April 21, 2014


Marine Parents was built on volunteer hours, time, dedication and support. Our mission is two-fold: to provide support to Marines, military personnel, and their family members, and to give people in communities across our great nation opportunities to support the troops.

We are truly grateful for the time, energy, skill, dedication and Esprit de Corps offered by so many generous and hard-working volunteers.

Though the volunteers of Marine Parents do not commit their time and energy with the expectation of receiving awards, recognition and thank you notes, celebration of their volunteer work is deserved.


Please take a moment to click here to write a note of thanks to our volunteers. If you have a personal experience to share, please tell the volunteers how their service impacted your life.

In my mind, there are two types of volunteers. The first type are volunteers with a little v. For little v volunteers, volunteering is something they do. It's a way to make a positive impact in the world from time to time, when the urge strikes. There's nothing wrong with this, at all, as a positive impact is a positive impact and every action, no matter how small, has the potential to change the world. This is the category that most volunteers fall into.


The second type are Volunteers with a big V. For big V volunteers, volunteering isn't so much something they do as a part of who they are. It's not a hobby but a way of life. This is the category that the volunteers of the Marine Parents family fall into. And for that, I am grateful.


I'm sure that many of you are familiar with the phrase, "Behind every great man there's a great woman." In the same vein, I firmly believe that behind every great organization, there are great supporters, and I can't think of an example that better illustrates this than the amazing volunteers we have here at Marine Parents.


None of what our organization accomplishes would be possible without the amazing volunteer support team across the country. They are the backbone of this organization and have taken a shared belief--that supporting our troops and their family members is of the utmost importance--and turned it into a reality.


April 6-12, 2014 was National Volunteer Week. We want to take this time to thank each and every volunteer who works for MarineParents.com for their dedication to our military and their families. Their selflessness and commitment to helping our troops is truly inspiring, and this year our volunteers contributed almost 18,000 hours of service to supporting our troops.


Again, to each of our volunteers, thank you for your work and dedication to the organization, our military and their families. And congratulations for a job well-done!

God bless and Semper Fi!

Tracy Della Vecchia

Founder and Executive Director
MarineParents.com, Inc.
Longtime Purple Heart Hero Support™-West Volunteers Step Down
Orrells to Leave After Almost Decade of Service


Joyce and Curtis Orrell. 
After eight years of dedicated service to MarineParents.com's West Coast Purple Heart Hero Support™ program, we are sorry to announce the retirements of Purple Heart Hero Support™-West Manager Joyce Orrell and her husband Curtis. They've been a fixture at our weekly dinners for wounded, ill, and injured service members for the better part of a decade, and their presence will be missed by all. We wish both Joyce and Curtis the best of luck in their future endeavors and can't thank them enough for their dedication to the Marines whose lives they've forever touched.


In his memoir Days of Grace, tennis legend Arthur Ashe wrote, "From what we get, we can make a living. What we give, however, makes a life." When I read this quote, I immediately thought of Joyce and Curt and that if these words are true, then they have made two of the fullest lives of anyone I've ever met.


Click here to read more... 
Volunteer of the Year
Outreach Programs

Outreach Programs Volunteer of the Year Jeff. 
Jeff J. is a volunteer from Belton, Missouri. He found Marine Parents a few years ago after his son shipped out to boot camp at MCRD San Diego. Jeff is the Media Manager on Marine Family Network, and tirelessly checks photos and videos to make sure they comply with MFN's guidelines.


Jeff is described as "Mr. Reliable" by his fellow volunteers, and his wry sense of humor is appreciated and enjoyed by many MFN users. Jeff is especially active in the Okinawa group, as his Marine son has just returned stateside after being stationed there (Okinawa) for two years. 


Click here to read more... 

Volunteer of the Year
Online Support Services

Online Support Services Volunteer of the Year Alice with her
Marine grandson. 
Alice C. is a volunteer from Meridianville, Alabama. She found Marine Parents in 2009 shortly after the first of her two Marine grandsons shipped to boot camp at MCRD Parris Island. She is currently a message board moderator, and is the Assistant Manager of the recruit message board on Marine Family Network (MFN).

On the message boards, Alice is known for the compassion with which she helps our members, as well as for her sense of humor. On those days when a member is missing their new recruit, Alice can be counted on to put a smile on their face.

