July 16, 2015
In This Issue:


Thank you for joining us for this issue of Marine Parents News. If this is your first time receiving the newsletter, welcome aboard, we're excited for you to be here!

This week in Marine Corps history the USS Iwo Jima was decommissioned and the 4th Marine brigade fought in the Battle of Soissons in France in World War I. Learn more in our first article.

To see what else is new with the organization or to learn more about the Marine Corps, check out the rest of our articles. We hope you enjoy!

Thank you for joining us and especially for your continued support of our brave men and women in uniform.

Semper Fi Marine Families!

Tracy Della Vecchia
Founder and Executive Director
MarineParents.com, Inc.

The USS Iwo Jima 
(U.S. Navy photo)
This Week in Marine Corps History

USS Iwo Jima Decommissioned

Twenty-two years ago this week, on July 14, 1993,  the USS Iwo Jima was decommissioned after more than 30 years of service. The decommissioning took place in a ceremony at Norfolk Naval Base, Virginia. 

The ship had been named for the World War II battle during which three Marine divisions battled, and defeated, 20,000 Japanese troops. The ship had been commissioned in August 1961, and it was the first ship specifically designed to serve as an amphibious assault ship.

In WWI, the 4th Marine Brigade earned the title of "Devil Dogs"  for heroic actions at Belleau Wood, Soissons, St. Michiel, Blanc Mont, and in the final Meuse-Argonne offensive.
(USMC photo) 

Battle of Soissons 

Ninety-seven years ago this week, on July 18, 1918, the 4th Marine Brigade began an attack near Soissons, France. The attack was part of a World War I three-division counterattack against German forces. The Marines sustained 1,972 casualties in the first two days of the battle.

Women in the Marine Corps

Just over a year after the United States entered World War II, the United States Marine Corps authorized a Women's Reserve, becoming the last of the services to open its ranks to both genders.


When publicly announced in February 1943, the Marines had a goal of 1,000 female officers and 18,000 enlisted volunteers, and by the end of the war in 1945, there were 820 officers and 17,640 enlisted female Marines. These women served in non-combat roles, mainly in clerical positions, although some were parachute riggers, mechanics, radio operators, welders and more - and none served farther west than Pearl Harbor. Then-Marine Corps commandant General Alexander Vandegrift said the presence of female Marines made it possible for the 6th Marine Division to be put to the field.

Sgt Stevie Cardona, drill instructor, Oscar Company, 4th Recruit Training Battalion, MCRD Parris Island, receives her Letter of Appreciation from Maj. Charles C. Nash, commanding officer, Marine Corps Recruiting Station Columbia for participating in the semiannual Female Pool Function at Fort Jackson Army Base on Jan. 24, 2015. Cardona came down from Parris Island to give the females a brief preview of what training would be like and to help prepare them to earn the title of United States Marines.
(Photo by Cpl Tabitha Bartley.)
It's Your Turn to Serve. Help Us Set the Table

Our wounded, ill, and injured warriors have sacrificed so much while serving our nation. Now it's our turn to serve them. Help us set the dinner table to help begin the healing. Make your donation today. Our goal is $12,000 by August 1, 2015 to continue serving meals at military medical facilities June through August this summer.

"A very common thing I've heard over the past few months at the dinners from the wounded guys is that the dinners give them a reason to leave their rooms or homes. Even if they're having a bad day, seeing familiar faces and eating with people they know care about them helps the wounded feel less isolated...Having a meal to count on each week really does make a difference and relieves some stress for the guys. It also gives them the opportunity to sit and interact with other wounded warriors, as opposed to keeping to themselves."
-- Paige, Warrior Support Team--West Volunteer and wife of a recovering warrior.

While serving dinners may seem like a small thing, they are loved by the men and women who attend them. The dinners let the recovering warriors know that America remembers them; that their sacrifices are appreciated; that they aren't alone. The relationships formed at these dinner tables can be the starting point for the service member to work with the Warrior Support Team during their upcoming reintegration to a civilian lifestyle. And we need your help to ensure that they continue.

Then-Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld shakes hands with U.S. Marines stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Baku, Azerbaijan, in 2003. 
(U.S. Air Force photo) 
Marine Embassy Guards to Return to Cuba

Earlier this month, the U.S. State Department announced its intentions to open an embassy in Havana, Cuba, bringing the Marine Corps a step closer to deploying its iconic embassy guards to the island nation for the first time since 1961.

This marks a significant step in reestablishing formal diplomatic ties between the two countries after more than five decades of strained relations.

According to Marine officials,the Havana detachment will consist of between six and 20 Marines, likely on the lower end of that spectrum, as Havana is assumed to be a low-risk post.

While U.S. officials have not given a specific date for when this will be taking place, officials from Cuba's Foreign Ministry have said that embassies will be up and running in both countries on July 20.

Longest-Serving Female Member of "President's Own" Retires

Master Gunnery Sgt. Ruth McDonald, who plays the clarinet in "The President's Own," joined the Marine Band on Oct. 4, 1985.

Last Thursday, July 10, saw the retirement of the longest-serving female member of the Marine Corps band, also known as "The President's Own."


Master Gunnery Sergeant Ruth McDonald began playing the clarinet in third grade, graduated from Ithaca College with a bachelor's degree in music, and had just earned a master's degree from the New England Conservatory when she auditioned for the band in 1985 after seeing an advertisement in the musician's union paper.


