The Magazine of the Department of Michigan Marine Corps League and Marine Corps League Auxiliary
1 February 2018
FROM THE EDITOR Jerry McKeon
I recently declined an invitation to join the board of directors of the Motor City Veteran’s Village, an organization whose single purpose is to seek funds to build a Fisher House near the John D. Dingell VA Hospital in Detroit. A conflict with my role as Foundation President was the sole reason for declining.
For those unfamiliar with Fisher Houses scattered throughout the United States, families of hospitalized veterans have a place to stay when their veteran is undergoing acute medical care at a nearby VA Hospital. Sixteen suites are planned for the Detroit Fisher House.
Michigan Marine News CONTENTS From the Editor’s Desk Message from MCL Commandant Masunas
Message—Sr. Vice Commandant Jon VanTol
Message—Jr. Vice Commandant—Al Pierson Honoring League Member Don Lumsden Deceased Members—2017
6 7 8
Call for Marine of the Year
Could you Cut the Mustard
10 & 11
Message from Ann LeClair—Auxiliary President
There are 54 Fisher Homes in 28 states but none in Michigan. The Fisher Family Foundation established by Ken Fisher, a real estate entrepreneur, is credited with starting the effort. Mr. Fisher has helped veterans in so many ways garnering awards and accolades from every part of the veteran community.
Message from National Commandant
Mid-Winter Photo Coverage
Miscellaneous - More Auxiliary
An effort has been underway for some time to establish a Fisher House next to the Ann Arbor VA Hospital. It’s been approved to move forward and construction should start soon.
For anyone that experienced a family stay in a Fisher Home or know a family that found comfort at a Fisher House, you know the welcoming care families receive. I bring this up as the Detroit organization will cast a wide net for donations. Should you be asked, it certainly is a worthy cause to consider. Should you want more information or wish to make contact with the organization, please give me a call.
My business world experience dictates the need for a backup, especially when solely responsible for a given task. If you would like to work with me on the newsletter—write articles, work with images, collect information, page layout, please give me a call. Together we can make improvements. E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 248-866-5653
What is a veteran anyway About the Cover—
About the Cover—Find Me!
Registration Nation Mid-Winter Meeting
Registration– Central Zone Conference
Devil Dog news—Scott Neff Montford Point Marine—A strong Military Marine Corps League News Detachment News Miscellaneous News Veteran’s Close to our Hearts Stiggy’s Dogs—Cpl. Duane Dewey Award Foundation News
36 37 38 39-40 41 42-43 44 45
Winter Rally Highlights
NEXT ISSUE DEADLINE May 5th, 2018
COMMANDANT DAVE MASUNAS Marine Corps League Members and Auxiliary Members. Since taking over as your Department Commandant I have had the honor of attending many events representing the Department. A couple of events that stick out in my mind the most are: 1. Marine Week in Detroit - The Marine Corps brought in just about everything they have at their disposal and had it on display for the public to see. Each day they performed an assault on a barge that was in the Detroit river. It is amazing to see how far the Marine Corps has come and the show of force they have that is used to protect our country and the men and women that are serving our country. I was also able to attend an unveiling of a mural that was painted on the front of the Montford Point Detachment building that was painted by the Marine Corps. The mural was a special tribute that represents the service of the Montford Point Marines during WWII. I must say it is a beautiful and amazing mural and a must see thing to do.
2. Special Dinner for Don Lumsden - I had the honor of attending a dinner to honor Don Lumsden for his many years of service to the Marine Corps League. The dinner was put on by his Detachment, the Cpl. Stanley L. Moore Detachment. Don is one of three original charter members signing the charter on February 23, 1970. Don has served as the Department Commandant, the Department paymaster, the National paymaster, Detachment Marine of the year and Department Marine of the year. Over the years Don has received just about every award the Marine Corps League has to offer. Don is a true testament to what the Marine Corps league is. On December 10, 2017 I declared that day â€œDon Lumsden Dayâ€?. I hope you were able to attend the Department Mid-Winter conference. At each Mid-Winter we try to hold classes that we think will be beneficial to the members. If you were not able to attend the conference and a member from your Detachment was able to get with them and have them share the information with you and your Detachment. The classes we had this year were: 1. Department Paymaster - The paymaster position can be very demanding at times. We want to make sure we let the paymasters know we are there to help them. Make sure your paymaster is getting the help they need. See Next Page
COMMANDANT DAVE MASUNAS From previous page â€Śâ€Ś Marine Corps League Members and Auxiliary Members. Continued 2. How to host a convention - Hosting a convention can be a great fundraiser helping your Detachment raise the funds they need to help the programs they support. The Upper Peninsula and Muskegon have put on great conventions and they raised a lot of funds in the process. Don't forget, people remember the most how the food was and how good the ad book was. If you have any doubt about hosting a convention you can always contact Al Pearson our Department Jr. Vice, he has helped put on a few conventions. 3. The Department Foundation - The Department Foundation over the years has not been a very big topic. We are fortunate to have in place a Foundation president "Jerry McKeon" that is making great things happen for the Foundation. It is Jerry's goal to get the word out about the Foundation and what it is all about. I look forward to seeing the great things that Jerry has in place for the Foundation. Make sure you check out the Foundation challenge coin that Jerry had made to raise funds for the Foundation. This summer the Department convention will be held in Port Huron. There will be registration paperwork and information about the hotel posted on the Department web page. Make sure to check your e-mail for information also, our Department e-mailer Dutch Franz will be sending e-mail out with the information. We still have a few positions open at the Department level. The positions are: 1. 2. 3. 4.
