MarineParents.com, Inc. and founder Tracy Della Vecchia will be live on CNN this Saturday, August 6, 2005. It will air during the 6:00 broadcast (Eastern Time).
The discussion will include the 3/4 Battalion homecoming (with photos) as well as the additional support needed during this critical time when so many of our Marines have been killed in action this week.
They will be using some of founder Tracy Della Vecchia's photos from the 3/4 homecoming. Click to see photos
May God bless our Marines and their families at home. Please keep them in your prayers.
Actual Transcript of Broadcast
Click for original transcripts from LexisNexis.com
SHOW: CNN LIVE SATURDAY 12:00 PM EST
August 6, 2005 Saturday
It has been a tough week in Iraq, and for the folks at home who are waiting for their boys to come home. The death of 22 Marines in Iraq this week is having a chilling affect on Marine families everywhere who live with that constant worry that their loved ones won't come home alive. But they can find support without even leaving their homes. A Web site started by a Marine mom provides advice, both emotional and practical to parents whose children are fighting overseas. That mom is with me tonight. Her name is Tracy Della Vecchia. She joins me now live from Kansas City, Missouri.
Tracy, what a neat Web site. I mean just going through it; it is so emotional to read these testimonials from these parents. And a lot of these families got a chance to get together in 29 Palms because some of the kids came home, the Marines came home. What was it like for all these families to be together?
TRACY DELLA VECCHIA, MARINEPARENTS.COM: Indeed. Thank you. The 3rd Battalion 4th Marines came home last weekend in 29 Palms, California. And it's just amazing the love and respect and support that we have for each other and to be there and sharing in the moment that is as incredible as the day they are born to come back from a combat zone is just amazing, to share that time together with each other.
LIN: We're sharing some of the photographs from the reunions. These are folks who didn't even know each other but met on your Web site. What are...
DELLA VECCHIA: Right.
LIN: ...some of the most compelling stories that they were able to tell and the questions they were able to ask of each other?
DELLA VECCHIA: Well -- and the questions that they answer for each other, I think, that's one of the biggest things. And knowing that you're not alone in these highly emotional feelings that you have of roller coastering up and down and homecomings are ecstatic events, and then something like this week happening with so many Marines dying overseas. It's good to be amongst people that understand and know that you're not alone in all these emotions.
LIN: Yes. And not everyone is as lucky as the folks that we're looking at in these pictures. There was a father, John Dyer, whose 19-year-old son Chris died in battle. He was able to write about his son on your Web site. And there was such a loving outpouring, including a letter from you that was posted on the Web site, where you told him that you cried hearing about his son Chris. In response, he wrote back to everybody, and he said, "The last words that I spoke to Chris were: I love you son. Our loved ones can be taken from us for reason at any time. I am fortunate to have those as my last words. Please hug your kids and loved ones today for me and be patient with them." You know what a gift for you to be able to give voice to that dad.
DELLA VECCHIA: Absolutely, and it's incredibly important that everyone stands up and notices and listens and hears about his son. And it's important for him to be able to share that and our ears are open for him at all -- all the time to hear all the stories he wants to tell about his son and share his memories of him.
LIN: Tracy, you relate. I can just hear the tears in your voice?
DELLA VECCHIA: Yes. It's -- you know and these folks that are on the message boards, we're were also sending care packages to their sons, and so I know that we've touched his son's life, too, just knowing that we're back home caring about them and supporting them. And that's critical that they know that the folks back home are supporting them.
LIN: Because when you watch the news and when the other parents watch the news, and we report the numbers, you know, on a daily basis, those numbers really don't tell the whole story, do they?
DELLA VECCHIA: No. Each of those numbers has a face. Each of those numbers has a family member that's desperate. And it's very difficult. We do have some additional support for the Gold Star Families, too, though. So if there's other Gold Star Families out there that haven't yet found a place to connect and share, we've got a space for them as well.
LIN: Tracy, what about your own son?
DELLA VECCHIA: Derek just got back from his third tour of Iraq. It was his homecoming. His battalion came home last weekend.
LIN: Don't tell me he's planning on going back?
DELLA VECCHIA: No. This mom can't do another one. So, yes, I think three was enough. He's done his service to his country and is very proud of what his done.
LIN: All right. And I bet he's really proud of you. Has he seen your Web site?
DELLA VECCHIA: Oh, absolutely. And he was part of the one -- one of our main people in telling us what are the best things to send overseas to the Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan...
LIN: Oh, what do they like?
DELLA VECCHIA: ...and how important it is.
LIN: What do they like?
DELLA VECCHIA: Oh, I'll tell you. Actually, you know what they really like is letters from home that say we support you. And if there are folks out there that would like to get things overseas to the Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan, we've got an avenue to do that, too. It's important to support the guys over there and let them know that we care. Write letters to them. Beef jerky is a big one, and even baby wipes are still an important piece over there. So...
LIN: Beef jerky and baby wipes. You know Tracy, I wouldn't have guessed that, but I'm glad I have the information now.
DELLA VECCHIA: Absolutely.
LIN: Tracy Del Vecchia, thank you so much. Good luck with the Web site.
DELLA VECCHIA: Thank you.
LIN: I see a long future ahead for it. Lots of people need you.
DELLA VECCHIA: Thank you.