2009 ACTIVE DUTY FUND DRIVE IN SUPPORT OF THE NAVY-MARINE CORPS RELIEF SOCIETY

Date Signed: 2/24/2009
ALMARS Active Number: 005/09

R 232051Z FEB 09
UNCLASSIFIED//
ALMAR 005/09
MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC WASHINGTON DC CMC//
SUBJ/2009 ACTIVE DUTY FUND DRIVE IN SUPPORT OF THE NAVY-MARINE CORPS RELIEF SOCIETY//
GENTEXT/REMARKS/1.  BEGINNING ON 1 MARCH 2009, ACTIVE DUTY MARINES
AROUND THE GLOBE WILL BE ENCOURAGED TO GIVE GENEROUSLY TO THE NAVY-MARINE CORPS RELIEF SOCIETY DURING THE ANNUAL CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS. ONE OF THE MOST HONORED HALLMARKS OF OUR CORPS IS THE TRADITION THAT "MARINES TAKE CARE OF OUR OWN." MORE THAN JUST WORDS, THIS TRADITION REFLECTS OUR UNIQUE ESPRIT AND DEFINES THE ATTITUDES AND ACTIONS THAT DEMONSTRATE OUR CONCERN FOR EACH OTHER AND FOR OUR FAMILIES. TAKING CARE OF OUR OWN IS NOT ONLY SOMETHING WE DO AS A CORPS AND AS INDIVIDUAL MARINES - IT IS SOMETHING THAT THE NAVY-MARINE CORPS RELIEF SOCIETY HAS BEEN DOING SINCE ITS FOUNDING IN 1904. THIS UNIQUE RELIEF ORGANIZATION, COMPRISED OF 3,600 VOLUNTEERS AND A SMALL PROFESSIONAL STAFF, IS AVAILABLE 24/7 TO HELP WITH UNEXPECTED NEEDS AND PERSONAL EMERGENCIES. THESE PATRIOTIC INDIVIDUALS ARE ORDINARY PEOPLE MAKING EXTRAORDINARY CONTRIBUTIONS, FREELY DEVOTING THEIR TIME AND TALENTS TO ENHANCE THE QUALITY OF LIFE, FAMILY READINESS, AND OPERATIONAL READINESS OF OUR MARINE CORPS TEAM. SINCE ITS FOUNDING WHEN THEODORE ROOSEVELT WAS PRESIDENT, THE SOCIETY HAS HELPED MORE THAN FOUR MILLION MARINES AND SAILORS, PROVIDING MORE THAN $1.1 BILLION IN INTEREST-FREE LOANS AND GRANTS.
2.  DURING 2008, THE SOCIETY DISBURSED $44.2 MILLION IN INTEREST-FREE LOANS AND GRANTS IN 77,754 FINANCIAL RELIEF CASES - AN INCREASE OF 34 PERCENT. THOSE STATISTICS REPRESENT THE MOST CASES AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE IN 15 YEARS. THE SOCIETY ALSO PROVIDED $370,000 IN COMBAT ASSISTANCE TO 448 MARINES AND SAILORS INJURED IN IRAQ, AFGHANISTAN, AND THE ARABIAN GULF. REGISTERED VISITING NURSES WITH THE SOCIETY CONTINUE TO SUPPORT OUR COMBAT INJURED MARINES, SAILORS, AND THEIR FAMILIES. THEY PROVIDE LONG-TERM CASE MANAGEMENT FOR EACH OF OUR WOUNDED HEROES - PERSONALLY INTERACTING WITH INJURED MARINES, SAILORS, AND THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS FROM THE TIME OUR INJURED WARRIORS ARE ADMITTED TO A MILITARY MEDICAL FACILITY (NATIONAL NAVAL MEDICAL CENTER BETHESDA, BALBOA NAVAL HOSPITAL, BROOKE ARMY MEDICAL CENTER AND WALTER REED ARMY MEDICAL CENTER) AND THEN REMAINING IN CLOSE PERSONAL CONTACT FOLLOWING RECOVERY OR DISCHARGE. THESE CASE MANAGERS ARE CURRENTLY WORKING WITH MORE THAN 550 INJURED AND RECOVERING MARINES AND SAILORS. THE SOCIETY'S NEW QUICK ASSIST LOAN (QAL) PROGRAM ACCOUNTED FOR MORE THAN ONE-THIRD OF THEIR OVERALL ASSISTANCE. DESIGNED TO COMBAT THE ALARMING GROWTH OF PREDATORY LENDING PRACTICES DURING THE PAST DECADE, THE FAST AND SIMPLE QAL PROGRAM OFFERS ACTIVE DUTY MARINES UP TO $300 FOR SHORT TERM FINANCIAL NEEDS, OFTEN DISBURSED IN LESS THAN 15 MINUTES. ROUGHLY 28,000 ACTIVE DUTY SAILORS AND MARINES REQUIRED THIS TYPE OF SHORT-TERM ASSISTANCE IN 2008, AND SOCIETY VOLUNTEERS DISBURSED $6.9 MILLION IN INTEREST-FREE LOANS.
3.  IN TODAY'S UNSTABLE ECONOMY, THIS YEAR'S FUND DRIVE WILL REQUIRE YOUR LEADERSHIP AND PERSONAL ATTENTION. KEY TO OUR SUCCESS IS A UNITED AND PERSONAL COMMITMENT FROM COMMAND LEADERSHIP AND FOCUSED EFFORT THROUGHOUT THE CHAIN OF COMMAND. THE GOAL IS TO ENSURE THAT EVERY MARINE ASSIGNED TO EVERY UNIT KNOWS ABOUT THE PROGRAMS AND SERVICES OFFERED THROUGH THE SOCIETY AND IS AFFORDED THE OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE A CONTRIBUTION. WITH THE DEMAND FOR RELIEF SERVICES UP SIGNIFICANTLY IN 2008, I ENCOURAGE YOU TO CONSIDER AN INCREASE IN YOUR LEVEL OF CHARITABLE GIVING. THE SOCIETY ENJOYS MY STALWART SUPPORT, AND I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO SUPPORT THE NAVY-MARINE CORPS RELEIF SOCIETY AND ITS EFFORTS TO IMPROVE QUALITY OF LIFE, POSITIVELY IMPACT OPERATIONAL READINESS, AND ENSURE THAT WE CAN CONTINUE TO TAKE CARE OF OUR OWN. I AM PROUD THAT THIS ORGANIZATION IS A VITAL AND VALUABLE MEMBER OF OUR UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS TEAM. 
4.  SEMPER FI! JAMES T. CONWAY, GENERAL, U.S. MARINE CORPS, COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS.//