At the time of McDonald's audition, it had only been 12 years since the first woman had joined the Marine Corps Band, and there there were still no locker rooms or uniforms specifically for women. However, over the course of her 30-year career, McDonald played a vital role in increasing the comfort and presence of women in "The President's Own."


According to Major Michelle Rakers, "It's going to be a big loss when we see Ruth retire. She has shouldered the burden of transition when women just came into this organization." 


Click here to read more... 

Marine Week 2015

This fall, the United States Marine Corps will be celebrating, "Community, country, and Corps" September 10-13 in the Phoenix area during Marine Week 2015. 

Activities during the week will include concerts, the showcasing of equipment and aircraft, such as the MV-22 Osprey and AH-1Z Super Cobra, and community service events. The full schedule of events will be available this summer and be sure to check out the photos and videos of Marine Week Phoenix.

To learn more, please click here...
Are You From Illinois?


For more than 12 years we've been supporting poolee, recruit, and Marine parents and family members. Now we've added Official MarineParents.com Groups on Facebook for parents and family members of Marines, recruits, and poolees. We invite you to come on in and join us in a Place to Connect and Share with other Marine Parents and family members.
Join this Official MarineParents.com Facebook group to connect with other Marine Families in Illinois by clicking here...

To see a full list of our Facebook state groups, please click here..

Meet the Team!
TMP Featured Participants: Mark Waddell

Team Marine Parents™ (TMP) 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 participant is a proud Marine father--Mark Waddell. 

In addition to being a Marine father, Mark served as a Mustang Officer in the U.S. Navy SEALs and retired after 25 years of military service.  

Mark's son, Joshua, has served two combat tours and has earned a Master's Degree from the Naval Postgraduate School. Joshua has also completed two Marine Corps Marathons, and will be pacing his father this year. 

Mark is still working toward his goal of raising $500, but with your support and generosity we know he can get there in no time!

Thanks for being a part of the team, Mark, and we look forward to seeing you in Washington!

To learn more about Mark, or to donate to his campaign, please click here...
Bibs Are Still Available!

Do you want to run in this year's Marine Corps Marathon (MCM)  but missed your chance to get a bib during this year's MCM registration lottery? Don't worry, Team Marine Parents (TMP) has your back! 

As an official MCM Charity Partner, TMP has bibs available for those who want to run in the marathon, all you have to do is join the team! 

TMP currently has 15 bibs remaining for this year's race. Each bib costs $130 (a $125 registration fee and a $5 processing fee) and runners must pledge to raise at least $500 for a MarineParents.com outreach program of their choice in return for receiving their bib. 

Joining TMP is a great way to get in shape while raising money for a good cause and these bibs won't last long! Don't miss out on your chance to run in the 2015 MCM, join TMP today! 

Do You Know a Federal Employee?
Help Spread the Word!


In the spirit of giving back to others, we invite you to support us this year as we join in the world's largest and most successful annual workplace charity campaign, the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), and help us give back to the Marines who sacrifice so much on our behalf. 


The CFC is comprised of almost 200 charity campaigns throughout the country and overseas. All Federal civilian, postal, and military employees have an opportunity to choose from the CFC charities and pledge donations to the cause/s that matter most to them. In 2013 Federal employees contributed over $200 million dollars to CFC charities. While not all of you are Federal employees, each and every one of you can
help this campaign succeed!


 Click here to learn how you can help today!
MarineParents.com, Inc. is an IRS-approved 501(c)(3) public charity founded on January 21, 2003 to provide support, information, and services to Marines and their family members, and to create opportunities for individuals to support our troops. In over 12 years of service, Marine Parents has made a huge impact in support of Marines, military personnel, and their family members.

Marine family members are encouraged to support one another through activities and networking provided by the organization and guided by trained volunteers. Outreach to injured troops is volunteer-centered with in-person contact. Additional troop-support centered programs are designed to actively engage individuals and communities across the United States while maintaining the privacy of military personnel. All services are offered free to family members, Marines and military personnel.

In 12 years of service, MarineParents.com has:
  • Invested over $6 million delivering direct support to Marines, their families and other military personnel.
  • Provided information and a Place to Connect & Share® to more than 311,000 family members through a network of communities and educational websites.
  • Collected materials and shipped over 39,000 care packages to Marines and military personnel in combat zones.
  • Involved thousands of Americans in sending over 93,000 cards and letters to injured troops.
  • Served over 40,000 meals to injured troops and their families at military medical facilities on the east and west coasts.
  • Planned and carried out recreational events for hundreds of injured troops and their families.
  • Delivered materials and resources to aid in the recovery process to hundreds of family members of injured troops.
  • Provided support and networking to hundreds of Gold Star families.
Tracy Della Vecchia, Founder and Executive Director, leads the operations from the corporate office in Columbia, Missouri with staff, volunteers, and a volunteer Board of Directors. In addition to the moderated, OPSEC-compliant Marine Family Network (MFN), chat rooms and informative websites, several outreach programs to support Marines and families before, during and after the Marine Corps are provided by the organization. Funding for the programs is through donations, grants, fundraising and store sales. In 2009, the 15-item online store began expansion, eventually becoming the EGA Shop. In 2010, the production facility was established on-site to design and develop custom product, dramatically boosting sales and providing additional funding for the outreach programs. The organization is an official Marine Corps Trademark licensee.

Statistics updated January, 2015. 

Outreach Programs of MarineParents.com, Inc.:

Warrior Support Team

Operation Prayers
and Letters

The Care Package

Gold Star
Family Support

Luminary Initiative
Gold Star Family Day

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