Assistant Sgt. of Arms Assistant Legislative Director Public Relations Credentials
If you have an interest in one of these positions you can contact me at (231)301-0950 or e-mail at masunasfam@gtlakes. I will continue to work hard for the members of Michigan and I thank you for your continued support. Semper Fi! David Masunas Commandant Department of Michigan MCL
SR. VICE COMMANDANT JON VANTOL
Marines, I hope everyone had a MERRY CHRISTMAS and a great start to a HAPPY NEW YEAR. The Midwinter Rally is over and you had a great time and learned some new things from the classes. Especially all the Paymasters, I feel it is the most important job in the Detachment. Prompt processing of transmittals and good record keeping is vital to the success of a Detachment. Our fund raising this year has been growing but there’s more to do. Many Detachments donate money earmarked for scholarships. But there is more that the Department supports, the VSO's (Veteran Service Officers), VAVS (Veteran Affairs Voluntary Services), and the Marine JROTC at River Rouge High to School to mention a few. At the June convention jars were handed out to collect Change for Scholarships. At the Midwinter Rally the following Detachments have donated money from the jars to the scholarship fund; Edson Kline VanSlyke #1423, John C Rock #902 and Cpl. Stanley L Moore #159. These Detachments contributed over $200 with their loose change! Zone Commandants should have delivered jars to the Detachments in their zone. Keep collecting and bring/send in at the June Convention. The change jar at Midwinter raised $59.31. A Flag fundraiser was held August 26th and 27th, 2017 at the Walmart in Mt. Pleasant. With great support from many Marines from around the state it raised $2,575.05. The Little Roller Raffle raised $2950. Also after the Fall Staff and Little Roller Raffle on October 21st, $3 Department raffle tickets were sent out to all Detachments and Pounds. Some Detachments and Pounds have bought all the tickets they received and returned the stubs and money to me. Downriver #153
Oceana Britt Witteveen #1225
Upper Peninsula #444
John C Rock #902
David Murnighan #161
Flint Dawgs Pound #288
Northern Michigan # 690
Edson Kline VanSlyke #1423
Cpl. Jack A. Davenport #684
Cpl. Stanley L Moore #159
2500 tickets were printed and if all were sold, the Department could net about $4000 after expenses. The drawing is April 25, 2018 and all money and stubs need to be turned in by April 15, 2018. Send check or money order to: Jonathan VanTol, 3433 Fairway Dr., Bay City MI 48706 The success of our programs depend on the support of our members. I anticipate a great response. With these funds we’ll be able to continue to serve Veterans. I have also contacted the Walmart in Mt Pleasant and have reserved August 25 th and 26th for a Flag fundraiser. Still waiting on an answer from the Sam’s club. Please add this date to your calendar and hopefully you can assist. It was decided to hold another Little Roller Raffle in conjunction with the Fall Staff meeting. Mark October 13, 2018 at the American Legion Post in Utica. We will also pursue selling 50/50 tickets at a Tiger game. I will submit the appropriate forms in early February. They ask for 30-40 volunteers for Friday and Saturday. It looks to be a two day commitment. Updates to follow. Thank you and Semper Fidelis, 5
Jonathan S VanTol Sr. Vice Commandant, Dept. of MI
JR. VICE COMMANDANT AL PIERSON I wish I could be every where to help my fellow Marines work on their delinquent member list. Some detachments only have a few unpaid members while others have many members past due. It’s just a matter of the paymaster or commandant or a designated member making contact, as many members are just waiting for the renewal notice. I certainly hope National changes their position on this. I want to remind detachment commandants not to let the membership count drop too low. National likes to see all detachments with a membership count above fifteen. There are a few detachments actually gaining members—my congratulations to them. Our October staff meeting came to a close with the Little Roller drawing. I didn’t win—I was counting on the money to buy you a drink. A brand new member won the first prize of $1,000.00. The department netted over $2,000. Our winter rally in Frankenmuth is coming up quickly—Frankenmuth is always lots of fun. The pool and water slide in the lower level of the hotel is very popular with the young and old. The large hot tub is a favorite of adults. The chicken is mine. I hope to see you there!
Al Pierson, Jr. Vice Commandant
Timing is Everything!
Commandant Names December 10th Don Lumsden Day! Hardly enough can be said about the contributions Don Lumsden has made on behalf of the Marine Corps League. From the very day he became one of the cofounders of Cpl. Stanley L. Moore Detachment in 1970, he has pitched in wherever needed. Recently the Stanley L. Moore Detachment held a recognition dinner for Don and lavished him with proclamations, awards, gifts and accolades. Department Commandant Dave Masunas, traveling from his home two hundred and fifty miles away and Sr. Vice Commandant Jon VanTol, from Bay City, made the trip. Commandant Masunas presented the first award, a proclamation from the Department declaring December 10th, as Don Lumsden Day. PDC Ron Haase, a traveling buddy of Don’s for twenty-five years or more presented to Don, the Gold Distinguished Citizen Award, the highest award the Marine Corps League offers—and believe it or not, the fifth one Don has received. A personal letter from Commandant of the Marine Corps General Neller, awards from local, state and national politicians and a mounted Ka-Bar knife personalized with Don’s name and accomplishment was a gift from his detachment. When Don joins an organization, it becomes a lifetime commitment. While employed full time, Don worked in the treasurer’s office for Oakland County. Early on he was asked to join the auditing committee of his credit union. That began a lifelong association that eventually landed Don in the President’s chair. It still has not ended as Don is now the longest serving board member in the credit union’s history. In recognition of this, a beautiful letter of appreciation was read, and a check for $500.00 was presented to the Department of Michigan Marine Corps League Foundation in Don’s honor.
Presented to Don, a mounted Ka-Bar, a gift of the detachment,
The cake, topped with a copy of the original
will find its place among the many other awards Don has
Detachment charter, clearly showed Don’s
collected over his forty-five plus years of volunteering.
Signature, signed in 1970. 7
MEMBER MARINES—DEPARTED IN 2017 Norbert G. Tomchick
Joseph L. Steveson
#1182 Irish Hills
8 January 2017
Earl H. De Giorgis
9 January 2017
Phillip A. D’Annunzio
#161 David Murnighan
14 January 2017
Robert C. Miller
#763 Branch Area
30 January 2017
Melvin R. Hammon
2 February 2017
George E. Wells
2 February 2017
Joseph L. Garofalo
21 February 2017
Robert M. Catanzrite
25 February 2017
Darrel V. Thybault
#159 Cpl. Stanley L. Moore
4 March 2017
11 March 2017
John L. Chatterton
13 March 2017
#902 John C. Rock
9 April 2017
Thomas J. Murphy
10 April 2017
Lloyd N. Coon
13 April 2017
Jerry E. Allen
18 April 2017
#570 North Oakland
5 May 2017
Charles Spring Jr.
#841 Harold R. Cooley
16 May 2017
#444 Upper Peninsula
30 June 2017
Albert E. Dawes
17 July 2017
Ken J. Aune –Past National Chaplain #154 Macomb
24 July 2017
24 July 2017
Rev. Forest Newton
26 August 2017
Thomas N. Brisbin
9 October 2017
Joseph F. Nagonashe
9 October 2017
#1423 Edson, Kline, Van Dyke
10 October 2017
12 October 2017
Charles R. Batherson
28 October 2017
Laurence B. St Martin
#444 Upper Peninsula
3 November 2017
Joseph C. Charnawskas
13 November 2017
Michael J. Poling
#902 John C. Rock
Herbert C. Hensley Jr.
