Friday, December 29, 2006

Resources for Marine parents

I was thinking today about how I felt when my oldest son told me he wanted to be a Marine. The first thing I did was start combing the internet for information. I knew very little about the Marines other than the "big and bad" reputation and I wanted to be informed. From the Google searches that are leading people to our blog, I'm guessing there are others out there in the same situation. Luckily for us, there are LOTS of resources for Marine parents on the internet. I would start with the official USMC parents website. Then go to the website. There are message boards for both parents of recruits and poolees as well as Marines. I found parents from both of my sons' recruit training companies and met many of them in San Diego at the graduations. The recruit message board is mostly San Diego parents, but there are some with Parris Island recruits as well. There are separate threads for each graduation date. On the Marine side of the message board the threads are organized according to duty station or unit. You may be able to find other parents with Marines in your son or daughter's unit. I found a mom there whose daughter is stationed with my oldest son and they are in the same unit. She met my son when she went to Japan to visit her daughter and I met her daughter when I went to visit my son. Another message board that I only found recently is the USMC EZ Board. There are more Parris Island parents here. I found the mom of my #2 son's room mate on the EZ Board. Those poor guys don't stand a chance with their moms talking to each other, do they? ;)

If your son will be going to MCRD San Diego for bootcamp (men west of the Mississippi)click here to see the official USMC training matrix. If your son or daughter will be going to bootcamp at Parris Island (men east of the Mississippi and all women) click here for more information. For unofficial (but highly recommended) graduation advice for San Diego visit Max's San Diego Graduation site, and a similar unofficial (but again highly recommended) site for Parris Island grads here.

Now, as far as I know, there are no similar websites for parents of other branches of the military. I do believe there are some official websites for parents, but no message boards or unofficial websites that I know of. If anyone knows of any, please pass them along.

The above picture was taken at MCRD San Diego before my second son's Family Day, which is the day before the actual graduation. It was the first time in 13 weeks for us to catch a glimpse of him. Aside from the days of their births, their graduations from bootcamp were the proudest (and most emotional) days of my life.

Lubbock Soldier to be portrayed on History Channel

Roy Velez, is honored and excited to see the History Channel special about his son Friday. The Velez family lost their son Freddy in 2004 when he was killed by enemy fire in Fallujah. Read the rest here. The special will be on today at noon and at 6:00pm tonight.

Blondiebee and I had the privilege to meet this precious family when they lost their second son Andrew. They are an inspiration to us. Their faith is still so strong even after losing two of their sons. We went to take food and just hoped we might be of some comfort to them. We were so blessed by that meeting and I think received more from the family than we were able to give. Roy, the father, has been nominated for Texan of the year. They will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

It was quiet that day, the guns and the mortars, and land mines for some reason hadn't been heard.

The young soldier knew it was Sunday, the holiest day of the week.

As he was sitting there, he got out an old deck of cards and laid them out across his bunk.

Just then a sergeant came in and said, "Why aren't you with the rest of the platoon?"

The soldier replied, "I thought I would stay behind and spend some time with the Lord."

The sergeant said, "Looks to me like you're going to play cards."

The soldier said, "No, sir. You see, since we are not allowed to have Bibles or other spiritual books in this country, I've decided to talk to the Lord by studying this deck of cards."

The sergeant asked in disbelief, "How will you do that?"

“You see the Ace, Sergeant? It reminds me that there is only one God.

~ The Two represents the two parts of the Bible, Old and New Testaments.

~ The Three represents the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost.

~ The Four stands for the Four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

~ The Five is for the five virgins. There were ten, but only five of them were glorified.

~ The Six is for the six days it took God to create the Heavens and Earth.

~ The Seven is for the day God rested after making His Creation.

~ The Eight is for the family of Noah and his wife, their three sons and their wives -- the eight people God spared from the flood that destroyed the Earth.

~ The Nine is for the lepers that Jesus cleansed of leprosy. He cleansed ten, but nine never thanked Him.

~ The Ten represents the Ten Commandments that God handed down to Moses on tablets made of stone.

~ The Jack is a reminder of Satan, one of God's first angels, but he got kicked out of heaven for his sly and wicked ways and is now the joker of eternal hell.

~ The Queen stands for the Virgin Mary.

