The past few weeks have brought about many reasons for me to reflect on the nearly 14 years of service to Marines and their family members. Prior to 9/11, I had no idea that the course of my existence would change so drastically. But it did. My son was at Marine Corps boot camp in San Diego and our country was going to war.
In 2003 I started MarineParents.com as a way to stay in touch with family members whose Marines were headed into combat with my Marine son. Each of our outreach programs mirrored my own son's journey through his Marine Corps career. As important as that was, it was even more important that I put my feet in the shoes of our Purple Heart families, our Gold Star families, our Combat Recovery and Post Traumatic Stress families, and our families reintegrating into civilian life. At the same time, it was critical that we provided support to the parents whose sons and daughters were new to the Marine Corps in boot camp, SOI and MOS schooling.
When you compare the journey of each of our Marine Parents, family members, and Marines, we each have our own stories to tell and we're each in the journey at a different level of understanding and the emotions that go along with it. It's important to embrace the career stage that each of us is experiencing, as that is the definition of the Marine Corps family.
While we can never put our feet in our Marine's boots, we can see what it's like to put our feet in another Marine Parent's shoes. We need each other's support and understanding in the myriad of travels on this Marine Corps journey.
God Bless and Semper Fi,
Tracy Della Vecchia
Founder and Executive Director