In 2006, the United States Marine Corps Commandant, General James T. Conway, highlighted his vision of taking care of wounded, ill, and injured Marines and their families. In April 2007, the Wounded Warrior Regiment at Marine Corps Base Quantico was established, and soon after, Wounded Warrior Battalion – East, Camp Lejuene, NC and Wounded Warrior Battalion – West, Camp Pendleton, CA.
In late 2007, Holy Cross leaders set a goal to support the Wounded Warrior initiative at nearby Camp Pendleton. Our then Vicar, Fr. Ted Atwood, himself a retired Navy Chaplain who served with Marines in Viet Nam, contacted the battalion chaplain to ask how we might help. To begin, we provided water and cookies to members of WW Battalion’s Alpha Company. With a goal of 10 visits a year, homemade baked goods poured in from members, until Alpha Company’s Commander pointed out that he was trying to get these Marines healthier, not fatter. We than realized that we were being called to help the men and women who have been scarred by war to heal in body, mind and spirit in a vital way. So we kept water on the menu, but replaced cookies with fresh fruit, low fat yogurt, bagels and nuts.
Tom Mauro has been the lay leader of this outreach since its inception. We are grateful to Tom, a team of devoted volunteers, Asha Rani from Top O’ The Bagel in Carlsbad, and to local grocers Sprouts and Von’s for donating fresh food for two visits each month for eight years. This ministry has grown to include our neighboring churches, so that healthy snacks are delivered every Wednesday by an Episcopal Church in North County.
From the Chaplain for Wounded Warrior Battalion – West, in 2013:
“Thank you very much for the healthy snacks and support you give to our Wounded Warrior Marines. Your work is appreciated and needed. I have enjoyed seeing you and your church in action being the hands and feet of Christ….and may God continue to bless and support your good work. Thanks!” LCDR Ronald Newhouse
Visits take place on the second and fourth Wednesdays from 10 AM to 1 PM. Tom and a team of volunteers drive from a pickup point in Carlsbad, to and from the base.
For more information, please contact Tom Mauro through the Church Office.