They’re the only group of its kind in the nation. In their 60’s and 70’s, these Marine Corps veterans are still serving. Members of the Charlotte, North Carolina-based Marine Corps Disaster Relief Unit No. 1 deployed Friday to various parts of coastal North Carolina.
Working in conjunction with the Salvation Army’s mobile canteens, President Bob Griffin says, “We are equipped to serve a hot meal to 2,000 people a day. The Salvation Army brings the food to us – we cook it and give it to the people.”
The organization began after 9/11. Their mission is “to quickly deploy personnel, foodservice equipment and food to disaster sites which are chosen by a qualified disaster relief organization.”
These guys will be the first to tell you – Once a Marine, Always a Marine. Toughing it out to complete a mission, Griffin recalls, “One time, we actually had to drive through a hurricane to get to where we were going to help.”
After a damaging round of spring tornados, North Carolina military families are preparing for a hostile attack of the likes of Hurricane Irene.
A Military Family Prepares
Dawn Brinkley of Sneads Ferry, NC has been a Marine’s wife for 19 years. She just completed her reign as Mrs. North Carolina 2010. Notedly, she was the first military spouse crowned. Her husband, Ian, is a pilot at the New River Air Station near Camp Lejeune.
With a hurricane barreling down the Eastern seaboard and Dawn putting the house in lockdown, Ian is deployed in the Middle East until June 2012. Being a Marine’s wife is not for the faint of heart.
“There is some frustration and guilt for not being there during these times, but I always know that Dawn can handle everything,” he commented through facebook. “Dawn is a resilient woman and knows what needs to be done.”
This Is What “Lockdown” Looks Like
“Two of my vehicles are gassed up, propane for gas grill is full, 4 cases of water bought, with 5-gallon tubs full of water, lots of non-perishables purchased, flashlights and batteries. Anything that can be blown around (patio furniture/rocking chairs) being brought inside. Vehicles will be lined up in the driveway, away from home but facing the direction the storm is coming. Refrigerator/freezer is turned up as high as it can go so if we lost power, items can stay cold as long as possible. Garage door will be raised up a foot to relieve swelling from the pressure system. And generator, with drop cords, will be put into place on the back patio if/when we lose power.”
In a military family, all sacrifice – on the homefront and the battlefield.
Track the hurricane at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov.
Contribute to the Marine Corps Disaster Relief Unit No. 1. Send donations to: MCDRU1, P.O. Box 222122, Charlotte, NC 28222-2122. Learn more here http://www.mcdru1.org.
Contribute to needy military families at: http://www.operationhomefront.net/nc.
Contribute to the Salvation Army at http://www.salvationarmycarolinas.org.