Staff Judge Advocate Lt. Col Alex Ray says his job is to advise the commander on all legal matters with the base including which gifts they can and cannot accept.
The Marine Corps Logistics Base receives requests from the community on a nearly daily basis for support, marine appearances, and how to give gifts. The base has to follow strict rules set by the government on all of these matters.
Although marines say it's great that people want to give them gifts based on their service, they have to check before accepting anything. Gifts to individuals or units have stricter requirements, but even if potential gift givers cast their nets wider there's still a double edged sword when it comes to giving support and accepting gifts. It's easier for Marines to accept a gift if it's given to all Marines, however its quite difficult to give gifts to hundreds of marines at once.
Lt. Col. Ray says they're strict about following gift rules and regulations because Marines want to maintain high ethical standards. "We want to be fair to all, we want to show that we're not influenced by this community or this person. So we don't want individual businesses in town being able to do business with the Marine Corps because they're giving us gifts" says Ray.
Extremely small gifts and letters and cards of support from family, friends, and classrooms are always welcome. However large sums of money go straight to headquarters and are not guaranteed to go to the group it was intended for.
So whether it's a big or a small gift - marines say they appreciate the support the community gives. In turn the Marines try to support community efforts that are allowed such as manning water stations during the Albany Snickers Marathon, participating in Read Across America, etc.