Like most of the others, my son is a Marine, and like several others, this came about by total surprise. My son gave up a free college education, headed cross country without any notice, and enlisted on the west coast. I found this site in a state of bewilderment, and got some great support from a few of the fellow parents here. Things have become much more stabile since my son graduated boot camp, but this site is a great source of support for those with "new to the marines" children. The young marines I met are a great group of men, and I'm quite proud of my son and his comrades. It's nice to support this branch specifically, and though I donate to the USO as well, it's nice to know my support to MFN goes directly to the best branch of our military OoooooRAH! I especially like the gift packs, as you see exactly what your $22.50 is buying for a deserving Marine. No CEO with his hand out taking the lions share.
I'd give 5 stars for a rating, but find the message boards a bit hard to follow at times.
My son (at 17) decided to be a Marine. I knew NOTHING of the process or anything about the military since the only veterans in my family have passed on; I found MarineParents by accident looking for information. They have been a wonderful support tool for me and my family. I also will only purchase my Marine products through this organization because I KNOW that the money is going back to Marines like my son. I love this company.
MarineParents was an amazing support organization while my son was at Parris Island for recruit basic training. They provided details of what my son was experiencing on a day-to-day basis --- because as a new "military parent" I was not sure at all what to expect. The camaraderie of bringing together the parents of those sons & daughters who have devoted themselves to our country is priceless. Most importantly, I am confident that I can rely on MarineParents when the training is done and the activity begins.
I am a client, a donor, and, I guess, a volunteer for MarinParents.com, because I will try to do whatever I can to support this community of Marine parents. I'm a Marine mom, with his son preparing for his second deployment. I donate throughout the year whenever I can, and have designated MarineParents.com as my payroll deduction in my company's annual Giving campaign.
This non-profit was started by a Marine mom more than 8 years ago, when her son started his Marine journey, and she discovered it was almost impossible to find a place where Marine parents could get honest, reliable information and support. Over the years, she and her team have built this organization into an international source for all family members, with a deep on-line library for every phase in the Marine life. In addition, when it became apparent that there was a need for a service that didn't exist they filled: care packages to thousands of deployed Marines every year, coordination of letters of support to wounded warriors by request, services for all members of a Purple Heart family -- home cooked meals for the wounded warriors, information and organizational support for the family members trying to track all the medical information, personal support for the members and their families, including simple things like moving help, babysitting, clothes adapted to fit over prosthetics. They also have a private and very rich support environment for Gold Star families -- those who have lost a Marine in war.
Besides all that, they host the richest on-site community of Marine families that I've ever seen. A place where you are not alone in the middle of the night when you can't sleep because your son is deployed.
It's a wonderful place.
Review from Guidestar
My name is Connie McClellan. I am the mother of Marine CPL. John McClellan. On Sept 26, 2006 John was shot through the head by a sniper while serving in Iraq. Immediately, while John was at Bethesda Nat'l Naval Medical Center, John began receiving the first of hundreds of get well cards from the volunteers of Marine Parents. Further, while we were at the hospital, Marine Parents had a wonderful meal for the families of the injured as well as some of the injured themselves who were able to attend the dinners. Marine Parents is ALL about our injured, of all brances of service. Since this time, I have been involved in the packing of 'care' packages that Marine Parents organizes no less than 4 times a year. Thousands of packages are assemble and shipped by Marine Parents and volunteers every year.
MarineParents was my lifeline of support when I first learned my son enlisted in the USMC. As a person entirely unfamiliar with being the parent of a Marine meant, I found information and support on the RecruitParents Message Board. After my son graduated from bootcamp, MarineParents was still there to provide answers about post-bootcamp training, PDS assignments and deployments. I also discovered their Outreach Programs that include programs such as Purple Heart Family Support™, The Care Package Project™, Operation PAL™, Operation Freedom Ballot™, Gold Star Family Support™, Combat Recovery™, etc. All of these programs offer even more support to Marines and their families who are at all different stages in their journey with the USMC. I'm not sure how I would have handled being a Marine Mom without the help, support, advice, caring and concern of MarineParents.com and its members and programs. I am extremely honored to be a member of the Board of Directors and hope to be able to help continue and expand the services offered to Marines as well as their families and communities.