My only connection to CAMP PENDLETON had been when I drove by it on the way to the San Diego Zoo with my children. A friend of mine, Georgia Spogli, introduced me to Marine Denis Flores. He told me about the marines at Camp Pendleton who were raising money to send essentials to our service men and women in Afghanistan. A Typical package might be deodorant, toothpaste a toothbrush, soap or even peanut butter and jelly. The Government does not pay for this; in fact, they do not even pay for the postage. Marines who have often returned from a tour know how important and meaningful it can be to receive a care package from home so they go out and buy what is needed, box them up and mail them themselves.
When Gunnery Sergeant Edwin Vasquez came to our dinner, he was an immediate hit – charming, personable and a quiet hero. He served three tours, where he sustained multiple injuries. When he heard his best friend, who was about to be married, was being sent overseas he volunteered to go in his place for his fourth tour.
He will always have a special place in our hearts. Not only was everyone vying to sit beside him, but that night FWC surpassed all our expectations and was officially launched. Several weeks later, we received photographs of the packages being boxed up and sent to Afghanistan – over 500 boxes arrived. A very proud moment for all of us who made this possible.
Camp Pendleton liked the FWC model so much that they asked me if they could start their own Friends with Causes – Camp Pendleton. So, our first FWC Chapter was born!