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April 10, 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


Four months may seem like quite a while, but early August and Marine Week Seattle will be here sooner than you think!  We begin this issue of the newsletter by previewing this year's celebration of "Community, Country, and Corps."


In late January, we discussed the Farley-Kluger Initiative to Amend the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 to add the loss of a child.  The initiative, now formally known as the Sarah Grace-Farley-Kluger Act, as well it's companion bill, The Parental Bereavement Act of 2013, were introduced in Congress in early February and our second article provides an update on the progress being made by the initiative in Washington. 


We then look at a new enterprise being promoted by Commandant General Jim Amos to encourage racial and gender diversity in the Marine Corps' officer ranks to more accurately reflect the diversity of the enlisted ranks, as well as the country as a whole.   


Finally, we unveil a new section of the newsletter entitled "Get to Know the Team."  This section discusses what Team Marine Parents™ is, and will profile a different team member in each issue.     


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 Week 2013 Preview
Military Equipment, Demonstrations to be on Display in Seattle

Marine Week is just a few months away, with the fifth annual installment taking place this August 5-11 in Courtesy Photo Seattle, Washington.  The event debuted in Chicago in 2009, and, after four very successful years in Chicago, Boston, St. Louis, and Cleveland, respectively, is heading west this year.

Marine Week is a "celebration of Community, Country and Corps" and provides the public with the unique opportunity to experience and interact with the Marine Corps in an up close and personal manner.

During Marine Week, the public will be able to view the latest in military technology and weaponry, view hand-to-hand combat demonstrations, participate in clinics with Marine Corps athletic teams, and watch the Marine Corps Band and Silent Drill Platoon, among other activities. The week will culminate with the Marines "invading" Seattle, in a simulated amphibious assault meant to show off the Corps' unique abilities as America's elite expeditionary force.


All Marine Week events and activities will be open to the public, free of charge. A full schedule of events will be released early this summer, so make sure to check back for that as Marine Week 2013 draws nearer.


To learn more about Marine Week Seattle, click here to visit the official website... 

Help Change FMLA for Gold Star Mothers and Fathers
Support the Farley-Kluger Initiative   


On February 5 of this year Congressman Steve Israel (NY) introduced the Sarah Grace-Farley-Kluger Act in the House the same day Senator Jon Tester introduced a                 c ompanion bill, The Parental Bereavement Act of 2013, in the Senate.   


The existing FMLA applies to all public agencies, all public and private elementary and secondary schools, and companies with 50 or more employees.  It states that employers who meet the aforementioned criteria "must provide an eligible employee with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year for any of the following reasons:

* for the birth and care of a newborn child
* for placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care;
* to care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition;
* to take medical leave because of a serious health condition; or
* to care for an injured service member in the family"


The Sarah Grace-Farley-Kluger Act, as well as The Parental Bereavement Act of 2013 is to get the death of a child added to the current FMLA list.  Both contend that "the death of a child is one of the worst experiences that anyone can endure" and that it is "unacceptable that the death of a child is not included as a protected reason to qualify for the benefits that are set forth in the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993."   


So far this initiative has 14 cosponsors in the House, 7 in the Senate, and almost 60,000 signatures from people like you.  Please continue to support the Sarah Grace-Farly-Kluger Act, as well as The Parental Bereavement Act of 2013, and help us make a difference!


Click here to sign the petition!
Amos Calls for Diversity in Leadership
Corps' Senior Officers to Better Reflect Enlisted, American Demographics

On March 26, Marine Commandant General Jim Amos released a "white paper" outlining a new, aggressive
Photo By: Cpl. Nate Carberry
Photo By: Cpl. Nate Carberry
campaign to increase racial and gender diversity among the Marine Corps' senior officers.

In the paper, Amos said the Marine Corps has "failed" in achieving a diversity reflective of the enlisted ranks or of American society among its senior officers, despite the creation of the Military Leadership Diversity Commission in 2009.  Amos went on to say that he believes it is  "imperative that the Corps take a fresh approach to diversity, one that reflects our reputation for performance and leadership."

To further the diversification of officers in the Marine Corps, Amos called for the creation of four task force groups comprising officers from all Marine communities.  Two of the groups are to focus on attracting and retaining female and minority officers, one will focus on leadership, accountability, and mentoring, and the final one will focus on culture and leading change. 

No timeline was given for when the task force groups will be launched, and the size of the groups remains unclear. 

To read more about the Commandant's diversity initiative, click here... 
Get to Know the Team
TMP Featured Participant: Cheryl Fairfield

Team Marine Parents™ is a group of individuals, generally parents, family, and friends of Marines, who participate in athletic events nationwide to support our troops.  The mission is to raise funds and awareness of the organization's outreach programs.  Currently, there are approximately 50 members of Team Marine Parents™ around the country.

This issue's featured TMP™ team member is Cheryl Fairfield.  Cheryl is both the mother and daughter of a Marine, her father Loren Grace having served as an MP in Cuba during the Korean War, and her son Jake currently serving with 1/6 Weapons Company. 

This year, Cheryl has already participated in the 2013 Southern Indiana Classic, and will be competing in the Allstate Life Insurance Chicago 13.1 Marathon® on June 8, as well as the 38th annual Marine Corps Marathon on October 27. 

Cheryl is running in support of Purple Heart Hero Support, and has currently raised $40 of her $300 goal. 

Visit Cheryl's TMP page to learn more and donate to her campaign, click here...


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 04/01/13 by Cpl. Bobby Gonzalez 

BAl Hamra, Al Hamra, At Sea - Gunnery Sgt. Andrew J. Hodges (center), foreign area staff non-commissioned officer, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), poses with Marines from Lima Company, Battalion Landing Team 3/5, 15th MEU, and members of the United Arab Emirates Defense Force during Exercise Iron Magic, Dec. 12. Iron Magic is a bilateral amphibious exercise between the 15th MEU and the United Arab Emirates' Defense Forces that focuses on expanding levels of cooperation, enhancing mutual maritime capabilities, as well as promoting long-term regional stability and interoperability between U.S. forces and the United Arab Emirates. 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., 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."®