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      Local woman nominated for national award



      One mid-Missouri woman has been nominated for an incredibly prestigious award for her contributions to the military.



      Tracy Della Vecchia is the founder of MarineParents.com.


      It's a website she started in 2003 when her son started serving in the Marines overseas.




      Since then, they've supported thousands of troops and their families around the world.
      She said this is an honor she never expected.

      "One of our volunteers in St. Louis, whose been, gosh, she's been a volunteer with us for five, six, maybe even seven years. She actually nominated me and I didn't know anything about it. So it was kind of a surprise to hear out of the blue what this was about. I mean, I know about the award, but I really didn't feel like I was deserving of something as incredible as this," Della Vecchia said.

      In the past, MarineParents.com has been responsible for sending care packages to troops overseas, providing meals to wounded members of the military , and more recently, providing adaptive clothing to wounded Marines.

      "Our newest piece of Purple Heart Family Support is the adaptive clothing. The Marine Corps Liaison Office at Walter Reed asked us to do some athletic shorts with Velcro down the sides of them," she said.

      So far, they have received about 40 orders for those shorts, and she says they are cranking them out at their production center in Columbia that is partnering with Marine families.


      Della Vecchia is a Columbia native and is one of only 20 people in the country who has been nominated to receive the Citizen Before Self award this year.


      Visit her website at MarineParents.com

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