~ The King stands for Jesus, for he is the King of all kings."

"When I count the dots on all the cards, I come up with 365 total, one for every day of the year."

"There are a total of 52 cards in a deck; each is a week - 52 weeks in a year."

"The four suits represent the four seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter."

"Each suit has thirteen cards -- there are exactly thirteen weeks in a quarter."

"So when I want to talk to God and thank Him, I just pull out this old deck of cards and they remind me of all that I have to be thankful for."

The sergeant just stood there. After a minute, with tears in his eyes and pain in his heart, he said, "Soldier, can I borrow that deck of cards?"

**Please let this be a reminder and take time to pray each day for all of our soldiers who are being sent away, putting their lives on the line fighting. When you read this, please stop for a moment and say a prayer for our servicemen and women all around the world.

Of all the gifts you could give a Soldier, prayer is the very best one.

~ Prayer for the Military ~

Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands.
Protect them.
Bless them and their families.
I ask this in the name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior.


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Soldier From Lubbock Interviewed in Iraq

A Soldier from Lubbock is Interviewed in Iraq

GIs Continue Missions on Christmas

Associated Press December 25, 2006

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Pfc. John Alonzo knew Christmas would be his toughest time in Iraq. "Ever since I volunteered, I haven't been looking forward to it," said the 27-year-old, from Lubbock, Texas. "My son wants to know why I can't be home for the holidays. He doesn't understand that I can't just quit."

Read the rest of the post from De'on at Gunz Up here

Thursday, December 21, 2006

True American

This from our Lubbock Marine Parents Treasurer, Tanya. Very good I thought!

You might be a TRUE AMERICAN if: It never occurred to you to be offended by the phrase, "One nation, under God."

You might be a TRUE AMERICAN if: You've never protested about seeing the 10 Commandments posted in public places.

You might be a TRUE AMERICAN if: You still say "Christmas" instead of "Winter Festival."

You might be a TRUE AMERICAN if: You bow your head when someone prays.

You might be a TRUE AMERICAN if: You stand and place your hand over your heart when they play the National Anthem.

You might be a TRUE AMERICAN if: You treat VietNam vets with great respect, and always have.

You might be a TRUE AMERICAN if: You've never burned an American flag.

You might be a TRUE AMERICAN if: You know what you believe and you aren't afraid to say so, no matter who is listening.

You might be a TRUE AMERICAN if: You respect your elders and expect your kids to do the same.

You might be a TRUE AMERICAN if: You'd give your last dollar to a friend.

God Bless the USA! Git'er done!!!!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

About those care packs...

You all may remember that a few weeks back our group mailed out 251 care packages to Iraq. We got a thank you note in the mail that I want to share. It's from one of our wonderful women Marines. Her letter brought tears to my eyes.

"Dear Lubbock Marine Parents,

Greetings from Camp TQ, Iraq! Lance Corporal S. here, my parents are Lee and Ann S. It sure was a nice surprise to receive a care package from you guys (perfect timing, I needed some new socks!), today. You all have done a lot to support us over here and we all appreciate everything you do. Just one more reason I feel so blessed to be out here with the group, and to be from Texas!

Everyone is doing well. Our morale is high and although the holidays are usually times when Marines get depressed and more homesick than usual, we have really solidified as a unit and are making the best of it. On the phone with my parents a few days ago my mother said, "It doesn't feel fair for you to have to miss Thanksgiving and Christmas with your family again due to deployment". I thought for a second and told her, "Well, Mom, I WILL be with my family for Thanksgiving and Christmas." In knowing that, and in having the support we do back home, I know Lubbock will contine to shine and do amazing things until it is time for us to leave here and come home. Thanks again for thinking of us, I hope everyone's holidays will be as good and as joyful as ours!

With God's Love and mine,

Morgan S., Lance Corporal, USMC"

Monday, December 18, 2006

Marine Jokes

I came across a bunch of Marine jokes today that I had printed out and sent to my oldest son while he was at bootcamp. I thought we could all use a laugh. I'll start with one of the funniest. Now, remember that these are all in fun! ;)

Rules For Dating a Marine's Daughter

Rule one:
If you pull into my driveway and honk you'd better be delivering a package, because you're sure not picking anything up.

