Several of the foundation's board members visited Camp Pendleton recently and the Marines recorded their message to their children. The response from these Marines was "overwhelming gratitude" for this program, Angelique Collins says.
As one Pendleton Marine Corporal said on the foundation's website, 'I like that my child can listen to my voice on their time, not when I can get to a phone or computer. They can listen to me whenever they need to."
This week, Angelique and others in the foundation will be at the Mission Viejo Build A Bear store to surprise the children with their voice chips. The events dates and times are Today (Tuesday) 9/28 through Saturday at 2-4 pm and 6-8 pm.
This will be the organization's kick off event and, says Collins, "we're all excited about the possibilities for this program. We are hoping it will grow. There is such a need out there."
Collins says that her son, who was killed soon after President Bush proclaimed "mission accomplished" in Iraq, "only lived 19 years, but he had such an amazing spirit. We wanted to create something that will honor his name and continue to do so into the future," she says. "He loved kids himself, he volunteered for little kids when he was in high school. He was so outgoing, people just gravitated toward him. We felt this would be a real comfort to a lot of children, who are often the forgotten victims of this war. We can't forget what goes on at home with the kids while their daddy or mommy is deployed. Kids can get overlooked, and this is just our way of remembering the kids, and to honor my son at the same time. You should see the look on the faces of the kids when they pick up a bear and it's their deployed daddy or mommy's voice talking to them. I know my son would love this."