7 December 2017
Charles W. Hyde
9 December 2017
Bernie P. Borden
22 December 2017
Louis A. Anglero
22 December 2017
Bill L. Newman
#1401 St. Joseph County
23 December 2017
Leonard C. Cichoski
#154 Macomb County
25 December 017
A R I
N E S
SUBMIT A NOMINATION FOR THE MARINE CORPS LEAGUE DEPARTMENT OF MICHIGAN MARINE OF THE YEAR Fellow Marines: Every year at the Department Convention in June one League member is honored as the Department Marine of the Year. Please consider nominating one of your fellow Marines for this high honor. The winner receives a Department of Michigan Marine of the Year Medallion, a beautiful wall plaque and his/her name will be added to the large and impressive trophy shown. (It’s over three feet tall.) It’s our version of the Stanley Cup and the winner gets to keep it for one year. The winner also becomes a member of the Department of Michigan Marine of the Year Society with the right to participate in choosing the Marine of the Year every year thereafter.
Any member of the League, or a detachment, can submit a nomination. What we are looking for are qualities and performance that exemplify the best ideals of the League. Participation in the MCL at the Department level is the most heavily weighted criteria. He or she should have performed outstanding service to the Department and to the League (at any other level.) We also consider service to his or her community and the veterans’ community. Examples include: being a Department and/or detachment officer or committee member; working on Department and detachment projects; volunteering at a V.A. Medical Center or other V.A. or non-V.A. medical facilities; participating in Veterans Day, Memorial Day, and other patriotic events; organizing and/or participating in charitable activities, especially those that aid veterans or our Marines and other forces on active or reserve duty; participation in civic activities, both state and local, and in other service organizations; advocating for veteran’s rights and programs. These are examples only. You may know of additional reasons to nominate someone. To make a nomination we need a written description of the nominee’s activities and an explanation of why it is worthy of recognition. Think of it as writing a resume. It is not limited to this year and the description should cover as many years as possible. You can include newspaper clippings, copies of awards, on-line links showing the nominee, etc. A brief description of the nominee’s USMC service is also welcome, but not a consideration unless it involved the League. You can submit by email (in fact, that is the preferred method) as well as through the U.S. mail. The addresses are: for email: email@example.com Put “Department of Michigan MOY” in the subject line. By U.S. mail send to: Glen Bressette – PDC Marine of the Year Chairman
164 Dana Lane, Harvey, MI 49855-9501 The award is presented at the Department Convention and the winner is not notified in advance. It is hoped and expected (but not mandatory) that he or she will be present and surprised. If your nominee wins you will be contacted in secrecy and encouraged to try to have the winner attend the Department Convention. Be sure to put your name, address, phone number (s) and email address in the nomination.
THE ABSOLUTE DEADLINE FOR NOMINATIONS IS MAY 1, 2018 THE NOMINATION MUST BE RECEIVED IN OUR HAND BY THAT DATE AT MIDNIGHT 9
MARINES —COULD YOU CUT THE MUSTARD TODAY? Joining the Marine Corps is a lot more difficult today. A screening process at the recruitment level will determine if you will even raise your right hand and take the oath. If a combat MOS is your interest, another level of screening takes place. There are load bearing and non-load bearing infantry jobs. Load bearing jobs are those in infantry, reconnaissance, force recon, combat engineer fields, and critical skill operators. Non-load bearing combat jobs could be artillerymen, tankers, amphibious vehicle crewmen and Marines in low altitude air defense jobs. The Marine Corps standards are based on a four-part process involving screening, classification, qualification, and continuation. Following the opening of all jobs to women in the military in January, the Marine Corps implemented a number of new requirements for male and female Marines seeking jobs in combat arms fields such as infantry and artillery. These changes don’t just affect those in combat occupational specialties, the standards also impact Marines in non-combat arms jobs such as supply or administration who will be assigned to units with strenuous physical demands, referred to as loadbearing units. It is important to note that these new standards only determine whether or not a Marine can serve in a specific combat arms job, or load-bearing unit. Standards for annual training like the Marine Corps’ physical fitness test, PFT, and combat fitness test, CFT, remain the same, which means different requirements for male and female Marines. Headquarters Marine Corps shed some light on what new these job-specific standards are and how they’re implemented. First, you have to pass the screening. The screening portioning occurs before someone enlists in the Marine Corps. Prior to joining, prospective Marine recruits must pass an initial strength test, but for those wishing to enter combat arms, there’s a new gender-neutral test. The new initial strength test requires prospective Marine recruits complete three pull-ups; run 1.5 miles in 13 minutes and 30 seconds; do 44 crunches in two minutes, and perform 45 ammo-can lifts in two minutes before they can ship to boot camp. “Now, say you want to be infantry, so now you want to take the enhanced IST,” explains Capt. Philip Kulczewski, a Marine Corps spokesman with Headquarters Marine Corps. “It’s all about the physical performance for those types of jobs.” However, for those not entering a combat-oriented job, the initial strength test remains unchanged and has separate minimum requirements for men and women. Men are required to perform two pullups, and women must hold a flexed-arm hang for at least 12 seconds. Both must complete a 1.5-mile run; men in 13 minutes and 30 seconds, and women within 15 minutes. Both men and women must also do 44 crunches within two minutes. Continued on next page ….
Continued from Page Nine
Next comes the MOS classification standard. While at recruit training, after having passed the initial strength test for combat-oriented jobs, recruits must meet a new standard to ensure they are prepared for the rigorous physical training at their MOS school. Called the MOS classification standard, it requires those going into combat arms meet a specific minimum standard on the PFT and CFT.
Male and female recruits going into combat arms jobs must complete six pull-ups; a three-mile run in under 24 minutes and 51 seconds; perform 60 ammo-can lifts in two minutes; conduct a movement to contact in 3 minutes and 26 seconds or less; and maneuver under fire within 3 minutes and 12 seconds. If a recruit fails to meet the MOS classification standard, they will be put into another MOS for which they are physically qualified. After graduating boot camp, the new Marines will move on to their MOS schools, and for those in combat arms, they will be required to meet another series of standards and tests directly related to their field. What exactly are the requirements? These MOS-specific physical standards differ from job to job, and are gender-neutral, meaning male and female Marines must meet the same standards in order to move on to their field. “If you’re in the infantry, they’re putting on heavy gear and physically seeking out the enemy every single day,” said Kulczewski. “PFT scores and how physically fit you are really relates to how successful you’re going to be in that job. That’s really physical, vice the ones that are very technical.” Even if I could pass the PT test, can you imagine a seventy seven year old like me in the silent drill team falling asleep while standing and getting hit by an incoming rifle! Excerpts from an article found in Tasks and Purpose News.
