MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Marines suffer through long, cold nights, always on watch, fighting for freedom against terrorism and other threats. Their own personal convictions drive them to make America, and even the world, a safer place. They do it because they believe in providing a safe world for their family, often without recognition from the very people they strive to protect.
Marines with 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division received Under Armour t-shirts and socks here June 14, from Operation Troop Appreciation, a non-profit organization founded by Kristen Holloway.
The purpose is to convey an undying gratitude for the armed services’ selfless service and sacrifice, Holloway said.
“Our troops embody our nation’s past, and they ensure that our culture and freedoms are maintained for future generations,” Holloway said.
To honor that sacrifice she plans to give back to the troops and show that they still have support and appreciation from the American community.
“I think it’s great that people look out for the troops,” said Lance Cpl. Christopher P. Collins, battalion police sergeant for 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment. “I’m happy somebody recognizes and supports what we do.”
Many Marines in the battalion said even though they continually deploy to Iraq and other combat zones they rarely receive positive feedback from the civilian community.
“We’ve been to Iraq, and now we’re on our way back,” said Pfc. William L. Reed, mortarman with 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment. “This is the first time I can remember or have even heard of anyone giving us anything. We appreciate it.”
The foundation was started to equip military personnel with Under Armour shirts and socks to help provide some comfort as they deal with the riggers of heat overseas.
With this battalion being among one the first military units to benefit from the foundation, the shirts and socks will find good use as the Marines and sailors prepare to deploy to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Hopefully, while deployed, the Marines and sailors with the battalion will remember that somebody appreciates them every time they wear the shirts and socks, Holloway said.
“Sometimes we feel forgotten,” said Lance Cpl. Jason W. Parker, mortarman with 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment. “It’s good to know somebody cares and people are thinking about us.”