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Marine Parents Logo a Place to Connect and Share Newsletter
a Place to Connect & Share 
In This Issue
Deployment Learning Center
Homecoming Learning Center
Bootcamp Learning Center
Marine Corps T-Shirts & Gifts
Please Visit Our Sponsors
Holiday Scam
Cards for Troops
New Lapel Pin
Secretary of the Navy in Fallujah
After Bootcamp Graduation
Make it a Happy Holiday
Meaningful Christmas Gifts
Care Package Packing Tips
Overhauling the Shop!
TAPS Articles for Gold Star Families
Wear Red Friday
$5 Coupon Hurry, Expires Dec 11
Support Our Marines!
Purple Heart Hero Support™ an Outreach Program of Marine
Team Marine Parents, an Outreach Program of Marine 
Team Marine Parents™
Show your support of our Marines and their families at home! Participate in one of the Outreach Programs today!  Our Marines need YOU!
Support for You:
a Place to
Connect & Share™
Learning Center:
Operations Security
Operations Security OPSEC

NOTE: When communicating online, your Marine's privacy is as important as Operations Security. Please respect YOUR Marine's privacy!

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:
Unit Chat Nights 

Unit Chat Night Schedule:

2nd Sunday Each Month: 5/11   
Sunday: 3/4, 2/7, 1/9
Monday: 2/5
Tuesday: 24th MEU, 2nd LAR, 1/6, 3/1
Wednesday: 2/24
Thursday: 3/6
Friday: 2/3

For additional information about the Chat Room and Unit Chat Nights for your Marine's Unit, please see: Chat Gif 
Local Support Groups in Your Area
For a list of all support groups in our database or to find one in your area, see:
If you are interested in starting a local support group in your area, please visit the "Support Groups" section of our website:
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
Visit Our Sponsors
Sign Up for the Newsletter
Join Our Mailing List
December 5, 2008
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.
  Fall has come and gone and I barely noticed that the leaves changed color and now fill my yard and cover the decks. I awoke this morning and saw my pond has a thin crust of ice over the top. The holiday season is upon us and a new year is around the corner.
  The seasons change unnoticed for some of us.  When we are worried about a loved one in service to our country, particularly those deployed overseas, it's easy to overlook some of the other parts of our lives.  It's important to step back and take a look at all the components to assure that areas are not being overlooked due to the enormous stressors you may be feeling.
  The holidays can bring on additional stress, whether it be travel, finances or the added responsibilities to make the Christmas and holiday season just right. Remember to take care of YOU; your health and well-being are critical during stressful or worrisome times.
Holiday Scam
Debunking the Myth
scam alert"A Recovering American Soldier"

An email suggesting that you send a Christmas card to "A Recovering American Soldier" is currently being circulated.

The bad news is that many simply read and send this email without researching it, thinking they are doing something good. The problem is that cards and letters addressed to "A Recovering American Soldier" never get delivered.

If you receive one of these emails write back and let the person know that Walter Reed Army Medical Center does NOT distribute letters received without a full name.
Please let them know they can send cards and letters through our outreach program, Operation Prayers and Letters (PAL)™.  See the following article for more information on Operation PAL™ .
Operation PAL™
Show Support Through Prayers and Letters 
Operation PAL, an Outreach Program of Marine Parents.comSending cards and letters to injured Marines and Sailors is certainly appreciated during the holidays, but Operation PAL™ is a program that needs your support all year.
We encourage you to support these young men and women by making a commitment to write to them at Christmas, and again each month throughout 2009. 
If you are a teacher or leader of young people, you have an opportunity to teach the value of support not only during the "giving season" but throughout the year. 
New Lapel Pin Now Available
Marine Parents Gold Tone Lapel Pin
Marine Parents Gold Tone Lapel PinIn our corporate office, we sell a few items that are the "must haves" for any Marine Corps family.  We've just added the new gold-tone Marine Parents lapel pin for $12; another gift that gives back with $5 of your purchase going toward Purple Heart Hero Support™.
We also offer service flags, yellow ribbon magnets, and the Devil Dog Chow Cookbook. We offer free shipping. We ship the following business day after placing your order. All proceeds go to support Marine Parents and our outreach programs.
Thanksgiving Visit
Secretary of the Navy in Fallujah
Sec NavyFallujah, Iraq - 
Secretary of the Navy Donald C. Winter visited Marines and other service members operating in Fallujah, Iraq, during the Thanksgiving Day holiday.

Winter met with the Marines and Sailors of 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 1, at Camp Baharia to take part in holiday festivities and to praise progress they and other service members are making throughout Iraq, Nov. 27.

During a brief town hall meeting, Winter spoke about the future of the War on Terror and about several changes that are currently taking place in Iraq as part of the transfer of security.