Rule two:
You do not touch my daughter in front of me. You may glance at her, so long as you do not peer at anything below her neck. If you cannot keep your eyes or hands off of my daughter's body, I will remove them.

Rule three:
I am aware that it is considered fashionable for boys of your age to wear their trousers so loosely that they appear to be falling off their hips. Please don't take this as an insult, but you and all of your friends are complete idiots. Still, I want to be fair and open minded about this issue, so I propose this compromise: You may come to the door with your underwear showing and your pants ten sizes too big, and I will not object. However, in order to ensure that your clothes do not, in fact, come off during the course of your date with my daughter, I will take my electric nail gun and fasten your trousers securely in place to your waist.

Rule four:
I'm sure you've been told that in today's world, sex without utilizing a "barrier method" of some kind can kill you. Let me elaborate, when it comes to sex, I am the barrier, and I will kill you.

Rule five:
It is usually understood that in order for us to get to know each other, we should talk about sports, politics, and other issues of the day. Please do not do this. The only information I require from you is an indication of when you expect to have my daughter safely back at my house, and the only word I need from you on this subject is "early".

Rule six:
I have no doubt you are a popular fellow, with many opportunities to date other girls. this is fine with me as long as it is okay with my daughter. Otherwise, once you have gone out with my little girl, you will continue to date no one but her until she is finished with you. If you make her cry, I will make you cry.

Rule seven:
As you stand in my front hallway, waiting for my daughter to appear, and more than an hour goes by, do not sigh and fidget. If you want to be on time for the movie, you should not be dating. My daughter is putting on her makeup, a process that can take longer than painting the Golden Gate Bridge. Instead of just standing there, why don't you do something useful, like changing the oil in my car?

Rule eight:
The following places are not appropriate for a date with my daughter: Places where there are beds, sofas, or anything softer than a wooden stool. Places where there are no parents, policemen, or nuns within eyesight. Places where there is darkness. Places where there is dancing, holding hands, or happiness. Places where the ambient temperature is warm enough to induce my daughter to wear shorts, tank tops, midriff t-shirts, or anything other than overalls, a sweater, and a goose down parka - zipped up to her throat. Movies with a strong romantic or sexual theme are to be avoided; movies which feature chain saws are okay. Hockey games are okay. Old folks homes are better.

Rule nine:
Do not lie to me. On issues relating to my daughter, I am the all-knowing, merciless god of your universe. If I ask you where you are going and with whom, you have one chance to tell me the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I have a shotgun, a shovel, and five acres behind the house. Do not trifle with me.

Rule ten:
Be afraid. Be very afraid. It takes very little for me to mistake the sound of your car in the driveway for a tank coming in through the desert in Iraq. The voices in my head frequently tell me to clean the guns as I wait for you to bring my daughter home. As soon as you pull into the driveway you should exit your car with both hands in plain sight. Speak the perimeter password, announce in a clear voice that you have brought my daughter home safely and early, then return to your car - there is no need for you to come inside. The camouflaged face at the window is mine.

Army Ranger, Marines and crocodile shoes....

An Army Ranger was on vacation in the depths of Louisiana and he wanted a pair of genuine alligator shoes in the worst way, but was very reluctant to pay the high prices the local vendors were asking.
After becoming very frustrated with the "no haggle" attitude of one of the shopkeepers, the Ranger shouted, "maybe I'll just go out and get my own alligator so I can get a pair of shoes made at a reasonable price!"

The vendor said, "By all means, be my guest. Maybe you will run into a couple of Marines who were in here earlier saying the same thing."

So the Ranger headed into the bayou that same day and a few hours later came upon two men standing waist deep in the water. He thought, "those must be the two Marines the guy in town was talking about." Just then, the Ranger saw a tremendously long gator swimming rapidly underwater towards one of the Marines.

Just as the gator was about to attack, the Marine grabbed its neck with both hands and strangled it to death with very little effort. Then both Marines dragged it on shore and flipped it on its back. Laying nearby were several more of the creatures.

One of the Marines then exclaimed, "Damn, this one doesn't have any shoes either!"

New Basic Training Rules
In an effort to ensure proper training and readiness among the military services, Congress has approved the following changes to basic principles of recruit training:


Marines: Heads will be shaved.
Army: Stylish flat-top's for all recruits.
Navy: No haircut standard.
Air Force: Complete makeovers as seen on the Jenny Jones show.

