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a Place to Connect & Share 
In This Issue
Deployment Learning Center
Homecoming Learning Center
Bootcamp Learning Center
Our Volunteers
Marine Corps T-Shirts & Gifts
Graduation Announcements
Please Visit Our Sponsors
Newsletter Signup
Dear Amanda
Determining Homecoming Dates
Homecoming Preparations
New to Deployment?
Commandant Visits Iraq
Operations Security
Resources for Recruit Families
Graduation T-Shirts
Research Study for Marine Mothers
"Home Front" Charm
USMC Photo Credits
$5 Coupon Expires August 18
Support Our Marines!
The Care Package Project™
Operation PAL
Operation PAL™
Purple Heart Hero Support™ from
Team Marine Parents from
Team Marine Parents™
Show your support of our Marines and their families at home! Partcipate in one of the Outreach Programs today!  Our Marines need YOU!
Support for You:
a Place to
Connect & Share™
Learning Center:
Operations Security
Homecoming T-Shirts
Homecoming T-shirts for Marine Corps families
Learning Center:
About Deployment
(from your Marine, with the USMC, and with other families)
(tips, tricks and money savers for mailing to YOUR Marine)
(bills, taxes, legal issues, injuries, notification from the Marine Corps)
Learning Center:
About Homecoming
(Tip: While in our store, check in your Marine's unit store for more homecoming shirts!)
Learning Center:
Our Volunteers
We'd like you to take a moment to meet the volunteers who work several hundred hours a week to make possible!
Marine Corps Spirit
T-shirts, Gifts & More
Show your Marine Corps spirit and pride!  Proceeds from sales support, an IRS approved 501(c)(3) public charity.
Marines The Few The Proud
Graduation Announcements!
Graduation Announcements are now available for your Soon-To-Graduate recruit! Use the coupon at the bottom of the newsletter to save $5!
Marine Corps Bootcamp Graduation Announcements
Visit Our Sponsors
T-Shirt Land of the Free Because of the Brave
Creative Cakery Cake
The Cakes are arriving in excellent condition in Iraq. They are withstanding the intense heat of the summer desert! Cakes can be shipped to any APO/FPO address.
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August 14, 2007
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. 

In the past couple of years, I've learned that the end of the summer in the Marine Corps brings about two things: more recruits are headed off to bootcamp than any other time of the year, and our Marines are in another rotation of deployments and homecomings to and from Iraq. It's a tough time for our families--from recruits to deployments to homecomings.  

You've got to get through bootcamp before you can even think about deployment--and we encourage you to focus on these 13 weeks of training and learning all you can about the Marine Corps. The "bootcamp" article and links in this newsletter will help.  

If you're new to deployment, you've got dozens of questions. Knowledge is power; understanding the deployment process and learning a few tips will help you manage the emotional bumps along the way. Use the "deployment" article in this newsletter to help you get started.  

Many of our families are in the "final 30-day stretch" of deployment. You may have anticipated that your emotions would be more in check in the last month of deployment and getting back to "normal" by this time.  But the reality for many family members is the last 30 days can be as emotionally tumultuous as the first 30. Take a look at the "homecoming" article and use some of the tools and resources to better prepare you and your family members for any necessary homecoming adjustments.  

My son was deployed 3 times to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  It was tough on all of us. To help myself, I carried an image in my mind of the day I would go to his homecoming and hug him, counting his fingers and toes much like the day he was born. Three homecomings later, I can tell you that coming home from Iraq and getting that first hug was better for me than the day he was born.
Carry the image of your recruit on Graduation day, or your Marine coming home after months of deployment and what that first hug will look and feel like. And most importantly, take care of YOU during this time. 
God Bless and Semper Fi,
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. 

Homecoming Preparations


Travel Plans, Preparations, Expectations

Marine Corps Homecoming 3/4 29 Palms CA 2005 JulyRetrograde 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.

New to Deployment?
About Deployment Marine CorpsWhat you must know and a few tips. 

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.

Commandant visits 1/4 in Iraq
The Commandant visits Camp Gannon, Iraq and the 1/4 Marines   
Commandant in Iraq, August 2008CAMP GANNON, Iraq - (Aug. 8, 2007) -- General James T. Conway, Commandant of the Marine Corps, recently visited the Marines here with Alpha Company, Task Force 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, attached to Regimental Combat Team 2.

