CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Marine Corps Community Services celebrated the grand opening of a remodeled Marine Corps Exchange aboard Camp Lejeune Nov. 2, 2011.
As part of the celebration, the MCCS staff and 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force command selected wounded warriors for a total makeover.
“We wanted to do something different in conjunction with the grand opening of the MCX,” said Yolanda M. Mayo, from Bay City, Mich., the community relations and operations specialist for MCCS. “So we decided to incorporate Purple Heart recipients.”
“We wanted to give something back to them; we submitted our candidates to the [II MEF command] and names were selected,” Mayo explained. “Today they will have their makeup professionally applied, their hair styled and get to dress up.”
During the event designers from ISSAY, a luxury women’s clothing company in Los Angeles, traveled to assist with the makeover.
“As we know it’s [Marine Corps] ball season, and we wanted them to have something unique to wear for the celebrations,” Mayo said. We wanted them to have a fun day and explore a side of them, which as women in the military, isn’t put on display very often.
One of the Marines who received the makeover was Lance Cpl. Danielle N. Pothoof, from Bay City, Mich., a motor transportation operator with 2nd Marine Logistics Group.
Pothoof received a Purple Heart due to injuries received when her Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle ran over an improvised explosive device while supporting International Security Assistance Force operations in February of this year.
“This was really exiting, because this is a whole side of me that doesn’t ever come out,” Pothoof expressed. “I am usually in my [physical training uniform] or Marine Corps uniform with my hair up, nothing especial.
“I feel really privileged that I was even though off for this,” she concluded. “I feel like a whole new person … it makes me feel really good, and I thank them for that.”