Training Hours:

Marines: Reveille at 0500, train until 2000.
Army: Reveille at 0600, train until 1900.
Navy: Get out of bed at 0900, train until 1100, lunch until 1300, train until 1600.
Air Force: Awaken at 1000, breakfast in bed, train from 1100 to 1200, lunch at 1200, train from 1300 to 1400, nap at 1400, awaken from nap at 1500, training ceases at 1500.


Marines: Meals, Ready-to-Eat 3 times a day.
Army: One hot meal, 2 MRE's.
Navy: 3 hot meals.
Air Force: Catered meals prepared by the Galloping Gourmet, Julia Child, and Wolfgang Puck and Emeril Lagasse. All you can eat.

Leave And Liberty:

Marines: None.
Army: 4 hours a week.
Navy: 2 days a week.
Air Force: For every four hours of training, recruits will receive eight hours of leave and liberty.


Marines: Will address all officers as "Sir," and refer to the rank of all enlisted members when speaking to them (i.e., Sgt. Jones).
Army: Will address all officers as "Sir," unless they are friends, and will call all enlisted personnel "Sarge."
Navy: Will address all officers as "Skipper," and all enlisted personnel as "Chief."
Air Force: All Air Force personnel shall be on a first name basis with each other.


Marines: Medals and badges are awarded for acts of gallantry and bravery only.
Army: Medals and badges are awarded for every bullet fired, hand grenade thrown, fitness test passed, and bed made.
Navy: Will have ships' engineers make medals for them as desired.
Air Force: Will be issued all medals and badges, as they will most likely be awarded them at some point early in their careers anyway.

Camouflage Uniforms:

Marines: Work uniform, to be worn only during training and in field situations.
Army: Will wear it anytime, anywhere.
Navy: Will not wear camouflage uniforms, they do not camouflage you on a ship. (Ship Captains will make every effort to attempt to explain this to sailors.)
Air Force: Will defeat the purpose of camouflage uniforms by putting blue and silver chevrons and colorful squadron patches all over them.

Career Fields:

Marines: All Marines shall be considered riflemen first and foremost.
Army: It doesn't matter, all career fields promote to E-8 in first enlistment anyway.
Navy: Nobody knows. The Navy is still trying figure out what sailors in the ABH, SMC, BNC and BSN rates do anyway.
Air Force: Every recruit will be trained in a manner that will allow them to leave the service early to go on to higher paying civilian jobs.

A sailor in a bar leans over to the guy next to him and says "Wanna hear a MARINE joke"? The guy next to him says "Well, before you tell that joke, you should know something. I'm 6 foot tall, 200 lbs, and I'm a MARINE. The guy sitting next to me is 6 foot 2inches tall, weighs 225, and he's a MARINE. The fella next to him is 6 foot 5 inches tall, weighs 250, and he's also a MARINE. Now, you still wanna tell that joke?"

The sailor says, "Nah, I don't want to have to explain it three times."

Friday, December 08, 2006

Psalm 91

Praying the Prayers of Psalm 91 over our military today.

TJ, my stepson has been on my mind all day today, as have many others who are leaving 3/7 this time of the year. TJ has reupped and transfered to Bridgeport, California. My thoughts are a little on the sad side as this transition in his life occurs, I feel like I am loosing 3/7 family. All of the young men of 3/7 have become very dear to my heart. They will soon be gone again in a few months. This Prayer straight from the scripture is for those who are currently serving and I feel it will pave the way for 3/7 in their future.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."
Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you make the Most High your dwelling—
even the LORD, who is my refuge—
then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
"Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life will I satisfy him
and show him my salvation."

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Remember Pearl Harbor

65 years ago today our country was attacked at Pearl Harbor. It was "a day that will live in infamy". It is so important that we remember our history and honor those who served our country then and those who continue to do so today. My family is grateful for their service and sacrifice.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I Am A Blue Star Mother

I am a Blue Star Mother.
I am the Mother of a United States Marine.
He gave me my title
I will give him a heart full of wonder at this accomplishment
And a voice that praises his desire to serve
I will place my faith in his military training
And in God's protection.
I will give him the prayers that will follow him
Where I cannot.
I will be strong when I want to cry
And brave when I want to cower.
He will know I am behind him every step of the way.
Because I bear the title of
Mother of a United States Marine!

