The Marine Corps and Toys for Tots

There is a saying and a song that goes “Christmas is for Children.” And with this saying comes the image of children all over the country who will awaken on Christmas morning to gleefully unwrap their presents after a restless night of sleep. However, as painful as it is to imagine, this is not how Christmas morning will play out in every home in the nation. Some families struggle hard to provide themselves with life’s necessities let alone the luxuries of the season. Children in such homes will sadly not share in the joy of opening a shiny new present on Christmas morning. Knowing that this is the case with many families, Major Bill Hendricks founded the Toys for Tots program in 1947.

The History of Toys for Tots

Toys for Tots began back in 1947 when, inspired by his wife, Major Hendricks, gathered reservists to collect and distribute thousands of unwrapped toys to children. Eventually celebrity support was also gained and since then the organization has been designated as an official mission for the Marine Corps Reserves. Moreover, since its inception the program has collected and dispensed more than 512 million toys. That is a lot of joy delivered to a lot of children.

The Toys for Tots Mission

The mission of Toys for Tots is to collect and distribute unwrapped toys for less fortunate children in the vicinity of the collection sites. These collections take place from October to December of each year. You can go to to find the drop off site nearest you. You can also go to that same site to inquire how you can be of assistance by making your location one of those sites. We have many seasonal USMC gifts that will go well right alongside the rest of your Christmas decorations. Marine Corps items for sale on our site include festive, affordably priced ornaments that demonstrate pride in the Corps. Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us at eMarine PX.

Hollywood Comes to the Marines Corps

No person who has not served can sum up the experience of being a Marine. But Hollywood has tried on occasion – with the help of military advisors – to sum up the experience for those who have not served in our armed forces. Our Marine Corps clothes perfectly match the look of the Corps with our uniforms, medals, decals, stickers, headwear etc., but Hollywood often tries to sum up the experience as best it can. Here are a few movies that come close to relating to the public part of what the Marine Corps is all about. (Dramatic license must be allowed in each.)

  • Heartbreak Ridge (1986): This movie features Clint Eastwood as a Marine gunnery sergeant who clashes with his recon platoon.

  • Full-Metal-Jacket1987): This film features R. Lee Ermey who is a former United States Marine Corps staff sergeant and an honorary gunnery sergeant

  • Sands of Iwo Jima (1949): This John Wayne picture even features cameos by three Marines – Rene A. Gagnon, Ira H. Hayes and John H. Bradley – who raised the flag over the island.

  • Flags of our Fathers (2006): Speaking of the flag raising over Iwo Jima, this movie tells the story of three of the six flag raisers who were killed in battle

  • Rules of Engagement (2000): This movie, which begins in Vietnam, demonstrates the camaraderie that is shared among within Marines.

Yes, these films and others have shaped the public’s perception of the Marine Corps. But as anyone who has served knows, only those who have been or are a Marine can accurately relate the experience. Some movies come closer than others in doing this. Our Marine Corps clothing is ideal for those who have served and wish to honor the Corps in their own way.

Famous People You Didn’t Know Served as U.S. Marines


Here’s one to get you started.

Drew Carey enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve in 1980 and served for six years. Since then, he’s had his own successful sitcom, hosted the improv show Who’s Line Is It Anyway? and currently is the host of The Price Is Right.

What famous person do you know served in the Marine Corps and those who are rumored to have served? Let us know and get the conversation started.