MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - --
A ceremony was held here at the Marine Corps Family Team Building to award the winners of the Military Spouse Appreciation Day Essay Contest.
This was the second year Cheri Meredith-Evans, founder of the essay contest and lifestyle, insights, networking, knowledge, skills, or L.I.N.KS. trainer, for Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, was held to show why the competitor’s significant other is so special to him or her.
“In 1984 President Ronald Regan started Military Spouse Appreciation Day,” said Meredith-Evans. “It was deemed that it would be the Friday before Mothers Day.”
Meredith-Evans said the reason they wanted to have an essay contest was to do something different. Rather than buying something from the store for their spouse, they were able to tell them how much they’re appreciated through words.
“Words are powerful, so why not do an essay,” said Meredith-Evans, from Superior, Wis. “I’m a military spouse (my self), and a lot of the time when we are out my husband is recognized for his service. I think that it is nice to have at least one day of the year dedicated to the spouses.”
Corporal Heather Dirocco, bulk fuel specialist, 7th Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, was one of the four essay contest winners. She had entered the contest last year but didn’t win, but this year she got her wish. In this case, her husband Sgt. Michel Dirocco Jr., is a Marine as well.
“This was important to me because unfortunately in the Marine Corps a lot of Marines don’t stand out for what they do (day-to-day),” said Dirocco, from Boise, Idaho. “Especially with the stuff that he has done, he doesn’t brag about it so nobody knows what he really did. I felt like everyone should know.”
Dirocco said the biggest support unit is her family and an even bigger supporter is her spouse. She said no matter what they do they are supported by each other.
“I am really thankful to my wife for even writing this essay,” said Dirocco Jr. “It’s amazing that she was able to write it all within 24-hours. I really do appreciate her.”
All the winners of this years contest received tickets to a Horn Blower Brunch Buffet Cruise along with a child care reimbursement voucher.