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U.S. Marines and Sailors with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 166 Reinforced, the air combat element of the 13th Marines Expeditionary Unit, bought pink unit patches to raise money for breast cancer research during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. One dollar from every patch sold was donated.

Photo by Staff Sgt. Terika King

Patchwork: VMM-166 (REIN) Rocks pink unit patches for breast cancer awareness

2 Nov 2015 | Sgt. Paris Capers and Sgt. Hector de Jesus and Sgt. Tyler Gregory 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit

Every year people around the country raise awareness for breast cancer research during the month of October.

“In October you see the football players wearing the pink shoes and gloves on the field,” said Capt. Anthony Gleis, officer in charge of S-5 for Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 166 Reinforced. “This is 166’s way of raising awareness for the cause and giving what we can.”

As a fundraiser for breast cancer research, the squadron had their unit logo patches, which each Marine is authorized to wear on coveralls and flight suits, made in pink and white.

“For each patch sold, we donate a dollar to breast cancer research,” said Gleis. The funds the unit raises goes to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of America.

For some Marines, the patches have a special meaning.

“I bought my patch because I feel like everyone is so busy day to day that they kind of forget about the things that matter,” said Sgt. Alexandra Gordon, aviation supply specialist assigned to VMM-166 (REIN). “For me breast cancer is something that hits home as quite a few of my family members have had it. I wear the patch just to raise the awareness for people who forget on a day-to-day basis -- to help remind them.”

The Marines who’ve bought the patches are proud to have done something that benefits others and raise awareness for the cause.

“I think it’s awesome we do this,” Gordon said. “I think that it’s a really good cause and it’s a great way to help raise money for that means something to so many Marines and so many people in general.”

13th Marine Expeditionary Unit