"We are currently in a transition period, and we need to make sure we hand over security to the Iraqis in a proper manner," said Winter.
After Bootcamp Graduation
What's Next for Your New Marine?
SOI CamLej"Every Marine is, first and foremost, a Rifleman"
To ensure this motto holds true, the next stop for all new Marines is SOI or School of Infantry.
All graduates of Marine Corps recruit training attend the School of Infantry (SOI). At SOI, they will train with one of two training battalions, either MCT or ITB.
All non-infantry Marines attend training at Marine Combat Training Battalion (MCT), while infantry Marines (all Marines with an MOS of 03xx) attend training at Infantry Training Battalion (ITB). 
Make it a Happy Holiday
From Our Columnist Dr. Bridget Cantrell 
Columnist Bridget CantrellWell we are fast approaching the Holiday Season. It is a time to gather together and form strong bonds of love and remembrance that will help us all get through a rather difficult time of year.

For many it is a very stressful time of year particularly since many of you have family members deployed. With that things at home may also have changed dramatically due to the loss of your loved one or a wounding.

I recently lost my father and this will be my first holiday season without him and I have noticed that I am not quite myself.  I feel all sorts of emotions and I don't even see them coming. Perhaps with that level in mind I can offer my own insights. For those of you who have lost your loved one, or who are longing for them to be at home with you, my heart truly goes out to you.   
Please Join Dr. Cantrell for an Online Chat, Thurs. December 18:
Have questions? Ask Dr. Cantrell in person during the online chat night. She answers questions for any military family member or personnel one evening each month. Invite your friends and family to join us Thursday evening, December 18, 2008 at 8:00 Central Time. For more information on chat night, click here.
Christmas Shopping
Meaningful Christmas Gifts 
Christmas Gifts that give back to Outreach ProjectsChristmas is around the corner and it's time to Deck the Halls with Yellow Ribbons in honor of our Troops this holiday season!
The season of giving challenges us to find unique and memorable gifts for our friends and family. MarineParents has many gift items available for purchase through several venues and allows your giving to show two-fold generosity: for your loved ones plus giving back to, Inc. for our many Outreach Programs to support the Marines and their families.
We've provided a selection of the items we offer on our "Christmas Catalog" page for your shopping ease. You're sure to find gifts to please the Marine Corps enthusiast on your list!
Packing Tips
Care Packages for Deployed Marines  
Our troops make tremendous sacrifices to serve and sending care packages is an outstanding way to show Too Good To Be True Web Site Imageour support. Here are a few packing tips to consider as you're sending care packages this holiday season.
Time To Arrive
Packages are taking about 7-14 days to arrive (much improved over 2003 when packages took up to 28 days!). For arrival by Christmas, December 10th is our recommended mailing date. 
Package Size
Keep the packages small in size. The Marine Corps says "No bigger than a shoe box" is the best size.
Original Packaging
Keep products and food in the original manufacturer's wrap and/or box to facilitate quicker inspections for customs. 
Easier Shopping, New Design
We've Overhauled the Shop! 
New Cafe Press StoreWe've spent some time the last few weeks overhauling our online stores to make shopping a little easier.  We've re-organized and re-structured and we've added new products and new designs!
This weekend, we're offering free shipping on orders of $75 or more. When checking out, enter coupon code FEMPRO17, expires December 7. We have another coupon offer at the bottom of this page for $50 orders as well.  
Dark HoodieThe newest product in the store is hoodies; we've got zip hoodies, black and navy hoodies, as well as ladies hoodies in grey and soft pink. You'll love our designs on the hoodies, so be sure to check those out.
Help us support our Marines and their families, and get your Christmas shopping done at the same time. All proceeds go to support Marine Parents, an IRS approved 501(c)(3) public charity.
Articles For Gold Star Families
Gold Star Family Support from From TAPS 
The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, Inc., is a one of a kind non-profit Veteran Service Organization offering hope, healing, comfort and care to thousands of American armed forces families facing the death of a loved one each year.
TAPS has released two press releases this year to help cope with grief during the holiday season. Click a link below for the articles:
Support Our Troops: Wear Red on Friday
Wear Red on Friday
Join the "Wear Red Friday" campaign to show your support of our troops!  We've opened up a brand new line in our online store--you get the quality and service you've come to expect, and you can help encourage those in your community to "Support Our Troops: Wear Red on Friday!"  We've got yard signs and red t-shirts for every family member and everyone in your office! Check it out today:
We've added a new design. Red shirts with white letters on the front:
"Red's a military thing"
Remember, all proceeds from sale of products in our stores go to support the organization, Inc. and our outreach projects. is an IRS approved 501(c)(3) Public Charity.

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 November, 2008 USMC Photo by Cpl. Jason D. Mills of Marines and sailors from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit's Battalion Landing Team 2/6's Golf Company. They participated in bilateral infantry training with a Middle Eastern nation, Nov. 18-24. Click here to read additional credits., Inc. is a 501(c)(3) public charity., Inc. was founded in January, 2003 in response to parents' needs to find information and to have a Place 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 our 5th Conference in Florida in April, 2009. We've helped over 40,000 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.
Neither the United States Marine Corps nor any other component of the Department of Defense has approved, endorsed, or authorized this service.
$5 Off Coupon
Receive $5 off any order of $50 or more. Enter coupon code DSTHOL1 at checkout. Restrictions apply. Limited time only. Visit the web site for more details.
HURRY! Offer expires December 11!
NOTE: All proceeds are used in support of, Inc., an IRS approved 501(c)(3) public charity.
New "Heart USMC" Design! Check these out!