5th Marine Regiment Dana Point Support Group Wins 2021 Spirit of Hope Award
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By Lillian Boyd
The Dana Point 5th Marine Regiment Support Group (DPSG) received the Spirit of Hope Award for supporting the Marines, Navy Corpsmen and families of the 5th Marine Regiment of the United States Marine Corps headquartered at Camp Pendleton.
The Spirit of Hope Prize was established in 1997. It was first awarded to artist Bob Hope by the United States Congress and is presented annually in his honor. The basis of the award was to recognize Hope’s commitment to entertaining the military for many decades, both inside and outside of combat zones. The Ministry of Defense is now presenting the prize to the winners.
“We are truly honored to have been chosen for the Spirit of Hope Award from among so many other generous Patriots and Americans who have been nominated,” said DPSG President Mike Lipscombe. “We will continue our mission of caring for the Fighting Fifths and their families for many years to come.”
Lipscombe accepted the Spirit of Hope Medal in a ceremony held Wednesday, November 10 at Memorial Garden in the San Mateo area of Camp Pendleton, the same day the US Marine Corps celebrated its 246e birthday.
While the Spirit of Hope Award is traditionally presented to recipients at the Pentagon, the location has been moved to Camp Pendleton due to COVID concerns. Lipscombe said being able to accept the prize at the garden that the support group helped develop and maintain was equally significant.
The DPSG helped lead efforts to bring the 5e The Marines’ Vietnam War Memorial for Camp Pendleton, an effort that lasted about a decade.
“The Memorial Garden is a special place because it gives people who served in the 5e The Marines of the past were a place to come back and reflect on those who were lost, ”said Captain DJ Sargenti.
Lipscombe became involved with DPSG in 2013. While his military service during the Vietnam War brings a unique perspective on what members of the “Fighting Fifth” may need from the community, Lipscombe says those needs are constantly changing.
“We have expanded some programs; we have extended the scholarships for the children’s summer camps. So any Marine family that has a child who wants to go to school all year round can do so, ”Lipscome added. “We are finding ways to serve Marines and we are finding ways to serve their families.”
Lipscombe has been the chair of the support group for three years. He affirms that the achievements of the DPSG could not have been done without the efforts of each volunteer and a unifying community.
“I’ve been in a few other Marine Corps units here. There has never been anything like it, ”Sargenti said of the support group. “It’s very unique. All that the Dana Point 5e Marine Support Group provides is unmatched.
For the Spirit of Hope Award, each division of the Armed Forces and the Department of Defense is invited to nominate a person or organization that embodies values such as duty, honor, courage, loyalty, commitment, integrity and selfless dedication, and which dramatically improves the quality of life for military members and their families serving around the world, and devotes an extraordinary amount of time, talent or resources to the benefit of the military.
DPSG joins a roster of past Spirit of Hope winners including Gary Sinise, American Idol runner-up and country music star Kelly Pickler and her husband, Kyle Jacobs, and singer-songwriter Toby Keith. Other recognized organizations are the Fisher House Foundation, the Soldiers’ Angels, Camp Hope, and The Injured Marines Semper Fi Fund.
The DPSG is a nonprofit organization that supports U.S. military personnel and their families of 5e Marine Regiment and the Wounded Warriors Battalion West at Camp Pendleton. It currently has more than 350 volunteers from all walks of life. For more information, visit danapoint5thmarines.com.
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