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By Terry Rifkin, Dana Point

The support the Dana Point 5th Marine Regiment Support Group has received from the city of Dana Point, our local citizens, companies, civic organizations and volunteers (our unsung heroes) all contributed to a banner year for our outreach programs. As president, I am honored to work alongside of you to make a difference in the lives of those men and women who serve our country proudly.

As a direct result of your efforts this year, amongst many other support initiatives, we have been able to accomplish the following:

  • Send Wounded Warriors to the Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra summer and winter programs and provide lunches and volunteers for the Wounded Warrior Trials at Camp Pendleton
  • Provide a baby shower for the proud ladies of the 5th who are far from home
  • Meet unexpected family emergencies
  • Contribute substantial support for the maintenance of the 5th Marine Memorial Garden and Park
  • Update the Martial Arts Facility, the Yurista Combat Fitness Center, and the Cage Fit Training Center with the newest state-of-the-art training equipment
  • Design and dedicate Task Force Grizzly, an NCO Club worthy of our elite Fighting Force
  • Provide support to our deploying troops with family barbecues, a professional dinner and a proper farewell to all those leaving for the Middle East.

The level, duration, and consistency of your support have not gone unnoticed.

Our mission continues. Col. Jason Bohm and Sgt. Maj. Wiggins have carried the Regimental Colors forward and taken one third of the Headquarters Company on a very important mission to the Middle East for seven months. They have left behind two thirds of the Regiment to train rigorously in case the nation calls. DPSG will be caring for the Marines, Sailors and families left behind, but we have increased our mission considerably by adopting this Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force-Central Command (SPMAGTF-CENT) while they are deployed. Adoption has its responsibilities and we will not fail at our duty to provide support, care and comfort to our troops while in country and their families left in our hands.

We will once again join shoulder to shoulder with our Marines and families so that we may provide them with the kind of support and outreach they so richly deserve. I intend to “lead from the front” and ask you to join me with the following missions this holiday season.

  • Sponsor a Marine or family member for Thanksgiving Dinner at StillWater Restaurant in Dana Point
  • Donate a toy for a Marine child
  • Donate a gift card for a single Marine or Marine family
  • While deployed, adopt a single Marine or a Marine and his/her family and be part of our “Operation Joining Forces”
  • Donate goodies that may be sent in country
  • Donate to our “Postage for Patriots” program to help mail care and comfort boxes to the Middle East

Civic organizations such as ours answer the call to provide resources that bridge the gap caused by military budget cuts. For DPSG to provide morale-building services not covered by our Marine Corps allows our Marines to focus on their priority of “mission readiness.” The families need encouragement and support since they are the remain-behind force when their infantry spouses and loved ones are called to serve.

This holiday season is a time of giving. Won’t you answer the call?

Please consider making a tax-deductible donation and find out how you can help on our secure website at www.danapoint5thmarines.com.

Semper Fidelis.

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