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Ten Years On, A Nation Reflects
Military Ordered to Restore Tuition Assistance Programs
2013 MCM Registration Open
March 30 is Welcome Home Vietnam Veteran's Day
Adapted Clothing For Wounded Heroes
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March 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 begin by looking at Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel's statement regarding the ten-year-anniversary of the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom. 


We have also included the latest news about Congress' order that the military must restore its recently cut Tuition Assistance Programs.  


Registration for the 2013 Marine Corps Marathon opens today at noon EST, and we've included all the information you need to sign up for the race. 


Saturday, March 30 is "Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day", and we here at Marine Parents want to express our thanks and gratitude for the brave men and women who sacrificed so much more than four decades ago.


Finally, we discuss one of Purple Heart Hero Support's more popular projects, the sewing of specially adapted athletic shorts for our wounded heroes by a group of women from Mid-Missouri.   


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.
Ten Years On, A Nation Reflects
Secretary Hagel Releases Statement Commemorating Tenth Anniversary

On March 19, 2003, Former President George W. Bush launched Operation Iraqi Freedom.   

Last week marked the ten-year-anniversary of that historic day.  To commemorate the anniversary, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel released the following statement:    


 "This week marks the ten year anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq War.  While that conflict has been brought to an end, we must never lose sight of the tremendous sacrifices our brave men and women in uniform made during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn.  Every one of the more than one million service members that deployed to Iraq, often for multiple tours of duty, deserves our highest praise and deepest debt of gratitude.  They served with valor and met every challenge -- from the streets of Fallujah and Sadr City to outposts in Ramadi and Mosul -- always watching out for their brothers and sisters in arms.  


The American people will always honor the sacrifices of the 4,475 U.S. service members who died in Iraq, and the more than 32,000 who came home wounded.  Every man and woman who served in Iraq carries with them the scars of war.  As we remember these quiet heroes this week we are also reminded of their families and their sacrifices, as we also honor and thank them. 


Our reflections include the Iraqi people -- the Iraqi soldiers and police officers who died alongside our own, the men and women who were caught in the crossfire, and those who still struggle today to secure and govern their nation.  The Iraqi people will determine the future of Iraq and the United States will continue to support their efforts for a peaceful, secure, free, and prosperous nation."


Military Ordered to Restore Tuition Assistance Programs
Coast Guard Left Out in the Cold

In response to widespread outcry, Congress voted March 21 to restore tuition assistance programs to all branches of the military, except for the Coast Guard, less than two weeks after every branch except for the Navy announced that they would be indefinitely suspending the programs due to wide-spread government budget cuts enacted by the Obama administration earlier this month.  


The bill, which is now on its way to the White House for Presidential approval, ordered the four largest branches of the military to continue paying tuition assistance through the end of the fiscal year on September 30, minus the 9.4 percent cut required by the sequester. Congress did not provide any additional funds to cover the programs, meaning that the branches will have to make other cuts in order to keep the tuition assistance programs going. The amendment is worded as an order, providing no flexibility for the services.      


The reason the Coast Guard's tuition assistance programs were not saved by the amendment is that the amendment only applied to the defense budget. The Coast Guard's tuition assistance programs are included in the Homeland Security budget.  


For more information on how Congress saved Tuition Assistance, click here...

For the Dept. of Defense press release, click here...
Registration For 2013 MCM Open
Don't Miss Out On Your Chance to Sign Up For "The People's Marathon"

Registration for the 38th annual Marine Corps Marathon begins today, Wednesday, March 27, at 12 noon EST. After a historic 2012 saw the MCM become the fastest sellout in the history of American marathon events, filling its 30,000 slots in just 2 hours and 41 minutes, anticipation is extremely high for this year's running of "The People's Marathon" on Sunday, October 27.   


Due to the speed in which the marathon will fill up, you may miss out on your chance to sign up for one of the initial 30,000 slots.  Should that be the case, don't fear, Marine Parents can help.  As a 2013 Marine Corps Marathon Charity Partner, Marine Parents has a limited number of additional bibs available for those who wish to sign up for Team Marine Parents.  Should you choose to join Team Marine Parents, in addition to the standard $99 entry fee, we require that you pledge to raise $300 in charitable donations for, Inc.™ and its outreach programs.  


