he would sign with the USMC in 2001 would be a life-changer for me, too. I'm betting most military parents don't realize it either.


On 9/11 my son had been in boot camp for two weeks. If I could have gotten a flight out to San Diego I would have dragged him home by his ear. It wasn't a pretty image. It was on that day I had to start letting go; after all, I was not in charge of my son's life. I prayed for God to help me let go and He mistook that and led me down a path that was not in my plan. At times He pulled me by the ear, but, for the most part, it was a gentle persuasion. Fourteen months later the doors opened in front of me to create this place called


When I tell the story of and get to the part where I didn't have a plan and didn't intend to create an organization, it's hard for folks to believe. How can success, after all, come without a plan? But that is the real story-it wasn't MY plan. It's at this point I have to clarify things and say this was not me, but, rather, God's hand through me that made all of this happen. And that's the real story, too. I could never have done this standing alone.


From the inception and registration of a domain name on January 21, 2003 (originally the organization has grown exponentially every year. Though I put the foundation out there, it's been the work of thousands of volunteers through the years, and thousands of people in communities around the US, that has turned into a vibrant community of supporters and those seeking support who have built and mastered our mission of informing, connecting and sharing. At every turn of the organization, there is another moment of God's leadership that gives me the right direction and sends the right people to me. was originally for families to have a place to connect and share® but rapidly turned into a support entity for our beloved Marines-both uniformed and Veterans-and now, military personnel in all branches of the service. The growth would make any small business green with envy, but it's given us the ability to do more and more each month to provide support for our troops. The pride I have is huge, but the thanks that I give to the thousands that make this happen, is more enormous than I can begin to describe.


Thank you all, each of you, the readers, the posters, the members, the volunteers, the directors-past , present and future-for giving yourselves in support of one another and our troops. You are the backbone of a truly unique organization with a foundation to serve its people for years to come.


Happy Anniversary to all of us. May we keep God with us and may the next ten years bring as much faith, love and support as the first ten.


God bless and Semper Fi!


Web Signature




Tracy Della Vecchia

Founder and Executive Director, Inc.
Visit our comment wall,
And leave us thoughts about your journey

Each one of us has a story to tell and each one of us has a memory to share.  Those in the Marine Corps family have learned that sharing our stories is a valuable tool for understanding where we are with the mission our sons and daughters have taken up. We welcome you to share your memories and stories of your time spent at Marine Parents: online, in person, or just lurking in the background.

Click to share your thoughts about Marine Parents...

Click here to read messages from others...
2003: Marine Parents is Born
Launching A Place to Connect and Share

January 21, 2003 was the date that the first domain names were registered. Originally registered as, the organization began as an online network that provided a means for Marine Parents to connect with one another. 


Our first chat room opened just one month after the domain names were registered, and within three months, the organization was national news. 


 Click here to read the news as it occurred...
2004: Care Package Project begins
Project starts in Tracy's barn

The Care Package Project began in December 2004, in Memory of LCpl. Nicholas Larson, who was killed in action in Fallujah, Iraq the previous November. In lieu of flowers, the family of LCpl. Larson requested that donations be sent to MarineParents to support troops serving overseas. From that initial gesture, a project was born that has now let thousands of servicemen know that the sacrifices they make are appreciated by Americans back home.


Since that initial mailing from Tracy's barn, the Care Package Project has shipped over 35,000 packages overseas to servicemen serving in combat zones such as those in Afghanistan and Iraq.


Click here to read about the Care Package Project... 

2006: Operation PAL launched
Sending best wishes to wounded heroes  
In 2006, Marine Parents held a conference in Houston, TX. One speaker, a wounded hero, related how the most positive aspect of his recovery process was receiving cards and letters with well wishes from the American public.

That conversation was the inspiration for the launching of Operation Prayers and Letters. Over 10,000 cards and letters were delivered to Marines and Navy Corpsmen in the first year of the all-volunteer operation, and over 80,000 have been delivered to date.

Click here to learn more...
2006: Purple Heart Hero Support
Now a presence nationwide

Purple Heart Hero Support began as Purple Heart Family Support in October 2006. The project began after a visit to Bethesda Naval Hospital, as a way of providing meals and comfort to families visiting their wounded heroes. Families had expressed to us the difficulties they faced over the weekends, when all hospital restaurant facilities were closed. 


Since that time, the project has grown into a presence in military hospitals and wounded warrior barracks nationwide, serving over 25,000 meals and providing many other resources across the country.       


Click here to read more about PHHS... 

2009: New Office, EGA Shop Opens
New location established in Columbia

In 2009, Marine Parents changed locations, from a decrepit warehouse with a leaky roof to our new corporate office in Columbia, Missouri. Also in that year, we launched the EGA shop, as a means of providing USMC related merchandise and using the funds raised to support Marine Parents outreach programs.  


Click here to read about "the move"... 


Click here to visit the Shop... 

2012: USMC Licensee
Marine Parents an official licensee

Last year, Marine Parents became an official USMC trademark licensee. You can be assured that all of your purchases from the EGA Shop are official Marine Corps gear, and that the proceeds from the sales will go toward supporting Marine Parents outreach programs. 


Click here to visit the Shop... 


We hope this week's edition of our email newsletter has been useful for you and your family. If there are topics you would like us to address, or if you have other suggestions for the newsletter, please contact us., Inc., is a 501(c)(3) public charity., Inc., was founded in January 2003 in response to parents' needs to find information and to have "a place to connect and share"® with one another during their Marine's career. Our free online services and connections have expanded to support and educate Marine moms and dads, spouses, families and friends. We've helped 400,000 Marine and recruit families during boot camp, training, active duty and deployments. We've shipped more than 34,000 care packages overseas to our Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan, sent 60,000 prayers and letters to injured Marines and served thousands of meals to wounded heroes and their families on the East and West coasts. You've found "a place to connect and share."®