MARINE CORPS LEAGUE AUXILIARY ANN LECLAIRâ€”PRESIDENT
Happy New Year from Department of Michigan Marine Corps League Auxiliary! Welcome to 2018. For those who were able to join us in Frankenmuth for Midwinter Rally, thank you for coming. I sincerely hope that you enjoyed the area and time together with old friends and hopefully made new ones. For those who were unable to join us, I hope to see you at the next event. The Dept. of Michigan MCLA staff and Units greatly appreciate working with Dept. of Michigan MCL officers and staff for mutual benefit. The new year will hopefully present many more such opportunities. The next few months will be filled with activities focusing on the veterans that we serve. In addition, many will attend National Midwinter Staff meeting in Fredericksburg, VA in March. In April, the Auxiliary stands ready to assist Capitol Detachment and the Dept. of MI MCL with the Central Division Conference in Lansing. Membership retention and growth will continue to be a priority in the new year. You can help us in our efforts by sharing information about Auxiliary with any ladies you meet who might be eligible. Happy New Year to all. Semper Fidelis, Ann LeClair President Department of MI MCLA
Karen Aune, National President Marine Corps League Auxiliary. Moat League members attending the department meetings, know that a Michigander is the National President of the Marine Corps League Auxiliary. Following in the footsteps of two other National leaders, John Tuohy and Jim Tuohy from the Flint Detachment. This is a great honor for them and us as well. Yes, our department produces active and respected leaders at the national level. Hopefully this newsletter finds its way to every member in every Michigan detachment so others will learn of this honor. We wish Karen well as she moves into her second year as National president.
MARINE CORPS LEAGUE National Headquarters
This past week, National Commandant Wendell W. Webb released a graph showing a membership delinquency rate of 55.4%. This is a serious matter that should concern every League Department and detachment. In a large part due to the elimination of dues notices to a member’s mailbox, it’s now the responsibility of every Detachment to make contact with delinquent members. We are reminded that this lack of cash-flow impacts our spending for ordering supplies to replenish our Ship’s Store, paying the rent, computer and phone systems, staff salaries, and insurance for the entire organization. In larger Detachments, the past due list is long. It is suggested the Paymaster assign several delinquent names to every Detachment member asking them to contact the member. A simple letter to the last known address will be enough to remind members to send in their check.
Semper Fidelis, W3
Recent Combat Marine Addresses Banquet Guests Speaker Josh Barrett, a Marine Corps Combat Veteran of Afghanistan, Fallujah and Ramadi, didn’t mince any words singling out the various Veteran organizations, for their ineffectiveness in connecting to today’s veteran. After a Marine Corps tour, Josh started a company named Odin’s Outcasts to provide assistance to veterans to include emergency housing, social services and medical assistance and therapy.
MID-WINTER RALLY HIGHLIGHTS
Winter Rally Co-Chairs, Ann LeClair, with Commandant Dave Masunas and Mary Brief with National Auxiliary President Karen Aune, have plenty of reasons to smile as the auxiliary members pulled off a very successful meeting.
Frankenmuth Mayor Gary C. Rupprecht, welcomes the Marine Corps League to his charming city famous for their chicken. 14
Martha Zehnder, representing the Zehnder Family and the Bavarian Inn and Lodge gives a warm welcome.
Jarhead Java has teamed up with the Marine Corps League! If you go to their shopping page at www.jarheadjava.com they are offering FREE SHIPPING! Select a flat rate box containing the items you desire and use the coupon code MCL at checkout for free shipping. Jarhead Java will then make a cash donation for each order placed using the code MCL to the Marine Corps League.—this as well as their regular donation of 50% to the Semper Fi America Fund to support our wounded veterans from all ranches of the military. Jarhead Java is 100% Colombian Arabica—Bold Roast—Great coffee for a great cause.
Here is a unique way to help our veterans both hospitalized and in care facilities. The next time you stay overnight in a hotel, or leave your dentist office with the customary tooth brush and toothpaste, set the shampoo, body lotion, toothbrush and toothpaste aside and bring to your next detachment meeting or next Department convention or Rally you might attend. In the future, a marked box will be found at the convention site to drop these items into for distribution to a veteran at a future visit to a VA facility. These items are purchased or donated to the League every year—for visits during the year and around the holidays. Your contributions throughout the year will certainly make a difference.
MORE AUXILIARY PHOTOS
Left: Marine Corps League Auxiliary Leaders assemble for the opening ceremonies in Frankenmuth. The Auxiliary hosted the event.
After a hard weekend of work, Auxiliary members assemble for a group photo. 15
Some veterans bear visible signs of their service: a missing limb, a jagged scar, a look in the eye. Others may carry the evidence inside them: a pin holding a bone together, a piece of shrapnel in the leg – or perhaps another sort of inner steel: the soul’s alloy forged in the refinery of adversity. Except in parades, however, the men and women who have kept America safe wear no badge or emblem. You can’t tell a vet just by looking. So what is a vet? He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn’t run out of fuel. He is the Nebraska farmer who worries every year that this time, the bank really will foreclose. He is the barroom loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks, whose overgrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 39th Parallel. She – or he – is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang. He is the POW who went away one person and came back another or didn’t come back at all. He is the Quantico drill instructor who never has seen combat – but who has saved countless lives by turning slouchy no-counts into soldiers, and teaching them to watch each other’s backs. He is the parade-riding legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand. He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals pass him by. He is the anonymous hero in the Tomb of the Unknowns, whose presence at Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the other anonymous heroes whose valor died unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean’s sunless deep. He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket – palsied now and aggravatingly slow – who helped liberate a Nazi death camp, and who wishes all day long his wife were still alive to hold him when the nightmares come. He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being – a person who offered some of his life’s most vital years in the service of his country, and who sacrificed his ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs. He is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness, and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known. Published by Richmond Times-Dispatch November 11, 1995 16
Vietnam - The Chemical War! (By Special Request)
Just before dawn on Nov. 18, 1967, the men of the Army’s 266th Chemical Platoon awoke to reveille and assembled in formation. The platoon was attached to the First Infantry Division, and the men were stationed at the division’s base, deep in the red-clay hills north of Saigon.