IED Hunter

Beth at Blue Star Chronicles has a funny video that I think all you Marine parents will love. Click here to watch it. Oh the things our Marines will do to entertain themselves...

A New Team Member

We now have a new contributor to our blog! Blondiebee (another Marine mom and Lubbock Marine Parents officer) has joined me and I know the blog will be twice as good now. I can't wait to see what she has to say! I'm thrilled because now if I post something stupid, it won't be blamed on the whole group! ;) Too much responsibility!

Oh, and I have an update. Steven (my oldest son) has his plane tickets! I can officially go into high gear excited mother mode! He'll be here in less than 2 weeks!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Semper Fi Fund

I want to make you aware of a wonderful organization called the Semper Fi Fund. They are an organization that provides assistance to injured Marines. Some families like to give to charity in lieu of gifts at Christmas, and this is an excellent one. If you get a chance to visit the website, be sure to read the Heroes' Stories.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Blue Star Banner

You have probably heard of the service star flags, or seen them displayed. I have one in the front window of my home and a sticker version on the back of my van. Mine have two stars because I have two sons who are Marines. Others may have one, two, three, or even more. These flags first came about during World War I and were hand made by mothers. They are displayed during times of war, and each blue star represents a son or daughter currently serving our country. A gold star represents a service member that was either killed in action or died in service. Recently I have also heard of silver stars to represent a service member injured while in service. I bought both my banner and my sticker at my second son's bootcamp graduation, but they can also be ordered on the Internet. To me, the banner means that not only am I proud of my sons, but I am also proud of my country.

On the sidebar to the right you can see a list of "Blue Star Blogs". These are blogs by either parents or family members of our service men and women, or others who support our troops. Beth at Blue Star Chronicles has helped me post the list. I've botched her instructions I'm afraid, but she is patiently helping me work it out. :) Be sure to visit these blogs!


Who says it doesn't snow in Texas? Look what we woke up to this morning. Hope everyone made it to work and school OK. The streets are very icy, so be careful.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

More on the Packing Party

I received a whole CD full of pictures of our packing party today from Tom, the Elks District Vice President. He and his wife took some great pictures for us and got some better shots than I did, so I thought I would share some of them with you. This one shows Becky and Tanya being interviewed for the channel 11 news.

Here's our Lubbock Marine Parents banner. We used it for our booth at the 4th on Broadway and the Wolfforth Harvest Festival. Be sure and look for us again next year at both.

Look how full these boxes are! Some of them took two of us to get closed and taped shut.
Thanks again Elks and all of you who helped! We love you!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Spotlight on Dustin

Dustin is the son of Lubbock Marine Parents member Curtis, who is himself a former Marine. He is a 2006 graduate of Frenship High School and left for bootcamp only a week after graduation. Some Summer vacation, huh? He has wanted to be in the military as long as he can remember, but decided in his Sophomore year that he wanted to be a Marine. He lost 40 pounds while in the Delayed Entry Program and another 30 pounds in bootcamp. He is currently at 29 Palms, CA for his MOS school and is at the top of his class.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Give Thanks

"O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever."
-Psalm 107:1 (KJV)

We wish you all a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving tomorrow. We have so much in our country and in our city to be thankful for.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

More Pictures

I just couldn't resist adding some more pictures of our packing party. This one shows all the hygiene items that we placed into gallon size plastic bags so that the food items would be separate. When the boxes were being filled, all we had to do was put one of the bags into the box. Each bag had soap, razors, deodorant, shaving cream, toothpaste, a toothbrush, mouthwash, q-tips, wet get the idea.

Look at all the elves filling the packages!

Here are all the goodies ready to be loaded up. Isn't it an awesome sight? I don't want to forget to mention that in addition to the 251 individual boxes, we are also sending 2 large boxes to the company commander that he can distribute. One contains all the games and footballs that would not fit into the flat rate boxes, and the other is a huge box full of Starbucks coffee and coffee grinders.

Ralls Elementary

Thank you Ralls Elementary teachers and students for all the goodies you donated, the help packing, and all the letters. You are a great group and I know the Marines and soldiers will love those precious letters!

