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.
MarineParents.com traveled to Oklahoma City this week to donate money raised by "Operation Oklahoma Marines" to two Marine families who both lost everything in last month's deadly storms. It was a moving experience and the families were grateful. You can read all about it in our first article.
June is PTSD awareness month and our second article examines recent steps taken by the Department of Veterans Affairs to address and combat growing mental health needs among our veterans.
Our third article takes a look at a bill recently signed into law by President Obama. The Stolen Valor Act of 2013 makes it a federal crime to lie about military service or military awards for personal gain. Learn more below.
We're introducing a new feature in our newsletter this month--"Remembering Our Fallen." In this section, we will look at upcoming memorial events held in honor of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
Finally, we take a look at this issue's Team Marine Parents Featured Participants--Mike and Ryan Murphy, a father-daughter team who recently competed in the Marine Corps Marathon Historic Half, in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
God bless and Semper Fi!
Tracy Della Vecchia
Founder and Executive Director
|Operation Oklahoma Marines: YOUR Support Delivered |
|Marine Parents Family Steps Up Big|
Semper Fidelis. Always faithful. This is the tenet by which all Marines live. And, in the wake of last month's deadly storms in Oklahoma, the Marine Parents family has shown that "Semper Fidelis" is a doctrine you've adopted as well. Your unwavering dedication to remain always faithful has proven phenomenal.
|MarineParents.com, Inc. Founder and Executive Director Tracy Della Vecchia presents Sgt. Logan and his family with a check for $14,000|
Thanks to your steadfast commitment to the belief that Marines and Marine families take care of their own, our goal of raising $10,000 for "Operation Oklahoma Marines" was blown out of the water.
This week, MarineParents.com, Inc. employees Danielle and Collin traveled with Founder and Executive Director Tracy Della Vecchia from the Marine Parents office in Columbia, Missouri to Oklahoma City to meet the two Marine families who lost everything in the storms and present them with the donations raised by the Marine Parents family.
|MarineParents.com, Inc. Founder and Executive Director Tracy Della Vecchia presents Gy.Sgt. David and his family with a check for $7,000|
It was an amazing experience for all involved, and we can't thank the Marine Parents family enough for making this possible.
To read about "Operation Oklahoma Marines," click here...
To read about our trip to Oklahoma to meet the families helped by "Operation Oklahoma Marines," click here...
|June is PTSD Awareness Month |
VA Announces Plan to Fight Back
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is defined by the American Psychological Association as, "an anxiety problem that develops in some people after extremely traumatic events, such as combat, crime, an accident or natural disaster" and it is currently estimated that between 11% and 20% of American military troops returning from combat deployments suffer from this affliction.
|An estimated 11-20 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan wars veterans suffer from PTSD|
In an attempt to address and combat PTSD-related issues, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has announced that June is PTSD Awareness Month. This announcement comes in the midst of--or, perhaps, as a response to--what the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has deemed an "epidemic" -- the loss of 22 veterans a day to suicide.
In a June 3 announcement, President Obama declared that, in an attempt to battle this alarming loss of life, as well as to, "improve coordination between VA and community behavioral health providers," the VA will be hosting mental health summits at all 152 of its medical centers this summer.
These summits, which will run from July until mid-September, will bring together mental health specialists, government officials, and veterans service organizations. The summits will focus on how these individuals and organizations can work together to improve mental health outreach and treatment options for veterans.
In addition to holding summits, the VA has also hired nearly 1,600 additional mental health professionals in recent months after Congress called on the VA to improve mental health services for veterans.
To read more about PTSD Awareness Month, click here...
To read more about the VA's mental health summits, click here...
|Obama Signs New Stolen Valor Act |
Law Seeks to Protect Veterans, Punish Imposters
On Monday, June 3, 2013, President Obama signed the Stolen Valor Act of 2013, officially making it a federal crime to lie about military honors for personal gain.
|Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.) introduced the Stolen valor Act of 2013 on January 15, 2013 |
An earlier version of the bill, the Stolen Valor Act of 2005, made it illegal to lie about any sort of military service or awards and was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court last year on the grounds that it violated free speech granted by the First Amendment. The court had determined that, unless there was intent to gain some benefit or something of value by fraud, lying about military service was protected speech.
