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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
Toys for Tots Events
Make it a Happy Holiday
Unit Information Pages
More About the Corps
2009 Registrations for TMP!
Meaningful Christmas Gifts
Overhauling the Shop!
New Lapel Pin
Wear Red Friday
$5 Coupon Hurry, Expires Dec 21
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 17, 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.
  As 2008 draws to a close, and as families gather to celebrate Christmas and the season's holidays, I want to offer a prayer of support to our Marines and their families, and my hope that the spirit of giving becomes a year-round endeavor in your home.
  Here at the Marine Parents corporate office, we get thousands of Christmas cards for troops overseas throughout the month of December, yet we've never requested the first card and we don't ship care packages overseas this month. There are plenty of other folks stepping up to the plate this time of year, so we take a back seat while we gear up for sending out our care packages on January 3.  My hope is that some day this outpouring of support will be a year-long event.
  If you're still looking for the perfect gift to give your family, friends, co-workers, consider purchasing a gift sponsorship for a Marine to receive a care package next year. We'll send a card with your name to the recipient of the gift sponsorhip, and your gift recipient's name(s) will go into the care package for the Marine as the sponsor.
  We will include the thousands of Christmas cards we've received in the care packages we ship out January 3 and in the care packages will be the items the Marines most often request: batteries, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and a clean pair of socks and t-shirt.
  To purchase a gift sponsorship, visit: Orders accepted through January 2, 2009. Gift cards will be mailed the day the order is placed.
Thank you for your continued support. We wish you peace and good will this Christmas Season and a prayer for the safety of our Marines.
Toys for Tots Events
Generating Christmas Donations for Children
The weekend was filled with holiday fun and the spirit of giving as supporters of the Marine Corps Reserve's Toys for Tots program gathered at various events Dec. 5 -7.
The events and excitement were reminiscent of the campaign's inception in Hawaii, said P. Pasha Baker, the widow of Jack Baker, who introduced the Toys for Tots campaign in Hawaii in 1963.

To start off the Toys for Tots weekend, more than 50 golfers participated in the Navy League's 3rd Annual Toys for Tots Golf Tournament at the Navy-Marine Golf Course Dec. 5.

"This offers Navy and Marine retirees a chance to get back together and give something back to the community," said Ed Dubats, a Navy League member. "We're just here to have fun while giving less-fortunate kids a special holiday."
Chat with Expert on Homecoming
Warrior Transitioning for Marines and Family 
PTSD Expert Bridget CantrellTomorrow evening, Thursday, December 18th, 2008 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 January 5, 2009.
Unit Information Pages™ 
Family Readiness Begins with the USMC 
Family Readiness is critical in the Marine Corps. The philosophy of Marine Parents is to look to the Marine Corps first for family readiness issues.
Under Commandant Conway's guidance, the Marine Corps Family Readiness program has undergone some changes in 2008. Every battalion has a FRO (Family Readiness Officer) who is responsible for providing information to spouses, parents and family members of our deployed Marines. The KV or Key Volunteer program is being phased out.
The primary source of unit/battalion information for spouses AND parents is the FRO and Unit Hotline. The FRO will work with FR Assistants, FR Advisors and FR Volunteers along with the senior command members to make up the new Family Readiness Command Team.
As part of the Family Readiness Program, each Marine Corps unit can opt to form a Parent Network (PN) for Marine Corps families as well. We'll provide information for the PN on this Unit Information Page™ (UIP) with approval from the unit's FRO only.
To locate your Marine's FRO information, please search for his/her Unit Information Page™ on From the UIP™, you will find the FRO information as well as additional links and information for that unit.
If you are a Marine Officer or Family Readiness Officer and would like to make changes to your Unit Information Page, please contact corporate office at 573-449-2003. Our top priority is disseminating accurate information to the families. Our staff will work quickly to make necessary updates to your unit's information. 
Learning More About the Corps
EGA Knowledge for Parents 
Recruits in bootcamp spend a lot of their time learning knowledge about the Marine Corps.  For most of the parents and many of the spouses of our Marines, the USMC seems foreign and their "ways" are new and unfamiliar to us.
The web site, Inc. was begun as a compliment to information available on the United States Marine Corps official web site. We provide well-researched and accurate information about all phases of your Marine's career in the Marine Corps, including bootcamp, school of infantry, MOS school, duty stations, deployment, and homecomings.
We offer a section on where you'll learn more about the history of the Marine Corps, structure of the Marine Corps, uniform regulations, military pay, abbreviations, Marine Speak, and even what an MRE looks like. 
Registration Begins January 1
 Post it Note, Don't Forget...Plan Your Team Marine Parents™ Event! 
Team Marine Parents™ has added two events to their calendar for 2009.  Mud runs are crazy good fun.  If you want to attend, be sure to put the registration dates, January 1 and January 7, on your calendar.  These events are wildly popular and fill very quickly. 

Run AmuckGather your craziest friends, bring someone to take pictures and don't forget to bring an extra set of clean clothes. 

After you have officially registered for the event, send us an email and we will get you set up on Team Marine Parents™. The Marine Corps offers one event on the East coast and one on the West coast so no one needs to miss out on the fun!
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!
Easier Shopping, New Design
We've Overhauled the Shop! 
New Cafe Press Store
We'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!
Through Dec 21, take $5 off orders of $50 or more. When checking out, enter coupon code CANDORGARDEN, expires December 21.  
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.
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.
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 December, 2008 USMC Photo by Lance Cpl. Skyler Tooker.  A hundred volunteers with the Sgt. Mac Foundation placed wreaths on 2,200 graves at the Quantico National Cemetery Saturday, December 6, for the third annual National Wreath Project, to honor interred service members. Click here to read 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 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 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 CANDORGARDEN
HURRY! Offer expires December 21!
NOTE: All proceeds are used in support of, Inc., an IRS approved 501(c)(3) public charity.
New "Heart USMC" Design! Check these out!