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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
6 Years of Service
New Bulldog Design
Gunny Nick Popadith
Hearts of Valor Ball
PTSD Chat Night 1/15/09
Operation PAL™ Manager
Survey for Families of Marines
What is OpSEC?
Photo Sharing...New Service
Wear Red Friday
Marines Headed for Afghanistan
$5 Coupon Hurry, Expires Jan 20
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 
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
January 15, 2009
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.
  As we welcome the New Year, I wanted to take a moment to express my sincere appreciation for your continued use of Marine Parents services. You are responsible for our record growth in membership and services during 2008 and we look forward to continuing this relationship into 2009 and beyond.
  Our volunteers answer over 500 emails and approve 35,000 posts each month. The message boards have 90,000 registered members and our newsletter goes out to 22,000 readers. We've sent more than 18,000 care packages to Marines in combat zones and 18,000 cards and letters to injured Marines.
  On January 20th, we begin our 7th year of service and support. Our dedication to supporting the Marines, the Marine Corps, and the families of our Marines grows stronger with each year. We look forward to adding more services and programs through the years to further support the Marine Corps and Family Community. Thank you for your support and for working together to build a community to Connect & Share.
Six Years of Support
Marine Parents Celebrates 6th Anniversary  
Marine Parents BuildingThis month, Marine Parents is celebrating its sixth anniversary of supporting Marine families and Marines. The organization started out as a web site to provide information to parents of Marines deploying to Iraq in January of 2003 and has since grown to a national organization with a far reach to Marine and recruit families, recruits, Marines and Marine Corps offices.
It was never the intention of Founder Tracy Della Vecchia to create an entire organization when she put the first few pages online with answers to questions about deployment. But six years later, the incorporated nonprofit organization has a 9-member board of directors, 8 staff, 64 volunteers, and over 20 web sites servicing 90,000 Marine families and Marines from all over the United States. 
New Bulldog
Original Marine Parents Design 
We're ringing in our 7th year with a USMC bulldognew design from Melissa Corrado. Our new bulldog is uniquely Marine Parents. In this pose, he proudly stands atop the US Marine Corps text.
Click our new bulldog to see this design on T-Shirts, coffee mugs, hoodies and more. All proceeds go to support the organization, Marine Parents.
Through January 20, take $5 off orders of $50 or more. When checking out, enter coupon code BECALMLITER, expires January 20.  
Once a Marine
Gunny Nick Popaditch 
Once a Marine Gunny Popaditch"The last human being I see with perfect clarity-the last I will ever fully see-does his damndest to kill me." So opens Once a Marine, a new and stunningly personal memoir by Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant Nick Popaditch. The fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan have produced a veritable flood of books-which is something of a surprise given the fact that the wars have yet to end and may not for many years to come. But none of these accounts are quite like Once a Marine.  
"Gunny Pop" will be a featured speaker at our 2009 Annual National Conference in San Diego this coming April 17-19, 2009. Details to follow. To learn more about Nick Popaditch, to order his book, or to learn more about this amazing Marine story... 
Hearts of Valor Ball
Share in a Patriotic Evening  
Phil Frank Heart of a Marine Foundation Hearts of Valor Ball Chicago ILFounded in memory of Lance Corporal Phillip E. Frank, The Heart of a Marine Foundation supports military personnel from all branches of the United States Armed Forces including veterans and their families.
On Saturday, February 28, from 6:00 P.M. to 12:00 A.M. in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, The Heart of a Marine Foundation will be holding their annual fund raising event: the Hearts of Valor Ball.
Early registration is $75.00 per person, or $90.00 per person after February 1, 2009, and all proceeds support charitable works of the foundation.  This patriotic evening gives you the opportunity to celebrate our Armed Forces personnel and veterans while supporting an incredible foundation.
Chat with Expert on Homecoming
Warrior Transitioning for Marines and Family 
PTSD Expert Bridget CantrellThis evening, Thursday, January 15th, 2009 from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. (central time), we invite you to chat online with Dr. Bridget Cantrell, author and expert on homecomings, PTSD, and combat recovery. The chat will be held in the Chat Room. It is free and open to the public.
