San Clemente Resident Honored at Pentagon
San Clemente Times | Written by Nathan Wright
Local nonprofit dedicated to supporting Marines receives award inspired by Bob Hope.
For the past seven years Cynthia Martinez has spent thousands of hours honoring troops and their families with dozens of parties and a plethora of care packages. Last month the United States military returned the favor by honoring her with the Marine Corps 2007 U.S. Armed Forces Spirit of Hope Award.
The Spirit of Hope Award was inspired by the late entertainer Bob Hope and is given annually to individuals and organizations that embody the values of the men and women serving in the military, including duty, honor, courage, loyalty, commitment and integrity. Martinez accepted the award and a bronze medallion bearing the image of Bob Hope at an awards ceremony on October 28 at the Pentagon Auditorium. She’s the founder of Words of Comfort, Hope and Promise, a San Clemente nonprofit that partners with other organizations and volunteers to throw parties for Marines stationed at Camp Pendleton and their families.
“I do it for the love of my country and the love for the troops and their families,” Martinez said. “They take care of me and I’ll take care of them.”
Martinez first began her efforts after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks by writing a book offering readers comfort during the troubling time. “I was moved,” she said. “The American people were living in fear because of the terrorist attacks and I wanted to offer words of comfort and hope.”
She later sent her book to Marines stationed in Camp Pendleton and met many in need. So began Words of Comfort, Hope and Promise. Martinez credits many individuals and groups for the foundation’s success, including South County’s Bob and Dana Rudy, Carol Finney, Mel Oronoz-Thompson, Mitch Thompson, Pete Hammer, Wendy and Scott Dickinson, Edward and Helen DiPanni, Ron and Irene Lord, and others.
Martinez regularly adds volunteers to her team. Reach her at 949.637.7615 or email@example.com, or visit www.comforthopeandpromise.org.
October 28, 2007