March 31, 2016
Semper Fi Marine Corps Families!

Thank you for opening and reading this edition of our weekly newsletter. We've got great articles to share with you this week.

First of all, I want to share a very touching story about our Warrior Support Team and the work we're doing. Don't miss reading our first article below and find out how you can be part of supporting our wounded, ill, and injured warriors.

The Marine Corps Marathon lottery is announcing the lucky recipients of bibs for their 2016 Marathon being held the end of October. If you did NOT get your bib in the lottery, we have additional bibs as a Marine Corps official charity partner. Read the article below to sign up or learn more.

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 your continued support of our brave men and women in uniform.

God Bless and Semper Fi!
Be Part of the Warrior Support Team

This week, Founder and Executive Director of, Tracy Della Vecchia, would like to share a story from our Warrior Support Team (WST) outreach program.

Each week, WST--West volunteers bring dinners to wounded, ill, and injured service members at Naval Medical Center San Diego. Last Thursday, March 24, 2016, there was an incident that restricted base access and movement for a good part of the day. As a result, many of our heroes had to deal with long lines of traffic and extended delays with appointments, all of which added to what were already challenging days for many of these men and women.

It was also difficult for our volunteers to get on the base with the planned weekly meal. When our team of volunteers arrived, the men and women were extraordinarily grateful, as some had not had yet eaten a hot meal that day.

Each week, these heroes welcome our volunteers and share meals and conversations with them, but this particular meal was a monumental blessing due to the unforeseen circumstances.

We are honored to play a small role in helping these heroes navigate their recovery processes each week, and I want to thank each of you who help fund the Warrior Support Team through your donations to the program. We appreciate your unwavering support and confidence in our outreach program to support those who so honorably defend our freedom. 

Thank you. God Bless and Semper Fi,

Tracy Della Vecchia

Be part of the team to support our warriors:

Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day

Yesterday, March 30, was Welcome Back Vietnam Veterans Day. Beginning in 2011, as a recognition of the final withdrawal date of all combat and combat-support troops from Vietnam, March 30 has been designated as the day to honor and recognize the almost 3 million Americans who served our country during the Vietnam War.

Here at Marine Parents, we would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our Vietnam veterans for their service and would like to echo the sentiments of Senator Richard Burr, who introduced the Welcome Back Vietnam Veterans Day resolution to the Senate, in giving our Vietnam veterans a warm, long-overdue welcome home.

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*Image info: Names of the men and women who lost their lives during the Vietnam War line the glass walls of the circular Vietnam Memorial in the Lejeune Memorial Gardens. (USMC photo)

Lance Corporal Leon B. Deraps Memorial Scholarship Walk/Run

On May 6, 2006, Lance Corporal Leon B. Deraps of Jamestown, Missouri made the ultimate sacrifice for his country while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq. To honor Leon, his family (longtime Marine Parents pack day volunteers), along with the Moniteau County C-1, Jamestown-area high school FFA, set up a scholarship fund in his name in late 2006. Since its foundation, the fund has awarded $1,000 scholarships to more than 30 Jamestown high school graduates.

Money for the scholarship fund is raised through an annual 5 mile walk/run/ride held in early May. First held in 2009, 2016 marks the event's seventh anniversary. This year, the event will be held on Saturday, May 7 at 9:00 am in Jamestown, MO.

Click here to learn more...

*Image info:  Lance Corporal Leon B. Deraps.

2016 TMP Registration is Now Open

2016 Registration for Team Marine Parents is now open! Raising awareness and funds for a grassroots organization starts on a grassroots level; it starts with YOU. If you enjoy running or competing in athletic events, encouraging communities to engage in troop support activities, and raising money for a good cause, then TMP is a great fit for you.

Also, if you are planning on running the 41st Marine Corps Marathon, consider running with TMP. We only have 36 charity partner bibs remaining, so if you didn't make it in through the lottery, join the team and get your bib today!

Click here to learn more about Team Marine Parents...

Volunteer Spotlight: Walt Thornton

Here at Marine Parents, nothing we do would be possible without our amazing volunteers across the country. Our volunteers truly are the backbone of our organization, and we'd like to take this opportunity to recognize the efforts of one individual in particular. 

This week's featured volunteer is a proud Marine father (who was a Marine himself) and Facebook volunteer from Wyoming--Walt Thornton. 

Walt's son, James, wanted to join the Corps since the time he was 4 years old. When he graduated boot camp, pride could not even come close to describing how Walt felt about him making the mark and earning his eagle, globe, and anchor. At this time, Walt also decided to share his own experiences as a Marine to assist others on the Marine Parents Facebook pages. He saw many that of the Facebook group members knew almost nothing about the Marine Corps so Walt decided that he wanted to help others know what to expect.

