Subject: Re: Socks for Heros Supoort
Date: Sun, 31 Jan 2016 15:52:00 +0000
It’s great to hear from you! Here is the requested note:
To the Marines of Kalispell, MT, my wife Carla and I bid you greeting from San Clemente, CA, as well as our thanks for your interest in helping those Marines still in the fight today.
On August 26th, 2009, our son, LCPL Donald Hogan, was on a patrol in the Nawa District of Afghanistan when he saw a kite string being pulled to trigger an IED. Instead of saving himself, he pushed one Marine out of the path of the IED, then turned, and placed himself between the bomb and his squad while warning them of the threat. While he was killed instantly, the rest of his squad survived. For his courage and unfailing devotion to his fellow Marines, he was awarded the Navy Cross in 2012.
Following his death, as we grappled for meaning from our loss, we were surrounded by the Marines he served with, whose kindness sustained us through our grief. We learned first-hand that when they say that every Marine is your brother, they mean that. What we discovered was, that while we had lost one son, we gained many in return.
When his platoon went back to Afghanistan, we asked them, “What do you need?” and we were surprised to hear them say “Socks!” I know that you former field Marines understand, but we didn’t. We were told, that for an Infantryman who spends most of his time in his boots, socks took on a whole different value. One Commander told us, that they ranked with ammo and chow in importance to a mission.
So on May 17th, 2011, I shipped a box of 220 pairs of socks to 2 Alpha, 1/5. A couple weeks later, I got a note from another Marine in a different Company if we might ship to them as well. In our first six weeks, we shipped over 10,000 pairs to our son’s Battalion.
Today we stand at 417,000 pair, or just under 35 tons of socks that we have shipped to Infantry units in Afghanistan and Iraq.
In the four and a half years we’ve been doing this, our focus has expanded. We also provide support services for Marine families living near our home, serve food and coffee to Marines and their families during deployments and returns, and work to develop the relationship between our Community and the Base.
We also work to remind people that while you may not hear about it a lot in the media these days, our Nation is still at war and that war is not being fought by an ethereal concept called “The Military”, but by young men like our son who deserve their support.
It’s not always an easy task, but we are sustained by the lesson our son taught us from a dusty road in Afghanistan, that everyone is capable of one extraordinary act.
Thank you for joining us in our position in this fight.
We miss seeing you around San Mateo, and hope that you will come down and visit in the near future!
Talk to you soon,
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