Monday, November 20, 2006

251 Boxes

We met the mail carrier at the Elk's Lodge this morning and he picked up 251 boxes! His truck was full to the top, but he managed to get them all. Hope he didn't have to stop suddenly on the way back to the post office! ;) Unfortunately I forgot my camera this morning, so I didn't get any pictures. Above is one of all the boxes loaded and ready to be taped up and labeled yesterday. They are now officially on their way!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Packing Party

The packing party went SOOO well today! We had so many wonderful helpers and so many donations. We have 250 boxes, stuffed full, ready to go out in Monday's mail. We never expected this much. The Elks were just the BEST and have our never ending gratitude. They made hamburgers for all of us, and were so sweet and helpful. Well, if you can call all those big, burly men "sweet"! ;) We would never have been able to pull this off without them. They have even offered to let us have our next packing party at the Lodge. We plan to do a Valentine's mail out, and will let you know the details on that as it gets closer.

We had an assembly line set up and it went like clockwork. Each person grabbed a box, and went down the rows of tables putting something from each category into the box. We also had Christmas stockings for each box. We will have 250 happy Marines and Soldiers in the next few weeks. We just can't thank you enough for your help. We are humbled by all the love and support you have shown to our group and to our Marines.

Here's Tanya doing her Vanna White impression to show off all of the boxes. This isn't all of them though! Believe it or not there were about 30 not yet in the pile.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


We are overwhelmed by your generosity Lubbock! We met tonight to start sorting the items to get them ready for our packing party and we just couldn't believe all the items that have been donated. We are so blessed to be a part of such a loving, giving community. Please join us, if you can, this Sunday at 1:00 at the Elk's Lodge at 34th and Milwaukee for our packing party. Bring a goodie to share and your Christmas spirit!

Psalm 91

This is one of my favorite Psalms. It is one that I pray often for my own sons as well as all of our military. Two of my favorite verses in this Psalm are verse 2 "I will say of the Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.'", and verse 4 "He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler." I can just picture the wings of God hovering over our loved ones and gathering them to Him. My Bible opens itself to this page! :) Please remember our military in your prayers, especially those unable to be home for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Nathan and Caleb

Nathan and Caleb are good friends who went to bootcamp together. They are also good friends of Crosby who was three weeks ahead of them in bootcamp. We are so proud of them both! Caleb is currently at Marine Combat Training at Camp Pendleton and is getting ready to head to Pensacola, Florida for MOS school this week. Caleb is on the left in the picture and Nathan is on the right. The following is from Nathan's mom, Cheryl.

Nathan has talked about being a Marine since he was about 12-years-old. That has been the only career goal he has talked about.At 17, he joined the Delayed Entry Program and began working out and participating in
Marine activities. His best friend's brother became a Marine the previous year and his best friend had also signed up for the Delayed Entry Program. They were joined by other close friends and became a strong group with the same goals and interests. After graduating from Lubbock High School in 2006 and turning 18 in June, Nathan headed to boot camp in July. He became a Marine Oct. 13, 2006. After his leave and a few weeks as a recruiter's assistant, he is currenlty back at Camp Pendleton getting ready for Infantry Training.
His family, including Mom and Dad , two sisters and extended family, are very proud of his accomplishment. His paternal grandfather( whom he never knew )was a Marine during World War II, and his maternal grandfather served as a Marine in the 1950s.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Happy Birthday Marines!

On this day in 1775, the Second Continental Congress resolved to create two battalions of Continental Marines for the War of Independence from Britain. Today they celebrate 231 years of serving our country with tradition and honor and President Bush will dedicate the National Museum of the Marine Corps. It is located in Quantico, Virginia.

Happy 231st Birthday Marines!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Spotlight on Chad

Chad is a 2005 graduate of Lubbock High School where he was a member of the Naval Junior R.O.T.C. During his senior year, he was part of the Delayed Entry Program for the U.S. Marine Corps. He graduated Boot Camp in October 2005. Chad is currently assigned to the Lubbock Marine Corps Reserves as part of the 6th Motor Transport Battalion and is serving a tour in Iraq. Chad comes from a long line of military family, most recently including an Army grandfather, an Air Force uncle and a Navy uncle. Chad would like one day to become a 2nd grade teacher. We are all so very, very proud of the young man he has become and the choices he has made for his life!!!!

