Published on : Saturday, December 31, 2016
Villas of Distinction®, the world’s premier luxury villa rental company and leading home-based travel franchise Dream Vacations, both part of World Travel Holdings, made the holiday season a little brighter for a deserving veteran by gifting him and his family a $25,000 villa vacation.
With the assistance of the Civic Duty Partners, Inc. and New York State Troopers Marine Corps Association, the travel companies found former Marine Thomas McDonnell to host a luxury villa vacation. McDonnell enjoyed complimentary airfare from Dream Vacations and a weeklong villa stay at the beautiful Mumbai in St. Martin courtesy of Villas of Distinction. He was joined by his wife and three children, ages 18 months, four and seven year olds, as well as his parents and grandparents.
“I am so grateful to Villas of Distinction and Dream Vacations for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stay at a private villa in St. Martin with my entire family,” said McDonnell. “It was truly an unbelievable experience — from the gorgeous views and private accommodations to the concierge service which made dinner reservations and enabled us to easily explore the island. This was a dream vacation beyond our wildest dreams.”
McDonnell, an infantryman with 3rd Battalion 25th Marines, deployed January-October 2005 to Al Anbar Providence, the largest Providence by area in Iraq. McDonnell spent the majority of his time located near the west bank of the Euphrates River near the city of Hit (pronounced “HEET”), Iraq, approximately 30 miles northwest of Ramadi.
On Sept. 4, 2005, McDonnell’s base was hit with an organized assault consisting of a truck bomb, small arms, mortars, and rocket propelled grenades. McDonnell, who suffered a severe concussion from the truck bomb, received a Purple Heart, a combat decoration. After returning from Iraq McDonnell pursued a career in law enforcement and is now serving his community as Police Officer in the Rochester, N.Y. area.
“We are thrilled to be able to give Thomas and his family a dream villa vacation,” said Josh Tolkin, Business Development Director for Villas of Distinction. “We’re grateful to those who serve our country and we always remember those who are willing to sacrifice their lives to give us the freedom that we enjoy today. We’re in an amazing industry and it is our pleasure to share what we do with a veteran and his family. This is a gesture of our appreciation, and we are happy that Thomas was able to relax and enjoy quality time with his family this holiday season.”
“When Villas of Distinction called me to see if we wanted to sponsor flights for Thomas’ trip, we jumped at the opportunity,” said Rosemarie Reed, Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Dream Vacations. “As a member of the International Franchise Association’s VetFran and with more than 30 percent of our Franchise Owners being veterans or active duty spouses, we are huge supporters of this community. Having the opportunity to provide a dream vacation to a deserving former Marine during the holidays is truly an honor.”