Beyond the Toy Drop: 3 dedicated Marines - FOX 10 News |

Beyond the Toy Drop: 3 dedicated Marines

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The constant pounding of drenching rain did not damper the spirit of giving or the dedicated
drive of three undaunted Marines.

On Saturday, FOX 5 took part in the annual Toys for Tots campaign sponsored by the US Marine Corps at an area Publix store. As the skies poured, the giving failed to wane. The mission to collect toys for the needy just got bigger; got better.

The kindness and dedication of our beloved Atlantans could fill a million-plus Christmases with cheer. But what really caught my attention during all the spirited giving was three Marines dressed neatly in their rich navy blue, standing on the wall. The wall wasn't an invisible boundary that divides one mountainous war zone from another.

On this day, the wall weaved through the overflow of people of all walks of life who braved inclement weather to support a common cause: Toys for Tots.  Within that crowd stood members of the Marine Corps Combat Logistics Regiment 45.
Sgt. Ernstar Coriolan, Cpl. Martisha Tanner and Cpl.Taylor Dedrick, all under the age
of 25, are on a mission that far surpasses their years.  Semper Fidelis, "always faithful," has been the Marine Corps motto since 1883. Soldiers say it's a valued reminder to remain faithful to each other and to country -- no matter what.  

"Being a Marine means serving at home for sure," Dedrick said. "But serving abroad during a war makes you a Marine forever."

These Marines equate providing the needs at home with providing the needs of our country. They are always at the ready to guard that wall-wherever and whenever.

"Serving at home and abroad are a privilege," says Sgt. Ernstar Coriolan, who served two tours in Afghanistan.

The Marine's Toys for Tots program has been going strong since 1947. Its website says the purpose is to send a message of hope.

As these three young Marines stood on the wall of the Great Toy Drop, they offered that hope...not only for children in need, but for a country in constant alteration.

"College was not for me.  After enlisting, I knew right away that the being Marine was me," says Corporal Martisha Tanner.


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