Chad is the son of Lubbock Marine Parents member Sherry.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Another Great Recipe!

Here's another great recipe. This one is from Becky. I think it will ship really well and our Marines will love it.

Sweet n Spicy Nuts

1 egg white

5 cups/ 24oz Nuts

1 tbsp Pumpkin pie spice

1 Tsp Water

1 cup sugar

Beat egg white and water till frothy in a large mixing bowl. Add nuts and toss until nuts are coated. In a separate bowl, combine sugars and pumpkin pie spice. Pour over nuts while tossing.

Spread nuts in the baking dish in a thin layer.

Bake for 20 minutes @ 350. Cool 5 minutes. Spread over was paper. Serves about 32 servings.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Spotlight on T.J.

My stepson, TJ Wilson is a Corporal in the Marines and will soon be stationed at Bridgeport Mountain Warfare Training Center. He will be training troops in Mountain Warfare which will have him doing what he loves most in life (well second most), Mountain Climbing! TJ is married to Kiyana and has one son, Atreyu, and another baby on the way (I think raising kids and being a great husband is actually #1 on his list of what he loves most in life). To our great joy, TJ is becoming the man we had always hoped he would be thanks to the Marines! A big Oooorah! We sure are proud of him!
Becky Wilson

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Christmas Poem

This is a wonderful poem from our Lubbock Marine Parents president, Becky.

T’was the month before Christmas, when all through the country

The stockings were filled by people who care

Knowing our troops would still be there

The Marines were nestled all snug on the base

Dreaming of home and snowflakes

When at the gate there arose such a clatter.

They all sprang up to see what was the matter.

The mail trucks arrived with gun protection on the side.

The moon shone on the opening doors

And all could see packages galore.

The Corporal so lively and quick,

Tossed packages out with a twist.

The quiet of night had eyes filled with mist.

For nothing had stopped Christmas joy from arriving

Love is what it all about and of that there is no doubt.

Monday, October 30, 2006

First Recipe

Here's the first recipe contributed by Tanya. She's been a busy gal lately hasn't she? I can't WAIT to try it! I wonder how many points this is on Weight Watchers? Good thing it's for the Marines and not me!

Chocolate Fudge Recipe

4 & 1/2 Cups Sugar

1 Large Can evaporated milk

1 - 10 oz package marshmallows (miniature works best)

1 - 12 oz package chocolate chips

5 ounces of Hershey candy (Buy the big bar and break the squares off, in the one pound bar each square is approximately one ounce)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups chopped nuts if desired.

Very lightly butter a large sheet cake pan and set off to the side.

Cook the sugar and evaporated milk in a large sauce pan for 4 & 1/2 minutes after it comes to a boil - stirring constantly. Have someone watch the clock as this cook time is very important.

When the 4 & 1/2 minutes boiling time is up, immediately add the remaining ingredients and stir constantly until all the marshmallows and chocolate is melted and you have a smooth texture to your mix. You will have to work fast as the mixture begins to cool as soon as you add the other parts.

Pour into the sheet pan and let spread out over the entire bottom of the pan and cool. After about 20 minutes you can score the top of the candy about 1/8" deep. Score it in about 1 inch square pieces. This will help with cutting it later. After about an hour you can go back and cut it all the way through with a warm knife.

Line the bottom of an airtight container with wax paper and place a layer of cut fudge pieces on the bottom of the container, separate each layer of fudge pieces with another layer of wax paper to prevent the fudge from sticking to the other layers. If you want to wrap the pieces of fudge individually the new press and seal paper that is out works wonders and is easy to use.

This recipe was used during WWII to send fudge to the soldiers in their care packages. Enjoy!

Radio and Reminders

Our treasurer, Tanya, will be on the radio THIS morning at 10:30. She will be on Power 106 FM, so be sure and listen!

Also I want to remind everyone about our list of items needed and drop off locations. You can click to your right on the post titled "Christmas Care Packs" for more details and I will post the drop off locations again for you. They are:

Open Air MRI: 3720 20th Street
Marine Recruiter's Office: 5102 60th Street Ste. D (next to CiCi's Pizza)
Elks Lodge: 3409 Milwaukee (34th and Milwaukee)
All 4 locations of Body Works

Remember that $30 will fill a box!

