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Marine Awarded Bronze Star
New Distinguished Warfare Medal
Health needs of caregivers studied
Marine Father Meets New Daughter
Marines vs. Surfers
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February 27, 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.

In this issue  


In this issue, we honor one Marine who gave his life in service to his country, and highlight another who waited through months of deployment to meet his brand new baby daughter.


This issue contains news about a new Distinguished Warfare Medal, which has been introduced by the Department of Defense to recognize contributions to battlefield operations undertaken from thousands of miles away.


We also present a new research study undertaken by the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC). If you are a caregiver for a service member with moderate to severe TBI, we encourage you to take part. Additionally, you can go to to find people who are sharing your experiences.  


Team Marine Parents has completed the steps required to be a charity partner with the Marine Corps Marathon this October, so if you know any marathoners, let them know that there is a place for them on our team! But the team is not just for marathoners, as we show in this issue.


Finally, we highlight an area of southern California where Marines and surfers have alternate uses for the same beachfront property. 


I hope you enjoy this issue of our newsletter and will forward it to folks you know that will benefit from the articles but may not be registered to receive it.



God bless and Semper Fi!


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Tracy Della Vecchia

Founder and Executive Director, Inc.
Marine Awarded Bronze Star
Posthumous award to fallen Marine

Sergeant William Stacey, a squad leader who served with 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, was killed in action in Helmand province, Afghanistan on Jan. 31, 2012. On February 15th, 2013, Sgt. Stacey was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device for valor for his actions throughout his deployment. 


Here is the text of a letter Sgt. Stacey wrote to his family, to be read in the event of his death while deployed to Afghanistan: 

"My death did not change the world; it may be tough for you to justify its meaning at all. But there is a greater meaning to it. Perhaps I did not change the world. Perhaps there is still injustice in the world. But there will be a child who will live because men left the security they enjoyed in their home country to come to his. And this child will learn in the new schools that have been built. He will walk his streets not worried about whether or not his leader's henchmen are going to come and kidnap him. He will grow into a fine man who will pursue every opportunity his heart could desire. He will have the gift of freedom, which I have enjoyed for so long. If my life buys the safety of a child who will one day change this world, then I know that it was all worth it.


Semper Fidelis means always faithful. Always faithful to God, Country and Corps. Always faithful to the principles and beliefs that guided me into the service. And on that day in October when I placed my hand on a bible and swore to defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic, I meant it."

 Click here to read more...  

New Distinguished Warfare Medal
The changing face of modern warfare
Earlier this month, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta approved the creation of a new Distinguished Warfare Medal. The medal is designed to recognize actions that have had a major impact on battlefield operations, yet were performed remotely by servicemen and women located thousands of miles from actual combat.

In the past decade, technology has dramatically changed the methods of modern warfare, and the actions of a drone operator in Nevada or a computer programmer in Virginia can have lifesaving effects half a world away. Although designed to recognize the importance of these nontraditional battlefield roles, the award has become controversial due to its order of precedence among other medals, and three representatives on Tuesday introduced a bill to reduce the ranking of the award.

Click here to
Health needs of caregivers studied
Caregivers needed to join new DVBIC research study  

Do you care for a service member or veteran who served in OIF/OEF and returned with a moderate or severe TBI? If so, you may be eligible to participate in a study requested by Congress. Your input may help improve the health care services offered to you. Help your fellow caregivers and loved ones! If you or someone you know may be interested please call 1-855 821-1469, email, or view our flyer online:  


Click here for more information... 

Marine Father Meets New Daughter
Birth followed over internet from Afghanistan
Staff Sgt. Luis A. Rogers
has three sons. He had always been present for the births of his children, but when his daughter was born, he was thousands of miles away in Afghanistan.

On his daughter's birthday, and for the following three months, Staff Sgt. Rogers kept abreast of events at home via video chat. But this month, he finally got to meet Emmali Grace...

Click here to read the story...
Marines vs. Surfers
Surfin' USA
Many Americans are familiar with the old Beach Boys tune "Surfin' USA".

One of the beaches mentioned in that song is called Trestles, named after railroad trestles that parallel the beach at that point along the southern California coast. The waves at trestles have excellent form, and surfurs have flocked there for many years. Trestles also happens to be located on Camp Pendleton, and the USMC has recently objected to a status change for the site...

Click here to read the story...

The strength test for USMC recruits

Physical fitness is of utmost importance in the Marine Corps. Aspiring Marines must pass an Initial Strength Test (IST) in order to be considered for enlistment. The minimum standards for passing the Initial Strength Test are as follows:



- 2 Pull Ups

- 44 Crunches (2 minutes)

- 1.5 Mile Run - 13:30



- Flexed Arm Hang - 12 seconds

- 44 Crunches (2 Minutes)

- 1.5 Mile Run - 15:00


Do you think you could pass the USMC IST? Would you like to be able to? Join Team Marine Parents, and join others who have committed themselves to sharing what they can of the experiences of their Marine. If you have a watch, and your local high school has a track and a pull up bar, you have everything you need to measure your progress. How long does it take you to go six times around the track now? Can you get around once in two minutes, or three?


Team members strive to get/stay fit while at the same time raising money for and awareness of Marine Parents and its outreach programs. To Join, call (573) 449-2003, email, or


Click here to join the team...

Click here to read more about USMC PFT's...


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.  


The banner photo is a Marine Corps photo taken at sea 02/05/2013 by 2nd Lt. Matthew W. Finnerty. Marines and sailors from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit and Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group conduct a visit, board, search and seizure exercise aboard the USS Winston Churchill (DDG 81) as part of Exercise Leading Edge 13, Feb. 5. The exercise is a multinational and interagency supported exercise designed to develop and refine weapons integration capabilities among partnering nations including suspect maritime material inspections, seizure and disposition. The 15th MEU is deployed as part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group as a U.S. Central Command theater reserve force, providing support for maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.

The Bronze Star ceremony photo was taken  Feb. 15, 2013 by Lance Cpl. James GulliverAnna Stacey, sister of Sgt. William Stacey, holds her mother Robin Stacey in an embrace during a ceremony at the 5th Marine Regiment parade field here Feb. 15, 2013. Sergeant Stacey, a squad leader who served with 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device for valor for his many acts of perseverance and courage during his deployment to Afghanistan in late 2011. In a letter written to his family just before he was killed in action in Helmand province, Afghanistan, Jan. 31, 2012, Sgt. Stacey said he was willing to give his life for the good of the people of Afghanistan and for his Marines.      

The photo accompanying "Marine meets daughter" is provided courtesy of the USMC. Staff Sgt. Luis A. Rogers, a Sunrise, Fla., native and utilities chief with Combat Logistics Battalion 2, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, holds his daughter, Emmali Grace, for the first time shortly after returning to Camp Lejeune, N.C., Feb. 1, 2013. Emmali Grace was born Nov. 2, 2012, while Luis was deployed to Afghanistan supporting logistical operations.  

The photo accompanying "Marines vs. Surfers" was taken by Sgt. Christopher O'Quin on 2/13/2013. Marines with Amphibious Assault Vehicle Platoon, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, land their amphibious assault vehicle 7 as part of the final wave, during amphibious operations as part of Exercise Iron Fist 2013, aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Feb. 13, 2013. During Exercise Iron Fist, the 13th MEU and members of Japan Ground Self Defense Force spent three weeks participating in bilateral training which improved their interoperability, enhanced military-to-military relations, and sharpened skills essential to crisis response., 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 35,000 care packages overseas to our Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan, sent 80,000 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."