Warrior Support Team: Volunteers at Balboa

Warrior Support Team: Dinners & Greetings: Balboa

Dinners for WII Warriors

MarineParents.com has a long-standing tradition of bringing meals to the Liberty Center at the Naval Medical Center San Diego (also known as "Balboa"). In 2008, our outreach program Purple Heart Hero Support™, began serving meals each Thursday afternoon to wounded, ill, and injured service members, and the Warrior Support Team™ (WST) continues this tradition. These dinners give us an opportunity to meet wounded, ill, and injured warriors and provide them with resources, and, more importantly, a hot meal and a chance to share their concerns.

The Liberty Center at Balboa Naval Medical Center is no stranger to seeing MarineParents.com Volunteers. In 2008, our Purple Heart Hero Support (PHHS) outreach program, began relationship-building with the warriors, their family and staff at the Liberty Center by bringing meals and fellowship to the dining room table.

Our Warrior support Team volunteers are a staple at the Liberty Center at the Balboa Medical Center each week. In six years, first as Purple Heart Hero Support and now as the WST, over 142 events were held giving us more than 20,000 opportunities to serve meals to recovering warriors and their family members.

In early 2014, the process of preparing and ordering dinners was moved to our corporate office in Columbia, MO, allowing our volunteers to focus on interacting with the warriors. The first month was challenging, as we had to learn to coordinate meals from over 1600 miles away, but with the help from the Liberty Center Staff, we succeeded. The numbers of those attending the dinners slowly increased and by July 2014, when the Warrior Support Team outreach program was officially launched, the number of warriors attending had nearly doubled from the first of the year.

The success of the program has allowed the volunteers to sit down and interact with, and learn from, the warriors and their family members. Feedback from the warriors has fueled the growth of the WST, giving us the knowledge needed to continue providing necessary and appropriate support and services.

Our costs run approximately $500 per week, and we serve meals to roughly 70 wounded, ill, and warriors each week. We coordinate the dinners from the Marine Parents corporate office in Columbia, Missouri. During the dinners, we provide our Warrior Support Team reintegration bags filled with tools and resources. The filled messenger bags each contain approximately $150 worth of resources.

If you would like to make a donation to this program, please click here.

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