MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Hundreds of Marines with Wounded Warrior Battalion – East and nearly 60 charitable organizations came together for the 2nd Annual Veteran and Charitable Organizations Symposium on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Sept. 9.
"The purpose of today was to give back to all the charitable organizations that have donated so greatly to us," said Lt. Col. Chris Hrudka, battalion commander of WWBn – East. "We’re telling them in more detail who we are, what we do and how we do it to support the wounded, ill and injured Marines so they have a better understanding of where their resources go when they make their charitable donations to us."
The event started off with the representatives from the organization introducing themselves to the Marines and how they contribute.
"We are so happy to participate in the symposium and provide lunch again this year for all the WWBn – East service members," said Carey Hawkins, case manager for the Semper Fi Fund. "This is an opportunity for the Semper Fi Fund to meet with the entire Wounded Warrior Battalion, to share our mission and how we can serve our post 9/11 wounded and critically ill service members and their families."
The nearly dozen charities and Marines connected with each other over lunch, allowing the charities to know the Marines they’re supporting.
"For the Marines to be here today and interact directly with the organizations that are supporting them, it helps them get educated on the resources that are out there," said Hrudka. "The organizations also get to hear directly from the Marines what their needs are, what their challenges and struggles are and it builds a better working relationship between the two."
Marines with WWBn – East visited various tables of the organizations that they believed represented their needs the most, building relationships with the charities that want to help.
"The need is there and the need will always be there," said Hrudka. "This is a humbling experience to be here amongst all these people, not only the Marines who have sacrificed so much, but for all these organizations that give so much of themselves to support our Marines."