Marine Parents Logo Newsletter
In This Issue
Great Gear for Marines and Families
Battle of Belleau Wood
Operation Oklahoma Marines Thank You
Get to Know the Team
Special Offer
Learning Center:
Operational Security

When communicating online, your Marine's privacy is as important as Operational Security. Please respect YOUR Marine's privacy!

Operational Security... Now?


Click to learn more!

EGA Shop  

Gear for Marines and Family Members at the EGA Shop:

Help Your Marine to the Next Promotion with Books from the Commandant's Reading List!

We Support
the Following
Farley-Kluger Petition

Learning Center:
About Deployment


Communications From your Marine, with the USMC, and with other families


Bills, taxes, legal issues, injuries, notification from the Marine Corps



Learning Center:
About Homecoming
Add Your Marine!
Or Sailor, or Soldier,  
or Airman.

Do you have a loved one deployed to a combat zone?

Request a Care Package!

It's easy and FREE.

Click here to learn more.

Sponsor a Care Package

Newsletter Signup 



Or just text MARINEPARENTS  to 22828 to sign up!   



Purple Heart Hero Support™



Operation Prayers & Letters™



Care Package Project™    



Team Marine Parents™



2013 Marine Corps Marathon   

Join Us Online

View our profile on LinkedInLike us on FacebookView our videos on YouTubeFollow us on Twitter

June 26, 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. 
Vintage Recruiting Poster on a Metal Sign $19.95

June 26, 1918 marked the end of one of the seminal battles in Marine Corps history.  Our first article looks at the Battle of Belleau Wood and its legacy today, on the 95th anniversary of the battle's end. 

As many of you know, earlier this month traveled to Oklahoma City to donate money raised by "Operation Oklahoma Marines" to two Marine families who both lost everything in last month's deadly storms.  Both families were more than grateful, and one of them sent us a thank you note they wanted us to share with you all, so you know just how much your efforts have meant. 

Finally, we take a look at this issue's Team Marine Parents Featured Participant--Dale Larson, a dedicated volunteer who works tirelessly to support military members and veterans in multiple ways.

God bless and Semper Fi!


Web Signature




Tracy Della Vecchia

Founder and Executive Director, Inc.
95th Anniversary of the Battle of Belleau Wood
Looking Back on History

The Marine Corps, more so than any other branch of America's military, values and embraces its history. Beginning in boot camp, every Marine is educated on the Corps' proud and storied past as they learn what it means to be part of such a prestigious organization. In the spirit of the value the Marine Corps places on its history, we wanted to give you, Marine families and supporters, an opportunity to embrace and learn about this part of Marine Corps legacy as well.

Belleau Wood

U.S. Marines and French soldiers stand in formation during a private Memorial Day ceremony in Belleau Wood in 2011. (Marine Corps photo by Master Sgt. Grady T. Fontana)
Today, June 26, 2013, marks the 95th anniversary of the end of one of the most important and legendary battles in Marine Corps history--The Battle of Bois de Belleau, or Belleau Wood.  This was a battle that exemplified the Marine Corps' core values of honor, courage, and commitment.  It was a battle that catapulted the Marine Corps to worldwide prominence.  And it was a battle that helped turn the tide of "The Great War" (as WWI was then known) in favor of the Allies.   


In June of 1914, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria set in motion a series of events that would lead to the outbreak of World War I in August of that year.  On one side were Germany, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire (commonly referred to as the Central Powers).  On the other were Great Britain, France, Russia, Italy, and Japan (commonly referred to as the Allied Powers).  After three years of neutrality, the United States entered the war on the side of the Allies in April of 1917. 

Roughly a year after entering the war, the first major battle involving American troops took place in June of 1918 at Belleau Wood-- a 200-acre forest near the commune of Chateau-Thierry, France, approximately 53 miles northeast of Paris.

Battle Summary

"La Brigade Marine Americain Au Bois de Belleau" or "The American Marines in Belleau Wood" by French war correspondant Georges Scott.
The Battle of Belleau Wood began on June 6, 1918, and would prove to be one of the most ferocious battles fought by American troops during the war.  The 5th and 6th Marine Regiments, under the command of the U.S. Army's 2nd Division, were tasked with capturing Belleau Wood
and clearing it of German soldiers. 

To launch their assault on the forest, the Marines first had to cross a wheat field into oncoming German machine gun fire.  Trying to cross the field proved to be an incredibly dangerous undertaking and over 1,000 Marines died on the first day of battle, more than the Corps had lost in it's entire 143 year history up to that point. 

After three weeks of brutal tree-to-tree fighting, including multiple charges on German machine gun nests with fixed bayonets and hand-to-hand combat, and after trading possession of the forest with the Germans six times, the Marines cleared Belleau Wood of the German Army entirely on June 26, at the cost of almost 2,000 Marines dead and almost 8,000 injured.  The battle proved to be the end to the last major German offensive of the war, and less than six months later the war came to an end.


The Battle of Belleau Wood was a landmark event in Marine Corps history.  Prior to the battle, the United States Marine Corps was a little known, unproven commodity.  After three weeks of displaying the courage, determination, and win-at-all-costs attitude that has become synonymous with the Marine Corps in the years since, that all changed, and the Marines have since been known as--arguably--the most formidable fighting force in the world. 