The Marines listened as the Commandant explained how the Marine Corps is expanding its force, the new air and ground vehicles replacing the up-armored humvee and the CH-46 and CH-53D helicopters respectively, how America views Marine operations and the new physical training uniform.
Operations Security
 What do YOU need to know about OPSEC? 
OPSEC Operational SecurityAs a family member of the military community, you are a vital player in the military's success and our Marines could not do their job without your support. You may not know it, but you also play a crucial role in ensuring your loved ones' safety just by what you know of the military's day-to-day operations. You can protect your loved ones by protecting the information that you know. This is known in the military as, "Operations Security", or OPSEC.
Resources for Recruit Families
You're on a new journey, but you're not alone! 
Marine Corps Bootcamp Drill InstructorFrom the moment your son or daughter decides to enlist in the Marine Corps, you begin a journey into an often unfamiliar world. You have dozens of questions and you want to connect with other parents who understand the pride, uncertainties and emotions you're feeling., a project of, Inc., was developed in 2003 to help guide you through the journey. The roadmap includes information about recruit training (Bootcamp), schedules, terminology, expectations, and perhaps most importantly, venues to talk with other parents--novices just like you, as well as "expert" parents who've been down this road and experienced the same uncertainties and pride.
The following links and information will help you:

The message board community is where you'll connect with other families whose recruit is training with your recruit with the same targeted graduation date. The recruit chat night is open on Monday and Wednesday evenings.

Graduation T-Shirts


$5 off orders of $50! Hurry, offer expires August 18, 2007.  

Graduation T-shirts for Parris Island and San DiegoGraduation T-shirts customized with your recruit's graduation date and platoon number for both Parris Island and San Diego!
Orders of $50 or more receive $5 off using coupon code SEARCHROBOTS. Expires August 18. Enter the coupon code when checking out. Restrictions may apply.
All proceeds from sale of shirts support the projects of, Inc. an IRS approved public charity.
Research Study Progress
Thank you for taking part in the research study for mothers of active duty Marines! 
Marine Mothers Health and Wellness StudyPamela Slaven MSN, FNP-C, a family nurse practitioner from rural Maine, and a doctoral student at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, is conducting a study of the mothers of male members of the United States Marine Corps.
A note from Pam:
Thank you to all of those who have participated. With more than 1,000 participants to date, the response has been both overwhelming and inspiring.
If you have not yet completed the surveys and would like to be part of the study, you are encouraged to do so by September 1.

With sincere appreciation,
Pam Slaven, MSN, FNP-C
Additional Information:
The study is launched in effort to better understand the needs of mothers of those deployed to a combat zone such that they may be better anticipated and addressed by health care providers.
If you are the mother of an active-duty Marine son, deployed or stateside, please click the link below to learn more and participate in the study. To be effective, we need a large sampling from each study group. Your participation is immensely valuable. 
"Home Front" Charm
Perfect for Deployment: "Until You Come Home" Charms With Your Marine's Photo
Olympus Jewelry Charm Until You Come HomeThese custom-made single charms can easily be attached to official dog tags, key chains, or a chord or chain. All components used in the charms are made in the U.S.A.
I received my own set of tiny dog tag charms just a week ago and I'm thrilled with the quality. These are perfect for families of deployed Marines or soon-to-be deployed Marines. I was very happy with the quality and workmanship of the charms. Deb and Mel were a joy to work with.   Visit their web site to order your set! 

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.

The banner used at the top of this newsletter is a USMC photo of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. James T. Conway and the Commanding General of II Marine Expeditionary Force (Fwd), Maj. Gen. Walter E. Gaskin converse with the Commanding Officer of Task Force 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, Lt. Col. Jason Q. Bohm before speaking to the rest of the Marines in the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Center in Camp Gannon, Iraq. Conway complimented the Marines here for their successes in the Al Qa'im region.  Photo taken by Cpl. Eric C. Schwartz, August 8. 2007. Click here to read accompanying story., 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'll be offering the 3rd Annual National Conference in Washington DC, 2008. 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, sent thousands of prayers and letters to injured Marines and served hundreds of lunches to families caring for their Marines at Bethesda Hospital. You've found a Place to Connect & Share™.

God Bless and Semper Fidelis,

Tracy Della Vecchia
Founder and Executive Director, Inc.
Land of the Free Tiny Gif$5 Off Coupon
Receive $5 off any order of $50 or more. Enter coupon code SEARCHROBOTS at checkout. Restrictions apply. Limited time only. Visit the web site for more details.
HURRY! Offer expires August 18!
NOTE: All proceeds are used in support of, Inc., and IRS approved 501(c)(3) public charity.
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