The men had a typically busy day ahead of them. Their tasks included obtaining 15 drums of Agent Orange to defoliate the base perimeter, firing mortars at an area just outside the base for an evening chemical drop, working at the bomb yard to prepare 24 drums of CS tear gas, making 48 white phosphorus fuses to detonate the drums, loading the drums onto a CH-47 cargo helicopter, and finally, that afternoon, dropping 24 drums of the gas from the helicopter’s rear hatch onto a target site. It was, by 1967, just another day in the life of the 266th Chemical Platoon, and in the American war in Vietnam — a war that was, in many respects, a chemical war. It didn’t start that way. But as the conflict deepened, it became obvious that chemical weapons could play a critical role. In the case of the First Division, that realization came as the Viet Cong dug in north of Saigon with a network of underground bunkers and tunnels that were forbidding, dangerous spaces where conventional weapons would have limited effect. That fall, the 266th and other chemical platoons began training to use CS and other chemicals to support combat operations. CS wasn’t the only tool in the platoon’s arsenal, and going after tunnels wasn’t its only mission. It handled anything related to chemicals, from spraying for mosquitoes to burning trash. It sprayed defoliants like Agent Orange and prepared napalm. Chemicals were everywhere, and their proliferation in the American war effort raised concerns that the United States was crossing a line in Vietnam, violating the 1925 Geneva Protocol’s prohibition against the first use of chemical weapons in war. Chemical weapons didn’t suddenly appear in America’s Vietnam arsenal. In 1918, in response to German gas attacks in World War I, the military created the Chemical Warfare Service (renamed the Chemical Corps in 1947) to develop gas and biological weapons as a response to enemy attacks. They developed defensive measures to protect soldiers from chemical, biological or radioactive weapons via decontamination agents. The armed forces also developed nonmilitary uses of nonlethal chemicals. It supplied tear gas (xylyl bromide) to police forces in the 1920s and ’30s to disperse angry mobs. (British military scientists developed CS as a more potent replacement in the 1950s.) During World War II, the military played a pivotal role in pioneering new chemicals that were both horrifically destructive and lifesaving. After successfully testing gelled gasoline on Harvard’s soccer field, the military coordinated production of napalm in incendiary grenades, flamethrowers and the bombs dropped over cities such as Tokyo and Dresden, Germany. Chemical units spread a newly discovered insecticide, DDT, across Italian towns and in soldiers’ sleeping bags to control mosquitoes and ticks that carried malaria and typhus. In 1943, the military opened a chemical and biological weapons lab at Fort Detrick, Md., to centralize research. It was there that scientists in the Crops Division tested combinations of herbicides, including a precursor to Agent Orange made with a blend of the herbicides 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T. Scientists in the 1930s had discovered that those chemicals mimicked a plant’s growth hormone, but they had been unsuccessful in harnessing its growth-inducing powers. Then in 1943, a botanist notified the Army that increased dosages turned the chemical into a plant killer, and the synthetic organic herbicide was born. Scientists at Fort Detrick tested the herbicides for possible use over the tropical vegetation covering Japanese-held islands in the Pacific, but the war ended before they could ramp up production. While the Chemical Corps continued to test all chemicals for military uses in the 1950s, it did so amid a postwar economic boom during which many of the same products became commercially available.
Continued—The two herbicides in Agent Orange, 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T, were not secrets; rather, they were two of the most popular, widely available herbicides on the market. The government declassified its research on pesticides almost immediately in 1945, opening development for commercial markets. In May 1945, a chemist at the American Chemical Paint Company near Philadelphia received a patent simply titled “Herbicides,” listing over a dozen preferred chemical formulas including a 50-50 mix of 2,4,5-T and 2,4-D similar to Agent Orange. (He later claimed that he developed this blend to kill poison ivy, as his son was acutely allergic.) In 1948, the Department of Agriculture registered those new herbicides and insecticides as “economic poisons” and sales quickly took off. Because of this crossover identity in the 1960s, their use as offensive weapons in Vietnam drew little public reaction. Although the consequences of using herbicides like Agent Orange later became clear, they were always intended as nonlethal chemical weapons. The line was less clear with CS gas. Though it was officially intended to flush out tunnels, those caught inside were often asphyxiated, and even survivors suffered respiratory lesions. And there was no blurring of lines when it came to napalm. Men from the 266th platoon would net a dozen or more barrels of the gelled gasoline under a helicopter, which then flew several thousand feet above a target such as a bunker or camp. Once on target, the crew released the barrels. Fuses or strafing from nearby jets ignited the barrels just above the ground, releasing a giant fireball. Anything or anyone within several hundred yards was instantly incinerated while the firestorm sucked the oxygen out of tunnels and bunkers below. Chemical platoons began training in this new form of “combat support” in 1967, but after the Tet offensive in 1968 they were igniting thousands of gallons in “flame drops” every day. They had crossed the line. This rapidly intensifying use of chemicals in combat brought widespread international criticism, first from Communist countries but increasingly from American allies and eventually officials in the United States. Criticism had been building for years: When South Vietnamese helicopters began using 2,4,5-T to kill crops in Communist-controlled areas of the Vietnamese highlands in 1963, North Vietnam’s Liberation Radio accused the United States of violating the 1925 Geneva Protocol and likened the “poisonous spray” to Nazi gas chambers. But American leaders and their allies abroad paid little attention to these “poison” protests; military leaders countered the radio propaganda with South Vietnamese broadcasts explaining that the herbicides were harmless to humans and used commercially around the world. The international response, however, grew more serious with the CS drops. In 1966, a delegate from Hungary at the United Nations complained that the tactical use of the herbicides and CS in Vietnam was a blatant violation of the Geneva Protocol; he also noted that the United States had yet to join the protocol. With the advent of flame drops in 1968, the charges of chemical warfare continued to amplify and rattled the newly elected President Nixon. In November 1969, he pushed the Senate to ratify America’s commitment to the protocol, and he renounced first use of lethal chemicals (except napalm on military targets). While Nixon tried to assure the American public that napalm was not falling on civilians and that the herbicides in Agent Orange were safe, a report had surfaced in 1968 suggesting that the herbicide 2,4,5-T was highly toxic to animal fetuses. (Later research determined the toxicity stemmed from traces of the contaminant dioxin.) While chemical platoons continued pushing thousands of drums of CS and napalm out of helicopters in Vietnam, Nixon moved quickly to stem what he feared would be a domestic and international protest over a potentially toxic herbicide. The White House announced a partial ban on 2,4,5-T on April 15, 1970, and the Defense Department followed suit, banning all Agent Orange missions in Vietnam. Thousands of drums of the herbicide piled up at ports in the United States, at air bases in Vietnam and in small quantities at the drum yards of chemical platoons at Army camps. The military transferred the stockpile of Agent Orange in Vietnam, more than 25,000 drums, to Johnston Island in the Pacific in 1972, but the fate of CS and other chemicals at the camps was less clear. When American forces evacuated their camps and firebases at the war’s end, they again followed disposal manuals of the day: burning or burying unused or corrupted chemical stocks including CS, decontaminating agents, solvents and pesticides. The American military has never again used chemicals as extensively as it did in Vietnam. American military units no longer burn or bury chemical waste. But the legacy remains. Agent Orange destroyed the lives of thousands of Vietnamese and Americans. The international response to CS drops and flame drops set off heated discussions about the nature of chemical war that continues with debates over red lines, incendiaries and barrel bombs today. And caches of chemical weapons remain buried around Vietnam and on disused American sites around Southeast Asia and in the Pacific. America and Vietnam may be allies today, but few people on either side are willing to tackle the war’s total chemical footprint. David Biggs, an associate professor of history and public policy at the University of California, Riverside, is the author of the forthcoming book “War in the Land: History and the Militarized Landscape in Vietnam.”