In response to this ruling, the American Legion and Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.) worked together to change the wording of the bill so that it is now a "federal crime for an individual to fraudulently hold oneself out to be a recipient of any of several specified military decorations or medals with the intent to obtain money, property, or other tangible benefit."
After being introduced by Heck in mid-January, the bill was passed by a vote of 390-3 in the House of Representatives on May 20, while its sister bill was passed unanimously by the Senate two days later before President Obama signed off on it last week.
While the new bill does not pertain to every combat award, it does protect the ones most commonly lied about by perpetrators of valor fraud, including the Medal of Honor, service crosses, the Silver Star, the Purple Heart, and combat badges. The maximum penalty for anyone found guilty of breaking this new law would be a fine of $100,000 and a year in jail for each offense.
To read more about the Stolen Valor Act of 2013, click here...
|Remembering Our Fallen|
|3rd Annual LCpl. Layton Crass Memorial Bike Run|
LCpl. Layton Crass
The third annual LCpl. Layton Crass bike ride will be held on Friday, July 21, 2013 in Richmond, Indiana. LCpl. Crass was in the 2nd Battalion/7th Marines and lost his life in Afghanistan on June 14, 2008.
This ride is held not only in honor and memory of LCpl. Crass, but also in honor and memory of his brothers in the 2/7 who lost their lives or were wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2007 and 2008, respectively, as well as those who made it home but are battling PTSD.
All proceeds from this event will be going to Purple Heart Hero Support™ (PHHS), an Outreach Program of MarineParents.com.
|Get to Know the Team|
|TMP Featured Participants: A Family Affair|
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 over 50 members of Team Marine Parents™ around the country.
This month's TMP featured participants are a father-daughter team from St. Louis, Missouri -- Mike and Ryan Murphy.
Mike and Ryan Murphy with their participant's medals after completing the MCM Historic Half in Fredericksburg, VA on May 19, 2013
Mike and Ryan joined TMP to run in support of Mike's eldest daughter (and Ryan's older sister) and her husband, both active-duty Marines at MCAGCC Twentynine Palms.
The Murphys began training for the Historic Half in January. Prior to this race, Mike has participated in a few 5K-type events and Ryan has been running off and on since high school, but the Historic Half was the first long-distance race either of the Murphys have participated in. While father and daughter were not able to train together often due to work schedules, they did track how each was doing against a common training program.
In addition to training, Mike and Ryan spent the last few months working hard to raise money for Marine Parents' outreach programs. Mike raised $400, while Ryan raised a whopping $1,060.
When asked what it was like to participate in the Historic Half together, both father and daughter had nothing but positive things to say. Ryan said it was a "great experience" and that, "it was good to know there would be a familiar face at the finish line." Mike had the following to say:
"I really enjoyed running in a race with my daughter. I enjoyed the fundraising for TMP knowing that what we raised would help the outreach programs of MarineParents. Ryan really kicked my butt in that department. Also we are very proud of the service of our daughter and son-in-law who are currently serving. So the Marine Corps Historic Half was a perfect race for me - running with one of my daughters, raising funds for MarineParents and getting to personally thank a great number of Marines for their service and commitment."
Thank you Mike and Ryan, for all of your hard work and for being a part of Team Marine Parents! We hope to see you again next year!
To learn more about Mike or to donate to his 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 from the USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) At Sea - An AV-8B Harrier assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadon (VMM) 266, (Reinforced), descends onto the flight deck of the USS Kearsarge as an MV-22B Osprey prepares to takeoff, at sea, May 27, 2013. The 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit is a Marine Air-Ground Task Force forward-deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility aboard the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group serving as a sea-based, expeditionary crisis response force capable of conducting amphibious operations across the full range of military operations.(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Christopher Q. Stone, 26th MEU Combat Camera/Released)
MarineParents.com, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) public charity. MarineParents.com, 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."®