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Operation Joplin Recruiters
Marine Families Unite in Support

[ Jayne's Story ]     [ Babs' Story ]     [ Derek's Story ]     [ Donor List ]     [ Video ]

The Shiwdin Family

Always Family, Always Faithful

“It is friendship, and something beyond friendship, that binds the Marine Corps together.”
- Donald T. Regan, WWII Veteran

On May 22, 2011, the tornado that ripped through Joplin, Missouri, destroyed cars, flattened buildings and in some cases took nearly everything that made a family’s house a home.

A Joplin Marine recruiter and his family of five were blessed to have survived the disaster when so many of the town’s residents had lost loved ones and friends, but when the storm finally subsided the family was left with nothing but their kitchen table, washer, dryer and a few family photos.

We learned of the Shiwdin family’s need for assistance through Michelle Roccio from Kansas City, MO, who works closely with many recruiting offices. We were devastated by the story and immediately sought help from Marine families all over the country, local businesses and the local Marine Corps League.

MarineParents founder and executive director Tracy made several calls to rally support, posted announcements on the website requesting contributions and began a group called “Operation Joplin Recruiters” on Marine Family Network.

The response to our request for help was immediate and hugely generous. By the second day of promoting Operation Joplin Recruiters, we had raised nearly $3000 of our $5000 goal, which was enough to provide the Shiwdin family with a deposit on a home and first month’s rent. We had also received donations of furniture and household goods, and a local appliance store offered us discounts on a new refrigerator and stove for the family.

We were touched by the generosity of our supporters, but we weren’t surprised. The Marine Corps family is a strong one bound by more than just friendship, as Regan quoted decades ago. “Semper Fidelis” has held true since the motto’s adoption in 1883, and there is no better example than the willingness of Marine families across the nation to lend their hands and hearts to the Marine family in Joplin.

The Joplin recruiter was a Staff Sergeant with the 2/6 and 1/6 and SOTG before his duty station as a recruiter.


We’d like to express our sincerest thanks to those that reached out to help the Shiwdin family whether through their time, donations or prayers. Please click here for a complete list of donors and their contributions.

Three MarineParents staff members drove down to Joplin with a trailer on May 26th to deliver the furniture, household goods, clothes and toiletries and present the family with a check. Each recounts their experiences from that day:

Jayne: "We didn't know what to expect; none of us had ever seen destruction like this first hand—only in pictures."
Click here to read in full.

Babs: "Seconds after everyone was in the closet with the door shut, they heard glass breaking. Then they heard a big sucking sound—the roof being ripped off. They could hear car alarms and things just breaking and crushing all around them."
Click here to read in full.

Derek: “One of the most amazing things about the experience was the sense of unity as people from far and wide came to Joplin to lend a hand to anyone in need.”
Click here to read in full.

View a video of Joplin post-tornado created from photos and live footage taken by these staff members. Click here or on the video below.

Joplin, MO Video


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