ABOUT THE COVER—A Common Thread The cover illustrates four places where recruits become Marines – although women Marines train at the same Parris Island, it represents a fourth location with their own training battalion. The common thread of course, all League members went through a Marine Corps Boot Camp, and we were broken down and rebuilt the ‘Marine’ way. We’re so much the same the public can often spot a Marine even out of uniform. We’ve all been asked at least once, “are you a Marine?” Maybe it’s our spit-shined shoes, or posture or walk, perhaps when speaking with someone and calling them “sir” or ma’am. Maybe it was the way we wore our civilian clothes or our high and tight haircut – once earning our Eagle, Globe and Anchor, we all seem to look and act the same way. Perhaps the biggest compliment we’ve ever received was when the CEO of the Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn spoke at a convention banquet; she told of her staff’s reaction to our stay – “we’ve never been called “sir or “ma’am so often as we have this weekend.” Followed by “we’ve never had such polite guests.” That speaks loudly for the training received and the character instilled in all Marines. We are all built on the same tradition and foundation as Marines from the past and Marines of the future, no matter what equipment we may be trained to handle, or the type of war we’re asked to engage in – our foundation is strong and unbreakable. Even though there are differences in how Marines train today, the results are the same. All boots graduate with a solid foundation and the respect of the world. A common thread through all generations of Marines no matter where their initial training was held.
2018 DEPARTMENT OF MICHGAN MCL/MCLA CONVENTION Hosted by the Belcher-Lane-Williams Detachment 146 May 31 â€“ 1, 2, and 3 June 2018
Double Tree Hotel and Resort 800 Harker St Port Huron, MI 48060 810-984-8000 Porthuron.doubletree.com
All reservations should go directly to the Double Tree. Inform them you are with the Marine Corps League, Room Block # USM, Deadline date for registration is 30 April 2018, 1700 Hrs. Guest rooms include two Queen size beds, wireless high speed Internet access, and cable TV. Handicap rooms are available. If you have any handicapped needs in addition to the handicap rooms, please inform the front desk at time of registration. Strip Ticket Deadline: Hospitality Room: Banquet Buffet
01 June 2018 $30.00 (Unlimited Drinks) $30.00
Registration Fee is Waived The Banquet Plate includes a choice of two entrees (8oz New York Strip Steak, or Balsamic Chicken, w/fresh Roma Tomato, Mozzarella, & Basil) Garlic Parsley Redskins, Garden Salad with House Dressing and California Blend Vegetables and dessert. Please fill-out the attached registration form. For questions and/or concerns, contact the Chair Person at:
Lennie Brooks 810-333-3103
2018 Department of Michigan MCL/MCLA Summer Convention Hosted by Belcher-Lane-Williams Detachment 146 Name: Address: Phone Number: Detachment and Unit: Name, Title and other info you would like to see on your name tag: E-Mail:
Name: Address: Phone Number: Detachment and Unit: Name, Title and other info you would like to see on your name E-Mail:
Strip Ticket Deadline: 01 June 2018 No:___________$30.00 = $________________
Banquet Buffet No:___________$30.00 = $________________ New York Strip Steak ___________ (need at least 50 orders) Balsamic Chicken: _____________ (need at least 50 orders) $_______________________
Please help us with banquet planning by registering by 18 May 2018! Make checks or money orders payable To Belcher-Lane-Williams Detachment #146 Belcher-Lane â€“Williams Detachment #146 1711 Pine Grove Port Huron, Michigan 48060 21
2018 DEPARTMENT OF MICHGAN STATE CONVENTION Hosted by Belcher-Lane– Williams Detachment 146
Port Huron—31 May—2 June 2018 Need advertisement for your organization? Is business slowing down? Membership numbers too Low? Buy an ad in the State Convention Program Book, and get published in the community and the State. The 2018 Department of Michigan State Convention Ad Book is an opportunity for you to publish information about your business or organization for all Marines in the State of Michigan to see. It is a great way to advertise and promote through a secure organization with outstanding credentials and traditions. If you are interested in purchasing an ad please complete the attached form and return it with your camera-ready art work or business card, and a check or money order to the address below. DEADLINE FOR THE AD SUBMISSION IS 25 MAY. 2018 Belcher-Lane-Williams Detachment 146 Lennie Brooks 810-333-3103 or firstname.lastname@example.org Mail to: Belcher-Lane-Williams Marine Corps League 1711 Pine Grove, Port Huron, Michigan 48060
2018 Department of Marine Corps League Convention Hosted by Belcher-Lane-Williams Detachment 146 Half Page $55.00
Full Page $100.00 Quarter Page: $45.00
Eighth Page $30.00 Business Card $20.00
Company:_____________________________________________________________________ Contact Person:________________________________________________________________ Address: ______________________________________________________________________ Telephone: ____________________________________________________________________ Size of Ad: _____________________________________________________________________ Ads are typeset free. Ads may be handwritten, typed, or Camera ready. Make checks payable to Belcher-Lane-Williams MCL Detachment #146. Mail to Belcher-Lane-Williams, Attn: Lennie Brooks, 1711 Pine Grove, Port Huron, Michigan 48060. 810-333-3103-or email@example.com
2018 Department of Michigan Marine Corps League Convention Hosted by Belcher-Lane-Williams Detachment 146
31 May â€“ 2 June 2018 Price List: Size of Ad
Inside Front or back cover:
Eighth of Page:
One Line ad / Signature:
Make checks or money orders payable and send to: Belcher-Lane-Williams Detachment 146 Lennie Brooks email: firstname.lastname@example.org 1711 Pine Grove, Port Huron, MI 48060 Company/Individual Name: Contact Person: Address: City, State, Zip Telephone Number: E;Mail: Size of Ad:
DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION: 25 MAY, 2018 Please fill out and mail the above information. Ads are typeset free. Ads may be handwritten, typed (preferred) and/or camera ready. Mail or e-mail to above address 24
2018 DEPARTMENT OF MICHGAN MCL/MCLA CONVENTION Hosted by the Belcher-Lane-Williams Detachment 146 May 31 – 1, 2, and 3 June 2018
Reservation Deadline 30 April 2018 The Double Tree has 48 rooms blocked to accommodate their guests in comfort. Call for reservations at 810-984-8000. Group Code: USM
NO SMOKING Palm Tower—Closest to Convention Center Accommodation Types Non– Smoking Standard 2 Queen Beds– Sleeps 4
All prices include 11% Occupancy Tax Non Smoking—Handicap Room— 1 King Bed Rate
$129.00 All Prices Include 11% Occupancy Tax
