By Ms. Stacy M Sanning (Regional Health Command Europe)January 14, 2019
The service members so feared they answer to the nickname Devil Dogs put a spit shine on their hearts of gold each year by collecting and delivering toys to local children.
The U.S. Marines assigned to Wounded Warrior Battalion East at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, with help from the community, Army and Air Force units, and the Ramstein Officers Spouses' Club, collected nearly 2000 toys during their annual Toys for Tots drive at various locations in the Kaiserslautern Military Community. They more than doubled the number of toys collected in 2016, and 200 more than in 2017.
"The Toys for Tots drive was a huge success this year," said Sgt. Merrick Morin, a squad leader assigned to the Wounded Warrior Battalion East at LRMC and the lead for the toy drive in the local area. "We really appreciate everyone who donated. Their generosity impacted kids in need, both inside and outside the military community."
The Marines distributed the toys to German and refugee families though the German Red Cross in Landstuhl and a refugee center in Kusel. They also supported military families throughout the KMC, at a holiday event for wounded warriors and at their families and at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center Chaplain's Christmas Extravaganza.
"As a part of our overall Christmas Eve celebration, it was a blessing to be able to give toys to so many service member families," said Chaplain Des Nelson, an Army major with the 7221 Medical Support Unit currently assigned to LRMC. "Many of these families have experienced multiple deployments or have family members already down range."
Morin and his fellow Marines made their final delivery Jan. 9 to young refugees in Kusel.
"The kids were overjoyed when they saw the books and toys for all ages," said Morin.