Edited to add: She TAPED the interview this morning. It will actually air tomorrow the 31st at 1:00p.m.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

How we got our start

I thought there might be some who would like to know how our group came about. We got our start in September of 2004. Two moms, one whose son had recently been injured in Iraq, and one whose son had recently left for bootcamp, started desperately searching the internet hoping to find another local mom to talk to. They were thrilled to find each other on a Marine Parents message board and made plans to meet for lunch. After a long lunch with plenty of laughter and tears they knew they needed to reach out to other parents who must surely be feeling the same way. They were soon joined by a third mom (also found on the message board) and then another and on it went.

Soon we decided to send some care packages to Iraq so that not only our own children, but others who were serving our country would know that they are loved and appreciated. The first mail out (with only 3 members at the time) was completely out of our own pockets. We sent 10 packages. Every few months we had more members and more friends to help and we sent out a little larger mail out. Soon we realized that we needed to become a formal support group, so we organized, elected officers, adopted bylaws and became a non-profit organization so that we could begin fundraising. This past Christmas (2005) we sent over 65 packages. We also sent a Valentine mail out and an Easter mail out. The Valentine mail out was sent to an Army chaplain so that he could distribute the packages to those who needed them most. Much of our shipping costs are paid for by the bracelets we sold at the 4th on Broadway Street Fair and the Wolfforth Harvest Festival, but money for shipping continues to be our biggest need. We feel that sending these care packages is just a small way to honor the men and women who sacrifice and endure so much so that our freedom is preserved. We are so very proud of each and every one of them!

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem."
-President Ronald Reagan, 1985

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Our Mission

The mission of Lubbock Marine Parents is to provide loving emotional and spiritual support and encouragement to the parents, families, loved ones and friends of active duty or retired Marines, recruits, and poolees.

*We do not address political issues at our meetings.
*We do allow freedom of spiritual proclamations, support, and prayer.
*We do believe in God, Family, Country and the United States Marine Corps.
*We are always faithful to the United States Marine Corps and our Marines.
*Thank you for your prayers and support of all our military as they serve our country!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Packing Day!

If anyone is interested, November 19th is our packing day for our Christmas boxes. I'm sure we can use all the help we can get. To the left is a picture of all the boxes we sent out last Christmas and we plan to more than double that amount this year! Just let us know if you would like to help.

"It's so nice to get packages/letters from people back home. Know that what you are doing is huge to keep us motivated and confident that we're greatly appreciated and thought of back home.

C.S. Benfield"
Capt. USMC Tactics

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Christmas Care Packs

Here are the drop off locations for care pack items:
**Check edit at the end of this post***

Open Air MRI 3720 20th St.
Marine Recruiter's Office 5102 60th Street STE. D
Elks Lodge 3409 Milwaukee (34th and Milwaukee)
All four locations of Body Works

The following items are requested:

Toiletries and General:
Q-tips (individual packs)
Individual baby wipe packs
Chap Stick
Black Socks (thick, calf length)
Individual Tissue Packs
Disposable Razors
Hand Warmers
Advil/Tylenol (individual packs)
Cards/Board games/Puzzles
DVDs (new or used)
Music CDs (new or used)
Letter or cards of encouragement!

Food Items:

Can Soup (pull top lids)
Can Chips
Beef Jerky
Breakfast Bars
Granola Bars
Hard Candy
Sunflower Seeds
Gummy Candies
Juice Mixes (individual packs)
Hot Chocolate
Microwave Popcorn
Easy Mac and Dinty Moore

$30 will fill a box!

***Monetary donations to help with the cost of postage are appreciated! You can donate through Paypal by clicking on the "Donate" button in the sidebar.

***Edited to add:We have already sent off our Christmas boxes and the only drop off location still accepting items is the recruiter's office. We are already looking ahead to a Valentine's Day mail out and we would love your help with that. We will continue to collect items for care pack mail outs throughout the year. This is a year round effort. If you have any questions, please email me at Thank you!

Our New Blog!

Welcome to the Lubbock Marine Parents blog! This is our first post. We are a support group for parents and families of United States Marines. We are currently gathering donations for our Christmas Care Pack Drive. We hope to gather enough items for 200 packages. Our deadline for gathering items is November 15th. More info about needed items to follow.