Warrior Support Team Stories from our Volunteers

See what the Warrior Support Team is doing to support recovering warriors.

Christmas Stockings for Wounded and Recovering Warriors

Christmas Stockings for Wounded and Recovering Warriors

Added December 23, 2016
This December, MarineParents.com corporate staff packed santa hats and handmade camo stockings full of goodies to give to wounded and recovering warriors at both the Naval Medical Center San Diego (Balboa), and the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (Bethesda).

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May 1 WST—East Dinner
*Image info: Two recovering warriors at our May 1, 2016 WST—East dinner. (Photo by Peggy Densford.)

 

May 1 WST—East Dinner

Added April 14, 2016

This past Sunday, May 1, our Warrior Support Team—East served meals to approximately 90 recovering warriors, active duty service members, and their family members at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Our volunteers counted 87 tickets, but by the time dinner was finished, all of the burritos were gone as some warriors had eaten more than one while family members had taken additional ones to recovering warriors who were unable to attend the dinner themselves.

At the dinner, our volunteers saw one of their "regulars," a mother with two toddlers in a stroller. Sometimes, her husband comes with her but this time he had stayed in his room. "He has good days and bad days...this is a bad day". Our volunteers suggested she take a burrito back for him. She looked surprised and asked if that would be okay, to which we replied, "Of course." This highlights one of the benefits of our WST dinners--it's a place where a young mother can come to feed her children and give her husband some space when he is having a bad day. Our volunteers were also pleased to meet a "first-timer" who was finally attending one of our dinners after being at the hospital for seven months with her son while he recovers from his injuries.

We look forward to our next dinner in two weeks!


April is the Month of the Military Child
*Image info: A child at our April 3, 2016 WST—East dinner. (Photo by Peggy Densford.)

 

April is the Month of the Military Child

Added April 14, 2016

April is the Month of the Military Child, and Marine Parents would like to take this opportunity to recognize the sacrifices and support of the approximately 2 million U.S. military children 18 years old and younger who have one or both parents serving in the armed forces. As difficult as it can be for a child to grow up in a military family, that challenge can be even greater for a military child with a parent who is wounded, ill, or injured.

Our Warrior Support Team—East (WST—East) serves dinners twice each month at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. While the primary focus of these dinners is on the recovering warriors, their families are a close second. As such, the Warrior Support Team has made a concerted effort to provide activities for military children at the dinners.

According to our WST—East Manager, Susan Kristol, "We provide a way to interact with other families and alleviate the isolation of being a military family assigned to a place like Walter Reed (as opposed to a big military base)" It would appear that these attempts at reaching the families of our recovering warriors has been successful, as our WST—East volunteer have noticed that more and more families with children have started attending these meals.


Walter Reed Quilt
*Image info: The quilt one of the recovering Marines will receive.

 

Marine Supporter Makes Quilt for Recovering Warrior

Added April 14, 2016

Last summer, we received message from a Marine Mom, Diana Fraser, telling us about a family friend of hers who sews quilts. This family friend had recently finished a red, white, and blue quilt that she wanted to give to a recovering warrior. They hadn't been able to find anyone in their area to help make this possible, so Diana asked us if we could help.

It took us a couple of months to get everything worked out, but we're pleased to announce that in late February, the quilt was delivered to Family Support Coordinator in the Marine Liaison Office at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Mia Nam.

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WST News

 

Warrior Support Team News

Added March 31, 2016

Each week, WST—West volunteers bring dinners to wounded, ill, and injured service members at Naval Medical Center San Diego. Last Thursday, March 24, 2016, there was an incident that restricted base access and movement for a good part of the day. As a result, many of our heroes had to deal with long lines of traffic and extended delays with appointments, all of which added to what were already challenging days for many of these men and women.

It was also difficult for our volunteers to get on the base with the planned weekly meal. When our team of volunteers arrived, the men and women were extraordinarily grateful, as some had not had yet eaten a hot meal that day.

Each week, these heroes welcome our volunteers and share meals and conversations with them, but this particular meal was a monumental blessing due to the unforeseen circumstances.

We are honored to play a small role in helping these heroes navigate their recovery processes each week, and I want to thank each of you who help fund the Warrior Support Team through your donations to the program. We appreciate your unwavering support and confidence in our outreach program to support those who so honorably defend our freedom.

Thank you. God Bless and Semper Fi,

Tracy Della Vecchia

Click here to donate to the Warrior Support Team today...


Mary/Martha Circle of the Patuxent Presbyterian Church of California, Maryland
*Image info: Mary/Martha Circle member Beth Wright.

 

Mary/Martha Circle of the Patuxent Presbyterian Church of California, Maryland

Added March 21, 2016

We'd like to take this opportunity to thank the women of the Mary/Martha Circle of the Patuxent Presbyterian Church of California, Maryland for steadily supporting the Warrior Support Team—East™.

The Mary/Martha Circle is a group of women who meet at the aforementioned church the second Thursday of each month from September through May to study the Bible, pray together, and provide outreach assistance to various organizations, and these women have been supporting the Warrior Support Team™ since back when the program was still Purple Heart Family Support™.

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Marine Corps League Auxiliary Volunteers Send Christmas Stockings to Balboa
*Image info: One of the stockings being sent to Marines at Balboa this Christmas.

 

Marine Corps League Auxiliary Volunteers Send Christmas Stockings to Balboa

Added December 10, 2015

Seven years ago, members of the Private George Phillips Detachment #1214 Marine Corps League Auxiliary, led by Gail Bickerton, a Marine wife, Marissa Grgurich, a Marine mother, and Marie Kosewicz, a Marine wife and mother, decided to make Christmas stockings for the 3/24 Marines (now the 3/23, as 3/24's colors have since been retired) while the battalion was deployed to Iraq. The response to the stockings was quite positive, and the women received numerous "thank you" cards from Marines who had hung them in their quarters to provide a sense of holiday spirit.

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Dale Larson Chemo Crab
*Image info: Warrior Support Team™—West Program Manager Dale Larson wearing his "chemo crab" cap while undergoing his chemotherapy treatment.

 

November 12, 2015 Warrior Support Team™—West Dinner

Added November 27, 2015

Two weeks ago, on November 12, the Manager of Warrior Support Team™—West, Dale Larson, along with another volunteer, Corrie, met a 19 year old Lance Corporal named Michael. Michael had been stationed on Okinawa until last month, when he was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a virulent type of brain cancer that is nearly always fatal.

Dale and Corrie spent a portion of the dinner visiting with Michael's father, who told them what has been happening and how Michael's fellow Marines have supported their family throughout this ordeal. He told Dale and Corrie that there were always four to six Marines standing watch around the clock in his hospital room in Japan. Generals and Sergeant Majors from Pacific commands visited Michael's hospital room in their dress blues. At times, Michael was hardly able to breathe, and his father held him for hours in his arms flanked by Marines. Since arriving in San Diego, Michael has been visited numerous times by senior officers, and every one of them gave him a coin.

With such overwhelming support from his fellow Marines, Michael's family is feeling loved by the Corps right now. They're also feeling loved by Marine Parents. Michael's father to Dale and Corrie how the family appreciates our presence at their side, and that it means a lot to them. In this case, it was probably helpful to have another Marine Dad (Dale) to stand with him (Michael's father) and listen to him talk about their struggles and demonstrate compassion. Dale also gave Michael's father a Wounded Warrior Handbook, which may or may not be useful. In either case, he was impressed that we have such a resource available.


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