Beginning in historic Arlington, Virginia, the marathon route weaves through the Washington D.C. area, passing by a number of national monuments and iconic locations, including the Pentagon, the Washington and Jefferson Monuments, the WWII and Korean War Memorials, the Smithsonian, and the U.S. Capitol building. The race concludes with participants passing Arlington National Cemetery before crossing the finish line at the Marine Corps War Memorial in a poignant, emotionally moving finale.   


After crossing the finish line, runners will have a finisher's medal placed around their neck by a Marine and will then have the option of having their photo taken in front of the Marine Corps War Memorial.   


After receiving their finishers medals, participants will proceed to the hospitality area, where they will be given a "Post Race Recovery Meal" consisting nutritious, easily digestible food to help speed up the recovery process, such as pretzels, fruit, and hummus.   


For those who want to experience this great race but are unable to participate in the actual running, as well as those participants who want to keep the festivities going after the race ends, there will be a "Finish Festival" in Rosslyn from 8:00 am until 4:00 pm.  The festival will be held near the finish line, and will include food from local restaurants, live music and contest giveaways.  A beer garden, sponsored by Michelob, will be providing beer for participants who are over the age of 21 and have a valid photo ID.  Each runner's bib will have a tear-off coupon on it, good for one free beer.   


We encourage you to check out America's most patriotic marathon and see for yourself why, in just 10 short years, this race has exploded into one of the five most popular marathons in the country and one of the top 10 in the world.



Click here to learn more about the 2013 Marine Corps Marathon...

Click here to learn how you can join Team Marine Parents for the 2013 MCM...


March 30 is Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day
Honor Those Who Answered the Call

This Saturday, March 30, is "Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day" and marks the 40th anniversary of the last American troops being withdrawn from Vietnam.  

What began in California in 2000 as a crusade by a small group of Vietnam Veterans has, in just over a decade, become a nation-wide day of remembrance and, 
in 2011, the U.S. Senate unanimously voted to make March 30 "Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day."

Events will be held around the country to acknowledge and honor the more than 9 million men and women who served on active duty during the Vietnam War, as well as the almost 60,000 who never came home. 

Please join us at Marine Parents in saying "Thank you and welcome home" to those veterans who sacrificed so much for their country so we wouldn't have to.

Click here to read more about "Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day"...
Adapted Clothing for Wounded Heroes
Quilting Group Provides Sense of Normalcy
For servicemen and women severely injured in battle, part of the recovery process is becoming self-sufficient again in tasks most take for granted; feeding themselves, brushing their teeth, bathing, and dressing. The sooner our heroes can become independent again, the sooner they can begin the internal, emotional healing process and learn to live their new "normal".

To help provide that independence, our wounded heroes need clothing that has been adapted for ease in dressing and undressing and Purple Heart Hero Support has found a special group of ladies to help us with this--the Peacemakers Quilting Group from Moberly, Missouri.  

The women, who normally work on quilts, have come together through the Randolph County "Spice of Life" program for active seniors. So far, the women have altered more than 60 pairs of athletic shorts, which have been a HUGE hit at the Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.  In fact, the shorts are so popular that Purple Heart Hero Support has been receiving numerous calls from people looking to purchase them directly from us!  

We strongly encourage anyone who is interested in helping contribute to this project to donate to PHHS.  In addition to adaptive shorts, your donations also go toward tote bags filled with useful items for our wounded heroes, such as a journal to keep track of medical information, a business card holder to keep track of doctors' cards, Purple Heart pins and magnets for family members to honor their loved ones, and water and snacks.  Both the shorts and tote bags are given to wounded heroes at our monthly PHHS dinners at Walter Reed and at the medical facility in San Diego.

Click here to learn more about these women or to donate to PHHS......


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 03/14/13 by GySgt. Reina Barnett 

Barstow, California - Marines with the Silent Drill Platoon from Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., perform precise and deliberate movements with their highly polished M1 rifles, as part of the Battle Color Detachment's visit to Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, March 11. These Marines entertained the audience with their intricate drill routine, performed without verbal commands. The rifle inspector highlights the performance with an unrivaled inspection of his Marines, performing difficult rifle spins and exchanges., 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."