One of Christopher’s best qualities was loyalty. Christopher exhibited this trait consistently in his daily life towards his friends, family, fellow Marines and Country. In fact it is the duty of every Marine to “Leave No Marine Behind.” This was never more evident to our family as when we received a call from Christopher not long after he arrived in Iraq. We wanted to know what we could send him, what would bring him comfort as he served our country so far from home. His simple reply was “socks.” It was extremely hot in Iraq during the time that he was there, and as a combat engineer his missions were to search for and destroy materials used to build the IEDs that cause so much destruction. The Marines spent weeks at a time on these missions. They were unable to shower, change or wash their clothes. A clean pair of socks, Chris explained, was gold.
We agreed to get him the socks right away. But as we were ready to say good-bye, Chris asked if we wouldn’t mind sending some extra socks as there were some in his platoon that didn’t get any packages and they could also use some new socks. Many of our friends had been asking what they could do, so we told them of Chris’ request. Their generosity was amazing. Four days later we had received donations totaling $2500 to purchase socks for Chris’ platoon. We packed them up and sent them off to Iraq. Sadly, Chris never received those packages, as he was killed several days later.
It became our passion to continue what Chris had started and so began our “Leave No Marine Behind Project.” Through us, Chris’ fellow marines would know he continued to have their backs. To date we have sent approximately $100,000.00 worth of supplies and equipment to our men and women serving in harm’s way, such as rifle bags to keep the sand from destroying their weapons, ear plugs to protect their hearing from explosions and Oakley ballistic sunglasses to protect their eyes as well as socks, food, magazines, etc.
In addition, with the large amount of returning veterans and wounded warriors coming home, we have also furnished equipment and monetary support to help them adjust to life at home.