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February 8, 2007
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Dear Marine Families,

If this is the first edition of the Newsletter you have received, WELCOME! If you are a returning reader we are glad you have joined us. We thank you for your support and hope that we can support you. It's a busy time in the lives of our Marines and their families with another round of homecomings and new deployments.

DEPLOYMENT PREPARATION: Some families are saying farewell to their Marine as they leave for another tour of duty in Iraq, or on another float or other deployment location. We'll give you some tips for travel planning to a military installation as well as important information for you, the families at home, to read and learn during deployment.

HOMECOMING PREPARATION: Other families are planning homecoming travel and need to know how to find out what dates their Marine will be returning stateside and how to plan travel around uncertain dates. We'll give you some tips for travel planning to a military installation as well as information on how to find information on homecoming dates.

New to Deployment?
What you must know and a few tips
About Deployment Marine Corps

With several units having recently deployed and still yet to deploy, we wanted to share with you a section of the web site that we call "What you must know about Deployment". This section includes definitions of terminology used when referring to deployments, types of deployments, preparing for deployment, and what to expect upon arrival "In Country".

If your Marine has recently deployed or will soon deploy, this section of the web site is a must read, particularly the section "preparing for deployment" that includes how to get an overseas mailing address, and most importantly, learning about the different methods of communication that your Marine may have available to him or her.

Recommended Reading
Operation Homecoming, Andrew Carroll, Editor
Andrew Carroll Operation Homecoming

The introduction alone is powerful and moving; the writings within stir your deepest emotions and often tickle your senses with the raw humor shared amongst the boots on the ground. The stories are poignant and powerful. --Tracy Della Vecchia

Edited by Andrew Carroll (on the New York Times Best Selling list for 2001 War Letters), Operation Homecoming shares the candid writings from American military personnel and their loved ones about what they saw, heard, and felt while in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as on the home front. Taken together, these almost one hundred never-before-published eyewitness accounts, private journals, short stories, letters, and other personal writings become a dramatic narrative that shows the human side of warfare.

PTSD Chat With an Expert
Feb. 16: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
PTSD Expert Bridget Cantrell

Bridget C. Cantrell, Ph.D., author of the acclaimed PTSD Book "Downrange to Iraq and Back" will participate in a monthly online discussion group sponsored by, Inc.

Discussions are held from 8:15-10:00 p.m. central time. Dr. Cantrell's next discussion will be held Friday, February 16, 2007. We will arrange for one day each month during the remainder of 2007 as well. Please check back for updates to the scheduled discussion groups.

The topic of discussion for this online group is post traumatic stress disorder, PTSD. Military personnel and spouses or family members who would like to learn more about PTSD are invited to attend. There is no fee to attend the online discussion group.

Bootcamp Graduation Information
For Parris Island and San Diego

Recruit training takes place at both Parris Island, South Carolina and San Diego, California. Graduation information for both of these locations can be found in the bootcamp section of our web site.

Once in the bootcamp section of the web site, use the navigation tools to select different areas of interest, including graduation information, a training matrix, Parris Island and San Diego information, and a links page with information to help guide you through the 13 weeks of your recruit's training.

The web site includes a message board community called "Recruit Parents" to share with other families whose recruits are in the same battalion, some of the emotions and questions of bootcamp and the Marine Corps lifestyle. It's a great place to Connect & Share™ with one another.

Homecoming Preparations
Travel Plans, Preparations, Expectations
Marine Corps Homecoming 3/4 29 Palms CA 2005 July

Retrograde is the return of deployed Marines, better known as homecoming for our Marine parents, spouses, family and friends. Retrograde includes return from ships (a/k/a floats) as well as in-country deployments (overseas stations).

The retrograde section of our web site is actually several links to other areas of the web site, and a general overview of retrograde procedures. We've also got links to helpful information on what to expect from your Marine upon homecoming and a homecoming workbook to help you prepare.

Whether you're traveling to the Marine Corps base in Twentynine Palms, Camp Lejeune, Camp Pendleton, or Hawaii, we've got travel information to share with you. This section of our web site will help families that have to travel from out of town to attend homecomings or sendoffs. We include hotels, shuttles, airport information, and even a checklist to make sure you've got what's required to get onto the Marine Corps Base.