Click here to
Volunteer of the Year
Local Volunteer

Local Volunteer of the Year Angie Regan (center) poses with Marine Parents Founder Tracy Della Vecchia (left) and Outreach Programs Coordinator Candice Fields (right). 

Angie Regan is a volunteer from Columbia, Missouri. She found Marine Parents shortly after her son shipped to boot camp at MCRD San Diego in December, 2011 as a way to learn what to expect during his time in the Corps.


As Angie learned more about our organization, she became involved in our Care Package Project™ pack days, and shortly thereafter began her mission of supporting wounded, ill, and injured troops by writing cards and letters for our Operation Prayers and Letters™ program.


Click here to read more... 

Volunteer with the Most Service Hours: Sandy Robinson  
12,000 Volunteer Hours and Counting

Sandy Robinson with
her Marine son.
I want to take a moment to recognize a volunteer that has been with Marine Parents for many years. One volunteer. 12,000 hours. 10 years of service.

In the last ten years, one thing I've learned about volunteers, is that they have a passion and commitment that is over the top. When a family member makes the commitment to volunteer at Marine Parents, we already know we've got one of America's finest citizens on board with us.


Every volunteer is unique, and each has a huge heart. Sandy Robinson is one of those volunteers. Sandy is the mother of a Marine, a grandmother several times, and retired. Well, sort of.


Sandy has been working as a volunteer at Marine Parents since 2004 and logged over 10,000 volunteer hours since mid-2006; that's three lifetime awards, or the equivalent of six years of full time (40 hours per week, 50 weeks per year) employment. This is truly staggering. We started tracking hours in an official capacity in 2006. Since that time, Sandy averages 25 hours a week. If we took her average, we would need to add over 2,000 additional volunteer hours to reach her "real" total of an estimated 12,000+ hours working for Marines and their families at home.


Click here to
Presidential Volunteer Service Awards
41 Awards for Marine Parents Volunteers

Created by the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation in 2003, the Presidential Service Awards program is "a way to thank and honor Americans who, by their demonstrated commitment and example, inspire others to engage in volunteer service. The program continues as an initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS)", according to the official awards website.  There are three "levels" of the award for yearly volunteering -- gold, silver, and bronze.   


In addition to the yearly awards, in which all volunteering hours must have taken place in the previous 12 months, the Council also established the President's Call to Service Award, a lifetime achievement award for those who are truly devoted to the cause of volunteering, that is presented to anyone who has dedicated 4,000 hours (the equivalent of two years of full time work) to volunteering over the course of their life. 


Here at Marine Parents, we're honored to be able to present 41 Presidential Service Awards later this month.  10 gold, 11 silver, and 17 bronze awards, as well as three President's Call to Service lifetime achievement awards have been earned this year by our volunteers.

To learn more about the Presidential Volunteer Serivce Awards, click here...

To see a list of the Marine Parents volunteers who will be receiving PVSAs this year, click here...
Outreach Programs Volunteers
What Our Volunteers Do

The Care Package Project™ offers various types of volunteer opportunities. Some Care Package Project volunteers hold fundraisers to raise funds for shipping and/or drives to collect content for packages. Other volunteers write thank you cards and letters to include in care packages.

To learn more about the Care Package Project, please click here...

Purple Heart Hero Support™ managers and support volunteers serve meals to wounded heroes and their families, and, more importantly, they engage in the often-difficult recovery process of many wounded heroes and their family members. Purple Heart Hero Support volunteers provide fellowship and a strong support system to help alleviate feelings of fear, confusion, anxiety, and anger.
To learn more about Purple Heart Hero Support, please click here...

Operation Prayers and Letters™ is comprised of thousands of volunteers--adults and children--who donate their time and energy to write card and letters showing support and expressing gratitude to our wounded heroes. 

To learn more about Operation Prayers and Letters, please click here...
In This Issue
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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--
WASHINGTON - U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Willie J. Williams, center, salutes during his retirement ceremony July 10, 2013, at Marine Barracks Washington in Washington, D.C. Williams had served as the director of Marine Corps Staff since 2009 and retired after 39 years of service.
(Photo By: Cpl. Tia Dufour)         



MarineParents.com, Inc., is an IRS-approved 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 more than 400,000 Marine and recruit families during boot camp, training, active duty and deployments. We've shipped more than 38,000 care packages overseas to our Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan, sent 87,000 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.®

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