Why Operation: Destination Homebound?
By Elizabeth Lumsden
President & Director
A few years ago I began giving rides to Marines whose family members contacted me, asking for my help to get their Marine to the airport so that they could go home to visit family. Due to the distance, I would pack snacks and drinks just in case.
In 2014, I wanted to give my boys something special for their Marine Corps anniversary present. After careful thought, I decided to give them a gift that kept on giving. I began spreading the word on Facebook, letting people know that I offer FREE rides to our service members, and I would be available for giving rides throughout the holiday season.
After an overwhelming need, and so many requests, I realized the need for an organization like Operation: Destination Homebound. I didn’t want to exclude any service members because their needs may be different, and I also realized the need was not just on holidays but throughout the year.
Recently, I was fortunate enough to have a transitioning Marine stay with us. It was then that I realized that not just active duty folks deserved a ‘Thank You’ or assistance. Veterans often go without notice or assistance after separating from the service. Some don’t have transportation or the money to get to the VA Hospital or the Veterans Administration.
For these reasons and many others, Operation: Destination Homebound was created. We are not just a ride and a snack/water, we are a ear to listen and a caring heart. We offer rides to all service members, active or veteran status, as well as their dependent families.
Operation: Destination Homebound will never accept money for these rides. We will be funded through donations, grants, and sponsors. Our drivers are volunteers and they are reimbursed for their gas.