Homecoming Dates
How to locate the Unit FRO for information

How do you find out when your Marine will return stateside from combat deployment? Your best source of information is the Family Readiness Officer, or FRO. To find contact information for the FRO, you will need to know what battalion or unit your Marine is with. You can generally figure that out by the address you are sending both US Mail and/or Moto Mail to. Then use the Unit Information Search Feature on to locate the unit and FRO information.

2007 Marine Parents Conference
April 20-22, 2007, St. Louis, Missouri
2007 Marine Parents Conference Speakers

The registrations are flowing in for the 2nd Annual Marine Parents National Conference, “Honoring Our Marines Today and Tomorrow”. The conference will be held at the beautiful Adam's Mark Hotel at the foot of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri the weekend of April 20-22, 2007.

Our speakers include Lt. General George R. Christmas who is currently the President of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, as well as Mike Colson, a national speaker and former Navy Chaplain. Colonel Bryan P. McCoy will join us again this year as a speaker as well as a presenter on the Deployment Discussion Panel breakout sessions held on Saturday. Our lineup for the Author's Hall includes New York Time's best seller Andrew Carroll with his new book Grace Under Fire.

The breakout sessions on Saturday include educational topics such as deployment information, military benefits and veterans' benefits as well as fun sessions like "Sampling an MRE" and scrapbooking.

Ooh Rah! Color is here to stay!

Red Semper Fi T-Shirt Marine Corps USMC Marine Parents
We now offer a full range of color shirts in our online store, including red, military green, blue, and black. We also offer long-sleeve Ts in black, blue, and a women's T in brown. These beautiful colors create a classic look with the Marine Corps Eagle, Globe and Anchor (EGA) or the Marine Corps Devil Dog. Shirts are also available for each Battalions' graduation classes for both Parris Island and San Diego.

All proceeds from sale of items go to support the web site and projects., Inc. is a 501(c)(3) public charity.

Click to see the new color T-shirts...

Mugs, Mugs, and Mugs!

We have every Marine Corps design you can imagine in coffee mugs. We've also got some Navy designs, Veterans Designs and Patriotic designs. If you're a mug collector and a fan of our US Marines and Navy, you'll want to browse through our wide selection of mugs.

These mugs are sure to be unique to even the most avid collector. We have an entire series of mugs with quotes from famous Marines and other historical figures. Click here for Mugs With Quotes

Valuable Coupon!
FREE SHIPPING for orders of $50 or more
Just use the following coupon code: VDAYSHIP Once you've selected your items, you'll be prompted for the code within our checkout process. Valid through February 14, 2007.

Click to see all mug designs...

We hope this week's edition of our email newsletter has been useful for you and your family. If there are topics you would like us to address, or if you have other suggestions for the newsletter, please contact us.

Top photo courtesy of the USMC. Ar Rutbah, Iraq (Feb. 5, 2007) -- The Marines and sailors of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operation Capable) had to wake-up extra early to gather at the Camp Korean Village Morale, Welfare, and Recreation center here to watch Super Bowl XLI, played in Miami. The game started at 2:30 A.M, Iraq time. The Indianappolis Colts outlasted the Chicago Bears to win the league title, their first championship since they won Super Bowl V as the Baltimore Colts in 1970. Colts quarterback Peyton Manning earned MVP honors for his first Super Bowl victory. Photo by: Lance Cpl. Timothy Parish, 15th MEU, 02/05/2007., Inc. is a 501(c)(3) public charity., Inc. was founded in January, 2003 in response to parents' needs to find information and to Connect & Share™ with one another during deployments. Our free online services and connections have expanded to support and educate Marine moms & dads, spouses, families and friends and we're now offering the Annual National Conference in St. Louis, 2007. We've helped over 30,000 Marine and recruit families during bootcamp, training, active duty and deployments. We've shipped thousands of care packages overseas to our Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan. You've found a Place to Connect & Share™.

God Bless and Semper Fidelis,

Web Signature
Tracy Della Vecchia, Founder, Inc.

Phone: 573-449-2003

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