team dark horse

laguna hills' support group for marine battalion 3/5

be part of us!

oo-rah corner

So many ways to give

Team Dark Horse is a 501(c)(3)non-profit (ID # 27-4526336).  We run a tight ship, so please know that almost 100% of your donations will go directly to the support of Marine Battalion 3/5 and its families.

We have many volunteer opportunities!  Click here for more info.

There are businesses and organizations we would especially like to thank for their participation in the 2014 Memorial Day Event.  Show them your support!



Dekra-Lite Industries - Santa Ana
Laguna Hills Lodge
Heidelberg Bakery
AIM Mail Center
DeeDee Golwitzer Photography
Ruby’s DIner


CORPORATE DONORS (Direct Donation of Services/Products)

Ashley Furniture
Laguna Surf and Sand Hotel
The Hills Hotel
Orange County Woodworkers Association


If your business is interested in participating with TDH in any way, please contact us at info@teamdarkhorse.org.

More than 3,700 runners participated in the 2014 Laguna Hills’ Memorial Day Half-Marathon, and many of them were there to honor the Marines of 3rd Battalion, 5th Regiment.  Dark Horse Marines were on deployment, but that didn’t stop other Marines, Stroller Warriors, Laguna Hills and other So Cal residents, Gold Star Family members, and even a general from giving it their all.

Grand Marshall Carlos Garcia presided over the day’s events, starting with some encouraging words to the runners before the race.  As the racers crossed the finish line at the Community Center, they realized the day’s events were far from over.  

TDH member Vanessa Kon, and daughter Alex, put together a Memorial Booth that captured everyone’s attention.  The booth featured smaller replicas of the banners recently raised in the city.  This display honored the 25 Fallen, and humbled everyone who stopped by to pay tribute.   

learn more

3rd Battalion, 5th Marine, 1st Division - official USMC site:  1stmardiv.marines.mil/Units/5THMARINE

NPR piece on the Sangin Deployment:  npr.org/afghan-hell-on-earth-for-darkhorse-marines

501(C)(3) ID# 27-4526336

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SO MANY MEMORABLE MOMENTs!

BANNERS UP! MISSION COMPLETE

The banners flew!  With the help of many generous supporters, Team Dark Horse was able to reach its goal of raising banners in honor of the 25 Fallen Marines from the Sangin deployment in 2010.  

 Each "Patriotic Season" (May - July) you will see these banners along the Annual Half-Marathon race route in Laguna Hills.  As you travel down Paseo de Valencia, or Alicia Parkway, the faces of these fine young men who gave their all look down on the community.  

Family members of these men, Gold Star Families, are overwhelmed with gratitude that their loved ones have been remembered in this way by a community so far from home. 

The banners came down after July 4.  They will be up again next year, and will catch your eye as you slow for a red light, or are stuck in traffic, but do yourself – and your family – a favor.  Plan a walk along the broad sidewalks that line these streets, taking time to salute each Marine in your own way.  It’s not a long walk, but it will be a memorable one.



sgt runs half-marathon in combat gear

Watch as Sgt Willie Deel explains why he ran the Laguna Hills Half Marathon in combat gear while carrying the American flag.

la police emerald society honors 3/5 marines

The Los Angeles Pollice Emerald Society Pipes and Drums made their presence known at this year's Memorial Day event.  They marched onto the Event site, capturing everyone's attention.  As they played the US Marine Corp Hymn, everyone stood a little taller, and some wiped away tears.  Thank you LAPS Pipes & Drums for making Laguna Hills your Memorial Day destination!

Thank you TDH Member Sam Castillo!

Team Dark Horse member Sam Castillo brought his fully-restored 1949 Jeep and donned his uniform to escort Grand Marshall Carlos Garcia in style.  Sam brought everyone to attention as he honored our 3/5 heroes.  Find out more about Sam and that Jeep!

ocregister.com/articles/sam-veterans-trip

Photos courtesy of DeeDee Gollwitzer

volunteer opportunities

(is that "Ho! Ho! Ho!" i hear?)


While Team Dark Horse takes the lead on our two key events each year, we hear of other volunteer opportunities that support our adopted Marines.  As a committee we often contribute and participate, and encourage the Laguna Hills community to do so as well.  Check out the following:

  • Operation Help A Hero (OHH) is sponsoring Operation Rack Pack on Sunday, November 2 from 1:00 to 4:00 PM.  It's a day of cleaning and freshening, and leaving goodies in the barracks for the single Marines arriving "home" from deployment.  Contact Cindy Ruiz from OHH at ruiz01@cox.net and let her know you're with TDH.
  • 3/5 Homecomng...for security reasons, the exact date is not known, but it should be sometime in early to mid-November.  TDH will be there with posters and hugs to welcome our Marines home from deployment.  Contact info@teamdarkhorse.org for more information.
  • Annual Toy Drive and Holiday Party will be here before we know it!  The Party is scheduled for Sunday, December 14, and the collection boxes will be up just after Thanksgiving.

support tdh with your ralphs rewards card!


So easy to do!  Whenever you shop at Ralphs, you can support Team Dark Horse by registering your Ralphs card online at ralphs.com.  All the information you need is

The ladies said "yes!" to the dress

Invited to the "Say Yes to the Dress" event at Camp Pendleton, the wives and girlfriends of 3/5 Marines were invited to shop til they dropped.  But most found the perfect dress for the Marine Corp Birthday Ball long before they dropped.  There was a dress for everyone (and shoes and accessories too), thanks to the people who donated formal wear to this annual event that helps the young women feel like Cinderella.  Smiles all around!