From left to right - Cristie Lawson, former Marine AJ, Joyce Orrell
We’d like to introduce you to our Purple Heart Hero Support™ Manager and Assistant Manager from the West Coast, serving the Naval Medical Center, San Diego - also known as “Balboa.”
Manager Joyce Orrell is no stranger to volunteering. She and her husband Curtis are retired, and instead of sitting back and taking it easy, they are keeping busy with a wide range of volunteering “duties.” Joyce isn’t happy unless she is helping a Marine or a group of Marines somehow, so this is the perfect job for her! As one of our PHHS Managers, Joyce is responsible for arranging monthly dinners at the Wounded Warrior barracks, where 150+ meals are served each month.
Joyce and Curtis have a Marine son who is a Linguist stationed at Camp Pendleton. Joyce also has a number of “adopted Marines” who stay in touch and fondly refer to her as “Mama Joyce.”
Assistant Manager Thelma Hoffmann is a Native American, who grew up on an Indian reservation in New Mexico. Upon graduation from high school, she enlisted in the Navy where she was trained and served as a dental technician. She has two children (Kevin and Kim) and two grandsons. Having recently retired from being a legal assistant for 29 years, her new full-time job is working as a PHHS Assistant Manager. She has two adopted Marine sons: one of her church Marines (he needed a mom); the other Marine was adopted through care packages, whom has remained close and she has supported him through three deployments.
Thelma became acquainted with Joyce through "Official Huggers" at one of the homecomings. The volunteering to help at the Thursday night dinners started with her church providing desserts, and that led to becoming involved on a regular basis. Having a full-time job did not always allow attendance every Thursday; however, the law firm she recently retired from was very supportive and allowed her to take time off to help serve the wounded heroes. The wounded heroes are very special and will always hold a place in her heart.