JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. —
DoD and military officers and are tasked with a difficult and important job; they not only patrol our local areas keeping roadways and homes safe, they are entrusted with the physical protection of JBMDL. For some, this means manning our gates, for others, it means thoroughly inspecting all commercial vehicles that come through and extensively checking backgrounds. Our officers who work at the commercial vehicle inspection gate may get to know some of the “regulars” that come to base to make scheduled deliveries to our commissary, vending machines and pharmacies. One such daily delivery was made by 32 year old Leydi Viviana Lemos- Delgado of Hamilton, NJ. Recently, the officers of Checkpoint 9 received the shocking news that Ms. Lemos- Delgado, who had been a friendly and welcomed face, had been murdered in her home in an alleged act of domestic violence. Shortly thereafter, it was learned that Ms. Lemos-Delgado’s mother Maria had taken over her daughter’s delivery route.
Officers were humbled by the courage and resiliency of this brave woman who was not only carrying on after the loss of her child but also continuing to ensure that her daughter’s deliveries were still being made in a timely manner. When Maria makes her deliveries, officers try to offer words of encouragement and comfort to let her know she is not alone but it didn’t feel like enough. DoD Officer Carmelito Hernandez Jr., A1C Jon Straley and A1C Aspen Cusumano felt compelled to do more; to that end they organized a voluntary donation collection supported by their co-workers at the gate. Collectively, over $200 was donated by various officers and military members that enabled a “comfort basket” to be created filled with items designed to help bring comfort and peace to Maria as well as gift cards to help ease her financial burden. When Maria was presented with this tangible token of caring, she could barely speak through tears of appreciation.
Maria and her daughter were not “official” members of the JBMDL community but they are the unseen part of it; those who work behind the scenes to support the mission every day. It only takes a small amount of work to affect the life of another and with this outpouring of support and determination, our JBMDL officers were able to do just that.