Derek Davis began his Marine Corps career as a radio technician and retired 20 years later as a gunnery sergeant with expertise in information technology. He had been retired for about 10 years, but was still working full-time, when he started having kidney problems. Derek had to go to dialysis three times a week and was in and out of the hospital. “We were going through a hard time,” his wife Shoneice said. Derek had to take leave from his job to get treatment, and Shoneice had to stop working to care for him. The hospital where he needed to go was an hour away from home, which required frequent refills of the gas tank.
“I had heard about the Society when we lived on base at Camp Pendleton, but we never needed help until last October,” Shoneice said. “I reached out to them for financial help until Derek’s disability payments started. We needed to pay bills and we didn’t have income because Derek was in and out of the hospital so much.”
When Shoneice visited the NMCRS Camp Pendleton office to ask for help, she expected to apply for a loan. “I worked with Donna Miranda, the director there, and she was very nice and very helpful. The Society gave us a grant, but we’d never asked for that. I told Derek about it and we both agreed that we would repay the money when we were able.”
After Derek died this past Summer, Shoneice returned to NMCRS Camp Pendleton. “I went back to the office and made a donation for the amount of money we’d received, plus a little more, to help others,” Shoneice said. “The military was Derek’s family. He really enjoyed his time in the Corps. We wanted to give back to the Society to help other military families – because the Society helped us when we needed it.”
By Betsy Rosenblatt Rosso