October 15, 2015

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!

The Marine Corps birthday is less than one month away! 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!
November 10 is the Marine Corps Birthday!

Each year, on November 10th, Marines around the world celebrate what they see as their "second" birthday, the day the United States Marine Corps was born.

The Marine Corps' birthday is a day of pride and respect, and its celebration is one of the most revered traditions in the Corps.

The tradition runs deep. For years, Marines have been telling each other "Happy Birthday" on November 10th and attending Marine Corps Birthday Balls in cities across the globe. Each year, the Commandant of the Corps reads his "Birthday Message" to all Marines, and they "...reflect upon the legacy of [the] Corps and upon the awesome responsibilities lying ahead." (Warrior Culture of the U.S. Marines by Marion F. Sturkey)

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Hispanic Heritage Month Featured Marine: Christopher "Gus" Loria

Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 - October 15 and in recognition, we'd like to take this opportunity to highlight  a notable Hispanic Marine--Christopher "Gus" Loria.

Christopher Joseph "Gus" Loria is a retired Marine Corps Colonel and a medically-retired NASA astronaut.

Raised in Belmont, Massachusetts, Loria was born in 1960 and graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science  degree in general engineering in 1983. Following his graduation, Loria received his commission and was designated a Naval Aviator in July of 1988.

After numerous assignments in the Corps, including a combat deployment in support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Loria was selected by NASA in April of 1996 as an Astronaut Candidate, and that August he reported to the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. After completing two years of training, Loria  qualified for flight assignment as a shuttle pilot.

In 2002, Loria was assigned to pilot STS-113, a 14-day Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station (ISS) flown by Space Shuttle Endeavour,  but due to back injuries he sustained off-duty, Loria was medically grounded and had to be replaced by Paul S. Lockhart.

Following his medical disqualification from space flight exploration missions, Loria requested assignment back to the operational forces of the Marine Corps. After returning to the Corps, Loria served as the Inspector General for the 1st Marine Air Wing, Okinawa, Japan and served as the Director of Operations (J3) for Cheyenne Mountain Complex, NORAD before retiring from military service on December 1, 2008.
*Image info: Christopher Joseph "Gus" Loria's NASA photo (released).
Meet the Warrior Support Team!

A critical component of the WST outreach program is our Warrior Support Team. It takes an entire team to provide the resources, tools, care, and support that our wounded, ill, and injured warriors need to reintegrate successfully into a non-combat lifestyle.

It's a monumental task. We've built a large team and continue to build on it daily. We hope you'll consider joining the team in some way.

The Warrior Support Team is comprised of individuals from across the United States and includes:

  • volunteers, staff, and members of the Marine Parents Board of Directors,
  • staff and military personnel from Marine Corps offices, military hospitals, and the Wounded Warrior Battalion,
  • donors and sponsors who fund the operations and, most importantly,
  • the Warriors themselves.

Click here to learn more...

This Week in Marine Corps History: Operation Bumblebee
Sixty-three years ago this week, on October 11, 1951, a Marine battalion was flown by transport helicopters to a front-line combat position for the first time when Marine Helicopter Transport Squadron-161 (HMR-161) lifted the 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, as a part of Operation Bumblebee, northeast of Yanggu, Korea. 

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*Image info: U.S. Marine Corps Sikorsky HRS-1 helicopters from transport squadron HMR-161 launching from the U.S. escort carrier USS  Sicily during "Operation Marlex-5" off the west coast of Korea in the Inchon area, on 1 September 1952. (U.S. Navy photo)
Marine Corps News: Neller Speaks at Camp Lejeune 
Last Thursday, October 8, Commandant of the Marine Corps General Robert Neller spoke to Marines at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, about his expectations, goals, and concerns for the Corps.

General Neller told the Marines that he spoke to that he expects — and leaders should expect — Marines to always give 100 percent. He also discussed the traits he desires in Marines-- be technically and tactically proficient, be accountable for actions taken, care for and maintain weapons, overcome adversity, exercise initiative, and always be honest and trustworthy.

Additionally, Neller discussed his belief that Marines must be prepared for any mission — military or humanitarian — that comes their way. 

“The world is changing... [and] we need to be ready,” Neller told the Marines, “Like war itself, our approach to war-fighting must evolve.”

