I have been AWOL… (is there such a thing as Official Leave for Civilians?) Perhaps a better term would be AWOB… Absent With Out Blogging. Rather than go into a boring list of reasons, I will attempt to jump back into this.
Today I am sharing a fantastic email from my Favorite Marine:
Have you ever walk into a room and immediately felt an enormous energy field? It happened to me about 2 weeks ago.
I walked into the fitness center in my building and there were 2 people in there; one of the condo owners and the other a petite blond I had never seen before.
The gentleman said, “Speaking of Marines,” as he nodded toward me. The conversation started going 100 mph from that point on. One of the first things said was that Dianne was from Berkley, CA – that’s what I thought I heard and we all rolled our eyes because of the protests going on at the campus concerning Marines.
In reality, she’s from Tampa. With me asking a few questions I found out a truly amazing thing about Dianne.
The Berkley connection was that she was so outraged over the protests that she got on a plane, by herself, and flew there for the sole purpose to take these people on single-handedly and to tell them to leave “her” Marines alone!
She even got 2 of them arrested when they spray painted her (followed by her macing them)!!
What I misunderstood about her living there was that she had just returned from that trip.
I had an immediate respect and awe for Dianne. I don’t know of anyone who would do something like this. I asked her why she had this passion – what was her Marine connection.
She kept alluding to “her” Marines – the tens of thousands of them in Iraq and Afghanistan; that she doesn’t want anyone “slamming” them, etc.
Like many of my friends, Dianne started collecting goodies and mailing them to Marines a few years ago when the war started. One thing led to another and soon all her waking hours were consumed with collecting and mailing packages and she was soon spending well over $2,000 of her own money, per month, to do this. She didn’t care.
Oh, and Dianne is a personal fitness trainer who started her own successful business and employs 10 trainers. Her friends and the local businesses finally convinced her to start a non-profit organization to help her with the financial strain.
Support our Marines was born on November 10, 2007 – picked because of the birthday of the Marine Corps
What many of you may not know is that more and more Marines are living further away from the main bases so they have less access to buy even the basics than they did 2 years ago. We have learned that to be successful in this war, we need to get closer to the local population.
Marines do not complain and we do what is necessary. We always adapt. Because of the greater sacrifices expected of the units, packages from home mean all that much more, now.
“Most of our Marines operate out of very isolated combat outpost and under some of the harshest conditions. No hot water, we use things like WAG bags for our waste, we use plywood built outhouse and sleep in some of the worst buildings and conditions. But on the other hand (some) of our Marines live and operate in conditions that are better than some but worse than most. Overall though, we are determined and committed to accomplishing our missions out here. No matter what the conditions are we will do our jobs as Marines!” Quote from a sergeant with TF 3/2.
Of course all of these Marines (in AFG and Iraq) are in the U.S. Marine Forces Central Command’s (MARCENT) area of responsibility, (so they are even more near and dear to my heart because I work at MARCENT).
I wanted you to know about this wonderful woman and what she is doing.
Please feel free to pass on this email and introduce Dianne to others, too!
Sending a wave and a hug to Dianne. We understand why you stands up and fights for “your Marines”… as many of us have also adopted those in the military past and present. The brave men and women, who fight for us, have all become members of our extended family.