The moss-covered "Devil Dog" fountain, located in Belleau, France, symbolizes the spirit of the Marines who fought there in World War I. (Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Lisa R. Strickland)
It was also here that the Marine Corps' "Devil Dog" nickname was supposedly born.  As the story goes, German officers, in their battle reports, referred to the Marines as "Teufel Hunden" (German for "Devil Dogs") as a result of the ferocity with which the Marines fought, and the name stuck.    

After the battle, the French Army renamed Belleau Wood in honor of the Marines, changing the name to "Bois de la Brigade de Marine"--"The Wood of the Marine Brigade."  Furthermore, the 5th and 6th Marine Regiments received the Croix de Guerre, an award for distinction and heroism in combat with the enemy, three times during the First World War--the only regiments in the American Expeditionary Force to do so.  As a result, The 5th and 6th Marine Regiments are authorized to wear the French fourragère, a military award that distinguishes military units as a whole and that is shaped like a braided cord, on their dress uniforms.

Belleau Wood was also the setting for two of the most famous quotes in Marine Corps history.  On June 2, 1918, as the Marines were arriving at Belleau Wood to support the French Army, they found the French retreating.  A French officer ordered the Marines to do the same.  Captain Lloyd Williams, of the 5th Marine Regiment, refused to do so, replying, "Retreat, Hell! We just got here."  Four days later, on June 6, First Sergeant Dan Daly is said to have rallied his men by yelling, "Come on you sons of b******!  Do you want to live forever!" as they charged into battle.  

Uncommon Valor

While it would be another quarter century before Admiral Chester Nimitz would famously say "Uncommon valor was a common virtue," about the sacrifices made by Marines on Iwo Jima in WWII, it could just as easily have been said about the Marines at Belleau Wood.  Exhausted, outnumbered, and outgunned, the Marines refused to yield.  Against all odds and expectations, they absorbed everything the Germans could throw at them and, in true Marine fashion, persevered.  Perhaps the character and courage displayed by the Marines at Belleau Wood is best reflected in the battle account of U.S. Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniel's, who wrote:  

Rows of crosses and Stars of David mark the 2,289 graves that at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery, commemorating the U.S. and French service members who lost their lives during the Battle of Belleau Wood. Each Memorial Day, thousands of U.S. and French service members, their families, tourists, and locals, gather to honor the memories of the war-dead buried there. (Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Lydia M. Davey)
"In all the history of the Marine Corps there is no such battle as that one in Belleau Wood.  Fighting day and night without relief, without sleep, often without water, and for days without hot rations, the marines met and defeated the best divisions that Germany could throw into the line.


The heroism and doggedness of that battle are unparalleled.  Time after time officers seeing their lines cut to pieces, seeing their men so dog tired that they even fell asleep under shellfire, hearing their wounded calling for the water they were unable to supply, seeing men fight on after they had been wounded and until they dropped unconscious; time after time officers seeing these things, believing that the very limit of human endurance had been reached, would send back messages to their post command that their men were exhausted.


But in answer to this would come the word that the line must hold, and, if possible, those lines must attack.  And the lines obeyed.  Without water, without food, without rest, they went forward - and forward every time to victory."


To learn more about the Battle of Belleau Wood, please click here... 


To read about this year's Memorial Day ceremony, please click here... 

Operation Oklahoma Marines
Thank You From the Gunny

Thanks to you, the Marine Parents family, "Operation Oklahoma Marines" was an overwhelming success. Both of the Marine families that "Operation Olahoma Marines" helped were exceedingly grateful and wanted to let you all know how much it meant to them. Below is the beginning of the thank you note from one of the families, and the rest can be found at the link below.  Enjoy!

"Dear Tracy, Danielle, Collin, & Marine Parents Family,, Inc. Founder and Executive Director Tracy Della Vecchia presents Gy.Sgt. David and his family with a 2002 Chevy Silverado donated by Marine Dad Doug from Salina, Kansas
We cannot even begin to express our gratitude for all of your hard work, compassion, and time that each of you devoted to helping our family. It is truly wonderful to know that the Marine Parents are so willing to help other Marines and their families in a time of need..."




To read this note in its entirety, click here... 

Get to Know the Team
TMP Featured Participant: Dale Larson

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.

Dale Larson, left, after completing a race.
This month's TMP featured participant is a man who is fully committed to supporting our military members and veterans, Dale Larson.

Dale is from Ramona, California and, in addition to joining TMP to show his support, has also been volunteering with Purple Heart Hero Support since last year, serving hot meals on a weekly basis at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego.  

Dale runs in support of Purple Heart Hero Support and entered two races this year.  The San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon took place on June 2, and in less than two weeks, he'll be competing in the Costume Party Half Marathon, also in San Diego, on July 7. 

Dale hasn't reached his fundraising goal of $300 yet, but is optimistic that he can change that before his next race in a week and a half (and, with your help, we know he can!).  Good luck Dale, and thank you for your hard work and dedication to such a great cause!
To read more about Dale or to donate to his campaign, please 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.  


Banner Photo--Marines from Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., were filmed reenacting the Battle of Belleau Wood June 9. The film will be used in the new phase of the National Museum of the Marine Corps scheduled to open April 2010. The film will be one of the centerpieces of the new wing of the museum.
(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Bryan G. Carfrey), 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."®