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GI Bill Update
Volunteers Needed
Females in Infantry
Quick Reads
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August 28, 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. 

We begin this issue of our newsletter with a look at the 2013 version of one of our longest-running fundraising campaigns, the Dollar Campaign.  Here at Marine Parents, we've been holding the Dollar Campaign annually since 2007.  This year, for the first time, it will be held in support of Purple Heart Hero Support.  The article below provides information on the campaign itself, along with how you, the Marine Parents family, can get involved. 

As part of our effort to provide you with the most up-to-date news possible on the status of the GI Bill, our second story takes a look at comments made last week by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announcing his intention to fight to ensure that the government's budget cuts do not impact the Post-9/11 GI Bill that he, Hagel, helped push through congress six years ago. 

Many of you have probably been to our social media site Marine Family Network (MFN) and taken advantage of the various services it provides and the friendships it can foster.  However, as with so many of the services we provide, MFN depends on the dedication and hard work of volunteers.  If you think that you have what it takes to join our crew of volunteers, and are interested in doing so, check out our third article for more information.

Our fourth article takes a look at one of the bigger shake-ups in the Corps in recent memory--the inclusion of females in infantry training beginning this fall. 

Last Tuesday, August 20, our Founder and Executive Director appeared on the American Heroes Network's radio program.  Our fifth piece looks at that interview.

Our second-to-last piece is a series of three "Quick Read" paragraphs, and provides a short look at a change in the Marine Corps Marathon, the retirement of the Marine Corps' mascot, Chesty XIII, and a fun look at "49 Reasons Why America Can't Fold Its Marine Corps." 

Finally, we take a look at this issue's Team Marine Parents Featured Participants--a husband and wife team training for the White Mountain Milers Half Marathon in North Conway, New Hampshire this October--Kurt and Brenda Berky. 

God bless and Semper Fi!


Web Signature




Tracy Della Vecchia

Founder and Executive Director, Inc.
Hagel to Fight to Protect Troops' Rights
GI Bill Update

Secretary Chuck Hagel addresses Pentagon employees and service members during an all-hands call during his first day at the Pentagon, Feb. 27, 2013. (Photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley) 
Last Thursday, August 22, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel pledged to protect the ability to transfer GI Bill benefits to family members from the Federal Government's ongoing widespread budget cuts at a town hall meeting at Marine Corps Base Kanehoe Bay, Hawaii.

In 2007 and 2008, then-Senator Hagel (R-Neb.) was part of a group of combat veterans who helped push the Post-9/11 GI Bill through Congress.  As part of the bill, military members or veterans are allowed to share the GI Bill benefits with a spouse and/or their children after six years of service in return for the signing of an additional four years service obligation.

At the town hall meeting, Hagel addressed questions about the future of the bill, at one point saying, "We will continue to do everything we can to protect every element and fund every part of that bill." 

This is an issue of particular interest to Secretary Hagel due to the fact that, in addition to helping push the bill through Congress, both he and his younger brother, Tom, used the Vietnam-era GI Bill to attend college after returning from infantry tours in Vietnam.

To read more about Secretary Hagel's comments on the future of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, please click here... 
Paying it Forward...
MFN Volunteers Needed

Marine Parents' social network, Marine Family Network (MFN) is in need of New Membership Volunteers.  This is a simple, rewarding way to help other Marine parents, family members, and friends as they (and you) navigate the anxiety and uncertainty that comes with having a loved one in the Marines.  

Job duties of New Membership Volunteers include: approving new members, sending welcome emails, posting helpful info on new member's profile pages and directing them to groups that would be of interest to them.

The skills required for this position are simple--an understanding of how to copy & paste text on your computer, and the ability to work in multiple screens at once are all you need.

To become a volunteer, you must sign a one-year contract to work for a minimum of 10 hours per week.  Those 10 hours can be completed at your convenience, day or night.

Volunteers will undergo thorough training before going "out there" to the message boards.  Training takes about a month and other volunteers will be there to provide support and answer any questions you may have along the way. 

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer for MFN should click the link below to fill out an application.  Please be specific about the position for which you are applying (New Membership Volunteer).

