I’ve been trying to get my thoughts together, things have
changed and I was just beginning to like things the way they were.
The recent deaths of so many Marines from Pendleton have forced me to take a look at our role as a community in ensuring the well being of our neighbors to the south.
Of course, I understand that the Marine Corps takes care of their own, and does a fine job of making sure the finest sons and daughters of our Country have everything they need to do their demanding and dangerous jobs. I’m just wondering if there isn’t more we can do as good neighbors and citizens to protect these fine men and women when they are not at work, as they inevitably explore the area around the base and avail themselves of all we as a city have to offer.
I know this; it will take a community to make our city safe for the fine Men and Women of the Military who serve us so well.
I imagine that the best way to show my sadness for the losses of the families of these young men is to honor them with action. I hope that these sad losses will not divide us but will instead spur us to explore ways to more closely cooperate. Young Marines will always come to town to find companionship, to distance themselves from their working lives, to findsome peace at our beaches and to drink beer at our bars. How can we lessen the dangers of drinking and driving for these young men? If they were your children what would you do toinsure their safety?
Marines are our neighbors, they live in our town, their children attend our schools, their spouses work in our businesses, many retired Marines live among us and yet they seem to me to be silent tenants in ourcity. What can we, as citizens, do to
give them a larger presence here? How can we recognize their positive impact on our community? What can we do to foster a partnership with them in the future? Perhaps if they were more visible we would fear them less and welcome them more.
When tragedy strikes, as it did last week when two helicopters crashed in the desert in Arizona what can we do as a City to let the Marines at Pendleton know that we grieve for the families and for the loss we all will suffer because these men are gone from our lives?
If we wish to be good neighbors we need to understand that the proximity of Pendleton benefits us as well. You do not see it, the Marines will not call your attention to it, but the benefits are there. We profit from the money made at Pendleton which ends up in the cash drawer at Albertsons, Wal Mart, Target and local restaurants. We profit from the families who come to town to visit who stay in our hotels. We profit from the open land and beaches nearbyand made accessible to us through the largess of the U.S. Government. We profit from the security provided by a Military installation on our southern border. And like all Americans we know that when threats from foreign nations ornatural disasters occur the Marines are always called to protect us. What can we do to show our appreciation for all of these gifts?
I hope that some of you will join me in welcoming home the Heroes of 2/4 returning from Afghanistan beginning on March 6th and continuing throughout the Month. HolidayInn Express in San Clemente is offering a special rate to Marine Corps families who are coming to town to welcome their loved ones. Please contact me for information if you know of someone who needs a place to stay.
We will be at the Parade Deck to provide food and drinks forwaiting families on the dates of each returning company. Please join us and feel free to donate food
Somewhat simultaneously 2/5 will be departing to replace 2/4in Afghanistan. San Clemente Marine Corps Support Group will be there as well as each company departs with goodies for the kids and food and drinks for the families. I hope you will join us. I will keep youupdated be email on exact dates and times.
Please come to Warrior Night on March 16th to meet our Marines, Marine Supporters, and to shoot.
Visit out website or call us at 949-357-5555. I welcome suggestions and help!