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*Image info: Commandant of the Marine Corps Robert Neller (USMC photo)
Marine Corps News: Vietnam-Era Marine Receives Navy Cross
This Tuesday, October 13, saw a Louisiana Marine receive the Navy Cross for actions that took place in Vietnam nearly half-a-century ago.

On May 9, 1969, Marine Sergeant Kenneth Altazan, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and his crew were responding to a call of more than 10 Marine casualties in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam. The plan was to land the CH-46 "Sea Knight" helicopter in two locations to evacuate the Marine casualties. As soon as it reached the landing zone, however, the helicopter came under heavy fire, resulting in it having to touch down in five separate locations to extract the Marines on the ground.

At the second pickup location, crew chief Altazan was standing on the CH-46's ramp when he saw a Marine carrying a second Marine toward the helicopter. Both men fell and Altazan ran into oncoming fire to carry one and help the other back to the helicopter. As they moved toward the Sea Knight, the Marine Altazan was carrying was shot and all three Marines collapsed, causing Altazan severely injure his knee. He got back up and got the Marines back to the helicopter.

At the final pickup location, Altazan saw a Marine waving a green shirt in a field of rice paddies and, despite the injury to his knee, Altazan again ran into oncoming fire to rescue the Marine. Upon reaching him, Altazan found not one, but two Marines in need of assistance. Altazan picked up one of the Marines, who was unconscious, and carried him while assisting the other Marine, who was suffering from a heat stroke, back to the helicopter.

Originally, Altazan earned the Silver Star for his actions. However, after a series of chance encounters, Senator Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana) submitted evidence to the Marine Corps in 2011 detailing new evidence of Altazan's heroism, eventually resulting in his Silver Star being upgraded to the Navy Cross.

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*Image info: Kenneth A. Altazan during his time in the Corps (image from Kenneth A. Altazan and HMM-364.org)
Marine Corps News: World War II Marine Receives Medals
Last Friday, October 8, 2015, 92-year old John Geas, a World War II-era Marine, was presented with medals he earned more than seven decades ago during a ceremony in Stamford, Connecticut.

Geas, who was in the  4th Marine Division’s Tank Battalion, served on Guadalcanal, Saipan, Tinian, and Iwo Jima, reaching the rank of Master Sergeant and commanding an armored platoon.

The medals were presented by Senator Richard Blumenthal and included the  Combat Action Ribbon, the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, the American Defense Service Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with four bronze campaign stars, the World War II Victory Medal, and the Rifle Sharpshooter Badge.

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*Image info:  A photograph of members Geas's unit, HQ 3rd Marine Tank Division (image from John Geas)
D.O.D. Launches Child-Care Website
The Department of Defense has recently announced that family center providers around the department are launching a new tool to assist service members seeking child care.

MilitaryChildCare.com is a state of the art website created to provide access to comprehensive information on military-operated child care options around the world.

“This website will be used throughout the military in all branches so hopefully families will begin to learn how it works,” said Ashley Utsey, the family child care director for Marine Corps Community Services South Carolina. “It will be the first place to go when you are looking for care at any base you move to.”

The service will be available in the Tri-command area in Beaufort, South Carolina later this month. 

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U.S. Navy Celebrates 240th Birthday
The United States Navy was  established on October 13, 1775 by the Continental Congress to offset  the uncontested power of the British Navy and this past Tuesday saw the branch celebrate its 240th birthday.

In the nearly two-and-a-half centuries since its founding, the Navy has participated in every major American military conflict, and no branch of the American armed forces has a forged closer relationship with the Marine Corps.

Click here to see the Marine Corps' video tribute celebrating the Navy's birthday!
Team Marine Parents at the Marine Corps Marathon

The 40th annual Marine Corps Marathon is almost here! Next weekend, tens of thousands of runners, Marines, and supporters will come together in Washington, D.C., to participate in the running of "The People's Marathon" and its associated events from October 23-25, 2015.

This year, Team MarineParents (TMP) has 30 runners participating in the Marine Corps Marathon and together they have raised more than $15,200 for the outreach programs of MarineParents.com. Our largest fundraisers were Team ‪#‎RunwithMarineMoMs‬, who raised $1,800 for TMP. We would like to thank all of our TMP runners for participating and for supporting our troops!

A number of TMP runners will be gathering for dinner in Washington DC the night before the marathon.

Click here to wish our runners good luck!
Are You From Oregon?
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 Oregon by  clicking here...

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