Click here to read more about Walt....

*Image info: Walt Thornton (left) with his family.
TMP Spotlight: Matt Parker

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.. 

This week's TMP featured participant is proud Marine father from Tulsa, Oklahoma--Matt Parker.

Matt began running in early 2013, competing in his first 5K in March of that year. In that first year, Matt completed nine races. In 2014, he completed 21 events and last year, he completed 27.

This year, Matt will be participating in a number of events for TMP, including the Bataan Memorial Death March Marathon in New Mexico to honor his grandfather (a World War II Marine who survived the actual Bataan Death March). Additionally, Matt's mother and two sisters will also be participating in select events with him.

Matt is still working toward reaching his $500 fundraising goal, and we know with your support and generosity, he can reach that goal in no time. Thanks for being a part of the team, Matt, we appreciate your support!

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*Image info: Matt Parker with his Marine son.

Marine Corps News: Amphibious Assault Vehicle Upgrade

Marine Corps officials have recently announced plans to modernize the Amphibious Assault Vehicle, or AAV. The Corps has used AAVs since 1971, and they  remain the primary general-support armored personnel carrier for Marine infantry units.

The newest upgrade, the  Amphibious Assault Vehicle Survivability Upgrade (AAV SU), will build upon the AAV's existing hull and will include buoyant armor,  blast-mitigating seats, spall liners, fuel tank protection, and automotive and suspension upgrades to help maintain mobility, on land and in water, regardless of the added weight.

According to Captain James McGowen, an infantry officer assigned to Project Manager Advanced Amphibious Assault, “It does the exact same thing with some upgraded horsepower and basically more armor, so it allows the Marines to go into environment where before we couldn’t go."

“We’ve noticed in both Iraq and Afghanistan the AAV had some vulnerabilities in an IED environment, so we decided to upgrade it to increase its armor protection and also to increase its water performance,” said  Colonel Roger Turner, director of the Marine Corps Capabilities Development. “We think that this system is going to make this vehicle operationally relevant in the current and the future operating environment for years to come.”

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*Image info:  A U.S. Marine Corps AAV-P7/A1 Amphibious Assault Vehicle reaches the shoreline during a combined amphibious assault on Dogu Beach, South Korea, conducted as part of Ssang Yong 16, March 12, 2016. (USMC photo by Gunnery Sergeant Ismael Pena) 
Marine Corps News: Commandant, Sergeant Major Release Message to Corps

The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Robert Neller, along with the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, Ronald Green, recently released a message about the challenges today's Marines face off the battlefield that may prevent them from being successful in civilian society. The Commandant and Sergeant Major also encouraged Marines to have each other's backs off the battlefield and to help fellow Marines who may be struggling.

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*Image info: Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Robert Neller (left), and Sergeant Major Ronald Green (right). (USMC photos)

Marine Corps News: Corps Looking to Increase Number of Embassy Guards

In the wake of the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, the Marine Corps was called on to boost the number of Marine Security Guards stationed at embassies and consulates around the world by 1,000. So far, approximately 600 of those spots have been filled, leaving the remaining number of guards needed at around 400.

"Today, Marines are routinely serving at 174 embassies and consulates in 146 countries around the globe," Commandant Robert Neller wrote in Congressional testimony. "...We have added 603 Marines to the previously authorized 1,000 Marine Security Guards — 199 in new detachments."

The Marine Security Guard position is a highly-prized, competitive position and one of the few ways for Marines to boost their shots at promotion in the post-drawdown Corps.

Click here to learn more....

*Image info: The Moscow Marine Security Guard detachment October 7, 2015.
(USMC photo/released)
This Week in Marine Corps History: Assault on Outpost Vegas

Sixty-three years ago this week, on March 27, 1953, the 5th Marines, supported by the 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, counter-attacked enemy-held positions in the first full day of fighting after Chinese forces launched an assault on outpost Vegas the previous evening. Companies E and F of the 2/7 managed to regain partial control of the outpost that day, despite being down to just three platoons between them. At the time, this was the bloodiest action U.S. Marines had engaged in on the Western Front.

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*Image info:  United States Marines launch a counterattack to regain enemy-held positions at Outpost Vegas on Korea’s Western Front on March 27, 1953. (USMC photo/released.)

This Week in Marine Corps History: 8th & I 

Two-hundred and fifteen years ago, on March 31, 1801, the second Commandant of the Marine Corps, Lieutenant Colonel William W. Burrows, rode then-President Thomas Jefferson in search of, " a proper place to fix the Marine Barracks on."  The two chose a square in Southeast Washington,  at  8th and I streets, due to its proximity to the Navy Yard, as well as being within marching distance of the Capitol.

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*Image info: Commandant William W. Burrows (image released).
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