Dr. Cantrell is co-author of the critically acclaimed Downrange to Iraq and Back, and Once a Warrior: Wired for Life. Her third book, Souls Under Seige, addresses the impact of multiple deployments on our warriors.  It can be ordered now and will ship February 25, 2009.
Operation PAL™
Meet the Manager 
November Packing DayWe'd like to introduce you to Barbara Gemmell, manager of Operation PAL™. Barbara's Marine son is now out of the Corps and in the IRR. He has not been recalled to active duty at this time. Barbara lives in Georgia and her now former-Marine son lives near.
Fulfilling the role of Operation PAL™ manager is a unique volunteer position with Marine Parents; one that can be difficult because it brings you very close to the fire and in touch with the raw emotion of a recovering Marine and his family.
Survey for Families of Marines
The Marine Corps Needs YOUR input
Headquarters Marine Corps is asking Marines, their spouses, children and extended family members to participate in focus groups and a web-based survey that will run from Feb 23 to Mar 6. The feedback received from these efforts will help the newly restructured family readiness program improve overall communication strategies.  The link to the survey will be published on the Marine Parents web site beginning February 23.
Participants are needed for the focus group that will take place in San Diego on January 26. If you live in the area and are interested in participating, click the link below for contact information. 
What is OpSEC? 
Maintaining Operational Security Standards 
Operations Security OPSECPlease Maintain Personal and Operational Security Standards in ALL Environments

Help keep you, your Marine and our military personnel safe by not sharing any personal or military information in email or in any online environment.
Online communities, including those that are "Military" by design, do NOT have a way to assure that every member has the same goal of safety and security for our Marines and military personnel. Knowledge is power; the enemy does not need to know anything other than our Military is ready to act and defend. To help keep you and our military safe, do not share information except with your family and very close friends. 
Recruit Training Matrix
Day-by-day Synopsis of USMC Bootcamp
Bootcamp Training Matrix IMageFor a fantastic outline of the training your recruits are receiving during bootcamp, the Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) Parris Island web site has an interactive training matrix. The training matrix is a day-by-day synopsis of the training your recruit will receive during his/her 13 weeks of training to become a Marine, one of the few, the proud.  
The MCRD Parris Island interactive training matrix for recruit training has been divided into the three phases. Use the tabs at the top of their page to navigate to the different phases of training.  
Teach a Man to Fish
Partnership Provides Iraqis with Mechanical Know-how 
Marines Re-enlisting in IraqCAMP MEJID, Iraq  - 
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he'll eat for a lifetime.
Marines with Maintenance Company, Combat Logistics Battalion 2, 1st Marine Logistics Group conducted an Iraqi partnership here Dec. 31. The CLB-2 mechanics taught Iraqis basic vehicle maintenance.

"This is the first time we worked with Iraqi Soldiers at their camp instead of our maintenance area," said Gunnery Sgt. Duane E. Black, motor transportation maintenance platoon commander, CLB-2, 1st MLG. "We can train more of their mechanics at the Iraqi maintenance bay because they all can't come over to our shop."
Photo Sharing
New Service for Marine Parents 
USMC homecomingsWe're bringing a new service to which will give families the ability to share photos on the web site and in the message boards in slide shows hosted by
Have some photos to share? If you are the original photographer and grant permission for to publish the photos as noted in the agreement, we'll get them added! 
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 January, 2009 USMC Photo by Lance Cpl Jacob W. Chase of a Marine from Artillery Battery, Lima Company, Battalion Landing Team 2/6, as he walks across the desert during sustainment training at Camp Buehring, Kuwait.  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 San Diego April 17-19, 2009. We've helped over 90,000 Marine and recruit families during bootcamp, training, active duty and deployments. We've shipped thousands of care packages overseas to 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 BECALMLITER 
HURRY! Offer expires January 20!
NOTE: All proceeds are used in support of, Inc., an IRS approved 501(c)(3) public charity.
New "Heart USMC" Design! Check these out!