If You Are Making Plans to Attend the National Mid-Winter Conference Complete This Registration Form MID-WINTER NATIONAL CONFERENCE REGISTRATION MARCH 1 â€“ 3, 2018 Fredericksburg Hospitality House & Conference Center 2801 Plank Rd. Fredericksburg VA 22401 Phone: (540) 786-8321 $99.00 per night (Includes Breakfast) ALL DEADLINES ARE FEBRUARY 9, 2018 To have your name tag printed and packet prepared prior to your arrival you must be pre-registered. Pre-registration is $10; registration at the conference is $12. Please print and complete the following information as you want it to appear on your name tag. Name: Title: Detachment/Unit: Street Address: City/State/Zip: Phone: E-mail: A program book will be printed. All units of the MCL, MODD, and MCLA are all encouraged to support the program book to help offset the cost of the Conference. It is recommended that you E-mail your ad for better resolution Program Book (place number of ads on the appropriate line) Full page @ $100 Half page @ $60 Business card @ $25 Quarter page @ $30 Patron listing @ $2 Banquet Meals @ $45 Each Total number pre-registration delegates. Total number of banquet meals. Program book ads GRAND TOTAL DUE
Check or money order enclosed - Please make checks and money orders payable to MCL, Inc. or Marine Corps League, Inc. We gladly accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express Name as it appears on credit card Credit card # Exp. Date *CVV # Billing address City /State /Zip Email
Signature * For Visa, MasterCard and Discover; please look in the signature strip on the back of your credit card. In the signature strip there are several numbers, some of which may be part of your credit card number. The last 3-digit number is your CVV card security number. For AMEX; your CVV card security number is on the front. Please mail to: National Marine Corps League, Attn: Mid-Winter Conference, 3619 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Suite 115 Stafford, VA 22554. For credit card payment call 703.207.9588 or email forms and ad copy to lwilliamson@MCLeague.org Please Cc the Chief Operating Officer Bob Borka at bborka@MCLeague.org
Michigan Is Host To The Central Division Winter Conference. Join Marines from Five Other States Right Here in Lansing! If You Are Planning To Attend, Registration Pages Follow!
Central Division Conference Hosted by Capital Detachment #148 MODD Pound #138 â€“ The Red Knights April 5-8, 2018 ______________________________________________________________________
Name: _______________________________Title___________________ Detachment, Unit & Department: __________________________________ Name: _______________________________Title______________________ Detachment, Unit & Department: __________________________________ Phone #______________________________________________ Strip Ticket: $55.00
Please Return This Form to:
Paymaster Wendy Zamora Capital Detachment #148 412 W. Harris St. Charlotte, Michigan 48813
Make checks Payable To:
Capital Detachment #148 MCL
Deadline for Banquet Reservations â€“ March 30, 2018 29
Marine Corps League and Auxiliary Central Division Conference April 5-8, 2018 Hosts:
Capital Detachment #148 MODD Pound #138 â€œThe Red Knightsâ€? Place: Radisson Hotel Lansing
111 North Grand Avenue Lansing, Michigan 48933 Direct Reservation 1-800-333-3333 Hotel 1-517-482-0188 Reservations may also be made by logging on to www.radisson.com/lansingmi Please use promotional code: MCLA18 to
receive your discounted group rate. Hotel is located at Michigan Avenue and Grand Avenue 2 blocks East of the State Capital Rate: Exe/ King w/sofa $110.00 Double $110.00 Handicap Accessible $110.00 Plus city & State tax (currently at 13%) PRICE INCLUDES VALET PARKING ($10 per day)
Parking: City of Lansing Parking Ramp to north of Hotel: $20.00 day Check in time:
Check out time:
Cut off for Reservations At These Rates: March 23, 2018
Marine Corps League Central Division Conference - 2018 April 5-8 Menu Selections If attending Banquet please make your menu selections and send form Along with check for strip ticket to: Capital Detachment #148
Wendy Zamora - PAYMASTER 412 W. Harris St. Charlotte, MI 48813
All entrees include a fresh garden salad, selection of fresh vegetables, chefâ€™s selection of starch, rolls and butter, Chefs choice of dessert and choice of beverage. 1. New York Strip Steak-with cognac sauce. 2. Grilled Chicken Breast-with wild mushroom sauce. 3. Dijon Pesto Ravioli - Cheese ravioli with Dijon Pesto Cream Sauce Number Attending: _________ Meal Selection:
Selections must be received by March 30, 2018 in order to insure your meal selection.
MARINE CORPS League Capital Detachment #148 * Lansing, Michigan The Capital Detachment is selling ads to our 2018 Conference Program Book, to help defray some of the expenses incurred with hosting the 2018 Central Division Conference. All Detachments and units are invited to purchase an ad, as are all Division and Auxiliary Officers. Candidates seeking advancement are also encouraged to purchase an ad.
Program Advertising Rates Central Division Conference 2018 April 5-8, 2018 * Lansing, Michigan Radisson Hotel Size of Ad
Customer Supplied Copy
Full Page—8 1/2 x 11”
Half Page—8 1/2 x 5 1/2”
Quarter Page—4 1/4 x 5 1/2
Business Card—2” x 3 1/2”
Patron—(1 line) 3/4” x 8 1/2”
Back Cover—8 1/2 x 11”
Inside Front Cover & Back—8 1/2 x 11”
Make Checks Payable To: Capital Detachment #148 MCL Mail To: Capital Detachment #148
412 W. Harris St
Charlotte, Michigan 48813 To e-mail your ad send to: email@example.com
DEADLINE FOR COPY—MARCH 23, 2018 32
MARINE CORPS League ORDER PAGE— Send To: Capital Detachment #148 Wendy Zamora 412 W. Harris St Charlotte, Michigan 48813 Size of Ad
Customer Supplied Copy
Full Page—8 1/2 x 11”
Half Page—8 1/2 x 5 1/2”
Quarter Page—4 1/4 x 5 1/2
Business Card—2” x 3 1/2”
Patron—(1 line) 3/4” x 8 1/2”
Back Cover—8 1/2 x 11”
Inside Front Cover & Back—8 1/2 x 11”
Please Circle The Selected Size Ad and Price
Date:_______________________ Check #________________ $__________________Cash $_____________________ Copy Ready Attached: Yes: _______No________ Make Checks Payable To: Capital Detachment #148 MCL Business Name_____________________________________________________________ Address:__________________________________________________________________ City: _____________________________State: __________________Zip: ____________ Phone: ________________________________E-Mail: ____________________________ Point of Contact: __________________________________________________________
To e-mail your ad send to: firstname.lastname@example.org 33
Directions: From Detroit Area/East: US-23 to I-96 West to exit 106B on to N. US127/ W. I-496 follow signs to Downtown Lansing, this is where US127 & I-496 splits go to exit 7A (Grand Ave) get in the right lane quickly, turn right on Grand Ave. Hotel will be on left side 6 blocks down.
