The Louisiana Marine Mom Support Group is making sure that soldiers get some love during the holidays by sending gift baskets and other items overseas.
“I have two sons who are both in the Marine Corps and my oldest son has completed his time in service and got home in time for Christmas,” Lillian Marzoni, Destrehan native and vice president of the organization, said. “My youngest son (Cpl. Chris Marzoni) is currently in Iraq, but he should be coming home this spring.”
The Marine Moms sent 100 gift boxes to the troops serving in Iraq, a reminder of home, and a symbol of Christmas memories.
“The boxes were sent to the troops the week after Thanskgiving,” Marzoni said. “We sent over 800 homemade cookies, Christmas stockings, Nerf footballs, letters written to the soldiers from children attending LaPlace Elementary and Mandeville Middle School.”
Marzoni says three dentists from Metairie donated tooth paste and tooth brushes to include in the care packages. “We also sent simple things, like puzzle books, and a box of toys was included for the Iraqi children,” she said.
The group of women supports each other through some difficult times. Three members of the organization have sons who were killed in Iraq.
“We call them our Gold members,” Marzoni said. “They are from Covington, Lake Charles and Bogulousa. Their children didn’t make it back home.”
Marzoni says until you experience something like the loss of a child, it’s impossible to imagine the pain it brings.
“Unless you’ve got a child serving in the war overseas, it’s difficult to understand the emotions that are involved,” she said.
Marzoni’s son, Chris, has been overseas in Iraq since Sept. 2007.
“We have to remember our troops overseas and we can’t forget about our wounded soldiers who’ve made it back home,” she said. “The group raised $3,200 to make the care packages and $1,900 was donated to a support our war heroes, the Louisiana wounded soldiers.”
Marzoni’s goal is for people to remember soldiers who are serving their country, both the ones coming back wounded, and the ones who are not making it home at all.
“We want to make sure the families are getting the support they need,” she said. “Our organization will be functioning as a non-profit organization.”
Marzoni says as a non profit, the organization will be able to donate more money to wounded soldiers, award scholarship funds in the name of the fallen soldiers and donate money for Toys for Tots.
Marzoni says every year at the luncheon, each member brings one toy to be donated to Toys for Tots.
“This years’ guest speaker was 1stSgt Thomas Stone, Bossier City Coordinator for Toys for Tots,” she said. “He gave a history of Toys for Tots and we all donated toys at our luncheon. This year, it was donated to Bossier City for needy tots, but we choose a different section of Louisiana each year.”
A luncheon/fashion show fundraiser is also planned for the spring. For membership or donation information please contact Lillian Marzoni, vice president of La Marine Moms at 504-453-4368 or send an email to email@example.com.