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Tap on the stories below to learn what SOS is all about …
Three months later Amy Patton called me to inform me that Michael had been killed in a roadside bomb attack. All because of that one ride we were a support system for each other throughout the funeral and grievance process. To this day we are friends. This is just one of thousands of connections we experience each year by the impact of our organization…”
Here’s a story of a free ride from S.O.S. and friendship developed between a Marine’s mother and one of our drivers
(We received a letter from one of our drivers who transported a “Mom” to 29 Palms to see her son off before his deployment.)
On March 31, 2010, I heard from MaryBeth Deturo, a Marine’s mother. Her son, Marine Sergeant William MacKenzie was at the base in training mode ready to deploy to Afghanistan. He was given an 8 hour base pass from training so that his mother would be able to see her son for the day before he was deployed. She wasn’t given much time to put her trip together, so after booking her ticket to Palm Springs Airport, she went onto the internet to see about transportation to the base. She found our web site and called me. I was so touched by her story, I decided to pick her up and take her to my house to spend the night and have a driver take her to the Marine Base at 29 Palms in the morning.
Our Driver, Alan Schiff, arrived at 6 am to take her out to Camp Wilson. She told him that she had no idea what was going to happen when she arrived in Palm Springs and that there would be a group of people that helped military personnel and their family members with free ride to the base, and in her case, put her up for the night. She was so thankful and said that “SOS was a life saver for her”.
During the ride to the base, Mary Beth discovered that our driver’s son was also in the Military and was in Iraq at that time. They became instant friends. In fact, it was the same driver that went back to the base to pick her up and provide a return ride to the Palm Springs Airport.
In September of 2010, Mr. Schiff received an email from MaryBeth that her son had been hit by an I.E.D. in the head. She went on to say that the Marine Corp was going to transport her to Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland and put her up for as long as she needed to stay. Upon her arrival, she discovered that William was hit in the chest and upper thigh, and not his head. He had to have his Spleen removed and had nerve damage in his legs were so severe, he would have to wait for the nerves to regenerate themselves before they could start rehabilitation. After two years, William is now able to walk without the use of a cane.
Even though William is technically in the Marine Corp and lives on the grounds of the Naval Hospital during his rehabilitation, he is allowed to seek employment elsewhere. He told Marybeth that the FBI and CIA came to the Hospital and were looking for interns, but because of his injuries, he thought that he wouldn’t be able to apply. MaryBeth sent this information to our driver in an e-mail. Unbeknownst to her, our driver’s son had left the military after 10 years of service and was now a member of the FBI. Our driver called his son and asked him to talk to William and if he thought that William would be a good intern, see what he could do to make it happen. William now works for the FBI and has been given permission to live off the hospital grounds.
All this because of a free ride from S.O.S. and friendship developed between a Marine’s mother and one of our drivers
We have volunteer opportunities for individuals who like to drive, and for those who don’t! Drivers can elect to drive a specific time the same day of the week, be on-call when an extra driver or relief driver is needed, or be a holiday driver for national, Thanksgiving, and Christmas holidays, when we transport hundreds of service members at a time. You may use your own vehicle, or one of our minivans for the 105-mile round-trip of approximately 3.5 hours (a bit longer or Ontario). You can provide the fuel and receive a tax receipt, or be reimbursed. Dispatchers can work from the comfort of home to provide the next day’s drivers with passenger names and pick up times, or canvass on-call drivers when needed. Administrative opportunities abound, and they come and go. If you know your way around a computer and basic office programs, have good organizational and filing skills, we can probably find something for you to do. Community and Special Events always require a little extra support. If you have experience in this area, and even if you don’t but want to lend a hand, let us know so we can bring you on board.
Driver orientation meetings are generally held the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month. They are held at our Resale Boutique and Veteran’s Communication Center, north of I-10 at Washington in Palm Desert.
To become an S.O.S. volunteer, please fill out the volunteer form below, call and leave a message at (760) 799-5488, or send an email to email@example.com. Someone will contact you within two business days.
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