You could say the foundation took over 40 years to be created. Without a doubt, this is God's work. The story goes llike this:
August 1962 I graduated from MCRD San Diego without any relation there, I had to stand alone. Of course, back then, there were very few parents able to attend.
When my son graduated from MCRD San Diego, my wife, her mother, a friend and I were there to see him in October 2003. There were several new Marines standing alone without any family, so we invited them to join our family. They enjoyed the time and were very appreciative.
On the way home from MCRD, we flew into Kansas City Airport, then started home, stopping by a convenience store. My son, who was in uniform, heard a shout "Hello Devil Dog!" We looked around and there was Max Beerup, owner of the San Diego MCR website. We visited and became good friends! Coincidentally, we had used his website as a very helpful planning tool to attend the graduation.
We kept in touch and one day I asked Max about someone who does websites for my commerical printing company. It was then he introduced me to Gretchen Miller. I hired Gretchen to do my website. She had a daughter graduate at MCRD Parris Island in 2003.
While chatting, Gretchen asked if anyone helped parents to attend the Marine graduations. I searched the internet and found nothing. So Gretchen and I created the "Marine Graduation Foundation". It was charted in May 2005. The web was set up and linked to various Marine sites and we begin helping parents one at a time.
Later that year we became a 501c3, tax deductible foundation. We have continued to try and help all the parents we possibly can by the generous donations we receive. The board of directors, Gretchen and I have put many of our own dollars into the foundation. There are over 4000 Marines per year that stand alone at graduation. We believe, we can make a difference one family at at time. "Semper Fidelis" Always faithful to God, Family, Country, and Corps. The "shock and awe" the parents witness at graduation is priceless and will continue help unite the families with the Marine Corps! Thus help recruit more proud Marines!