To learn more about becoming a volunteer, or to sign up, please click here... 
Marines to Allow Female Infantry Training
Changes on the Horizon

Cpl. Taylor Mejia, an intelligence analyst deployed to Afghanistan with the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward), practices speed and tactical reloads while training to become an augment for a female engagement team. (Photo by Cpl. Ryan Rholes) 
The Marine Corps has recently announced that, beginning this fall, it will allow enlisted women to participate in basic infantry training at Camp Geiger, North Carolina and at Camp Pendleton, California. This change comes after what many consider to be a controversial lifting of the combat exclusion policy barring women from certain infantry positions.
Supporters of this change view it as a major step toward gender-equality in the Corps while opponents view it as a social experiment on political correctness that will lower the combat standards and effectiveness of infantry units.

Under this plan, newly enlisted female Marines will volunteer for spots in the Infantry Training Battalion as part of ongoing research to determine if any additional ground combat jobs may open to women.  This research is expected to last for years, and officials have said that no women will be able to join infantry units before 2015, pending the research's findings.

To read more from the Marine Corps Times, please click here...

To read more from UT San Diego, please click here...
Interview with the Founder on American Heroes Network Radio
10 Years of Service and Support 

Last Tuesday, August 20,, Inc.'s Founder and Executive Director, Tracy Della Vecchia, appeared on the American Heroes Network's radio program to talk about our organization and life as a "Marine Mom."  Topics of discussion include, but aren't limited to: the founding of Marine Parents in 2003, our growth and evolution over the last decade, our outreach programs, and what it's like to have a loved one in the military.

Maybe you've been in the Marine Parents family for a while now, or maybe you've only recently discovered us, but for anyone who is interested, this interview is a great way to gain a deeper insight into our organization, straight from the mouth of the woman whose vision and dedication to supporting Marines and their families spawned, Inc. 10 years ago.

To listen to the interview with Founder and Executive Director Tracy Della Vecchia, please click here...
Quick Reads
MCM Update, Mascot Retires, 49 Reasons Why America Can't Fold Its Marine Corps  
  • The Marine Corps Marathon announced a change in its route last week, eliminating a 150-foot grade between miles 6 and 9, making it easier on participants and lessening the chance of a bottle-neck on that stretch of the course.          Click here to read more...  

  • Today, August 28, 2013, marked the retirement of the Marine Corps' mascot, Chesty XIII, in a ceremony attended by the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General John Amos.  Click here to read more...               
  • In May, The Fiscal Times ran a story titled, "Why Afghanistan May be the Marines' Last Fight" on the future of the Corps.  As a (lighthearted) rebuttal, Business Insider ran a piece earlier this month titled, "49 Reasons Why America Can't Fold Its Marine Corps." Click here to see "49 Reasons Why America Can't Fold Its Marine Corps"...  
Get to Know the Team
TMP Featured Participants: Husband & Wife Team Berky

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.

Proud parents Kurt and Brenda Berky with their Marine son.
This month's TMP featured participants are a husband and wife team from Madison, Connecticut--TMP members Kurt and Brenda Berky.

On October 27, Team Berky will be participating in the White Mountain Milers Half Marathon in North Conway, New Hampshire in honor of their son, a US Marine who will be deployed this fall. 

Brenda grew up in North Conway, and it has always been a very special place to her and her family, so being able to compete there with her husband for such a great cause is a dream come true!

Team Berky is raising funds for the Care Package Project because, in their words, "We feel it is one way we can give back to all of our Marines and express our gratitude for their sacrifice." 

So far Team Berky has raised $225 of their $300 goal.  They're getting close, and with your help, they can reach, and exceed, their goal in no time!

To read more about Team Berky, or to donate to their fundraising 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--
 Principe Training Camp, SP, Spain - A U.S. Marine with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response fires an M107 Barrett sniper rifle during advance marksmanship training July 30, 2013, as part of bilateral training with the Spanish army at the Principe Training Camp in Spain. The bilateral event took place from July 29 to Aug. 1 and served to sustain marksmanship proficiency and build enduring relationships between each military. The Marines and sailors of SP-MAGTF Crisis Response provide a limited-defense crisis response capability in support of U.S. and partner-nation security interests within their area of responsibility and also participate in training events with regional partners. The unit is temporarily postured in Spain. (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Michael Petersheim)      , 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."