From Grand Rapids: Take I-96 East to Exit 95 East I-496 go to Pine St. exit (I think it’s exit 7) Stay on the service drive to the highway until you come to Grand Ave (it will be the next street after Washington Ave. light) turn left cross over highway Hotel will be on left side 6 blocks down.
From North: take US 127 south to Lansing to I-496 west (Downtown Lansing) go to exit 7A (Grand Ave) get in the right lane quickly, turn right on Grand Ave. Hotel will be on left side 6 blocks down.
From South & West: Take I-69North to I-96 West for about a ½ mile to exit 95 go East I-496 go to Pine St. exit (I think it’s exit 7) Stay on the service drive to the highway until you come to Grand Ave (it will be the next street after Washington Ave. light) turn left cross over highway Hotel will be on left side 6 blocks down.
(From West add I-94 East to front I-69 and follow above)
ADDRESS FOR YOUR GPS:
111 North Grand Avenue Lansing, Michigan 48933 If lost call (517) 204-4883, this will be the Duty Cell Phone for the weekend
We will have the “SEMPER FI COMPANY” on board to sell you Marine Corps goods - go to www.semperfico.com, The MODD Kennel Quartermaster will also be available to sell MODD gear
Devil Dogs, if you are planning to advance to Pedigree Dog, now is the time to start thinking about registering for the National Convention in Buffalo, New York. Paperwork needs to be completed, signed and remitted earlier than the convention dates. It’s not that long of a drive across Canada to Buffalo. A side trip to Niagara Falls would complete the trip. Several Michigan Dawgs are planning the trip so join in. Woof Woof
Pack Leader PDD Scott R. Neff MODD #136 (The Red Knights) and the Capital Detachment #148 will host this year’s Central Division Conference April 5– 8 at the Radisson Hotel in Lansing.
PACK LEADER PDD SCOTT NEFF
Wendy Zamora, our immediate past department commandant, is the Quartermaster for the Military Order of the Devil Dogs, at the National level. In honor of the 100th anniversary of Belleau Woods, these smart looking challenge coins were made. If you would like to be the owner of one, contact Wendy Zamora at email@example.com. You can own one for $12.00.
Montford Point Marine Association members live in all parts of the country. From Ashbury Park, New Jersey, Marine Gilmon Brooks distinguish himself as a Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient serving in three wars. Present at Iwo Jima to witness the raising of the American flag, Warrant Officer Brooks was a member of the all-black Montford Point Marines, and was one of many recruits, despite the segregated start, that went on to distinguished themselves in long, storied careers. Mr. Brooks, died June 19 in Ashbury Park, N.J.. He was 91. Local Montford Point friends salute Mr. Brooks for directing such respected attention to their association. RIP Marine Brooks.
Building a Strong Military vs Political Correctness Have you ever wondered if the politically correct have lost sight of the fact that our Military forces are put into place and trained to protect us against aggressors in times of war and peace. As American citizens we don’t have a “right” to serve in the Military, we only have a “right” to apply to serve. However, beyond our basic civil rights, the military is very prejudice on whom they allow to serve and wear a uniform.
The Military is hardly an equal opportunity employer. The Military uses prejudice regularly and consistently to deny citizens from joining for being too old or too young, or too fat or too skinny, too tall or too short. Citizens are denied for having flat feet, or for missing fingers. Poor eyesight will disqualify you, as well as bad teeth. Malnourished? Drug addiction? Bad Back? Criminal history? Low IQ? Anxiety? Phobias? Hearing damage? Hear voices in your head? Can’t run the required course in required time? Can’t do the required number of pushups? All can be reasons for denial. The Military has one job. To prepare for War! Anything else is a distraction and a liability. Did someone just scream—”that isn’t fair’? War is very unfair. We strive to have the best armament, planes. Ships and support—what wouldn't we strive to have the best boots on the ground? There are no exceptions made. If you wish to join, you change yourself to meet the Military standards. Not the other way around. The Military does not need to accommodate anyone with special issues. The Military is formed to win wars! If any of your personal issues are a liability that distract from your readiness or lethal effectiveness —thank you for applying and good luck in future endeavors. Our Military leaders are struggling now to balance “political correctness’ with “building a formidable fighting force.” Can they build the strongest military by allowing both genders in all situations? Is it wise to have both genders in very close combat operations? The Military is not alone in this mindset. Coaches in all sports, at all levels of competition, want to build a winning team and feel this is only accomplished by being selective in whom they select to play. The Military cannot afford to be companionate, but in amateur sports, this often surfaces, creating positive results. (Much of this article was copied from a post made by Trey Goudy, a South Carolina Congressman.) 36
Department of Michigan, Scholarship Committee Chairman Tim McGee We get letters in response to our recent awarding of $12,000 to 30 successful applicants: Here’s an example: November 18, 2017 Dear Scholarship Chairman: I just wanted to thank you so much for awarding me the scholarship. It was a great surprise and a tremendous help for me. My family and I appreciate all the things you do to give back. Again, I would just like to thank you. I’m beyond truly grateful (sic).
Northwest Detachment #162 Commandant Bill King, presents a check to the Department of Michigan Marine Corps League Foundation President Jerry McKeon just after McKeon installed the Detachment officers for the coming year. Prior to the installation, seventy five Marines, spouses and friends enjoyed a catered buffet dinner.
Abigail Griffin Charlevoix, Michigan Abigail was sponsored by the Northern Michigan #690 Detachment and is attending Oakland University in Rochester Hills, MI. Thank you Abigail for your kind letter and remember that the 2018 Scholarship Application will be posted on the Department of Michigan website in early January. Tim McGee, Chairman
Marine Lt Col Eldridge escorted Tarawa/Saipan/ Tinian Marine veteran Cpl. Art Russell, a Dearborn resident visiting exhibits at "Marine Week.” Eldridge is Commanding Officer of the Second Bn. 11th Marines at Camp Pendleton. Russell, who was with the Second Tank Bn. in WWII was impressed with the M1A "Abrams" Tank and would have liked to have one to use to get ashore on Tarawa. Art turned 96 earlier this year.
At Left: Marine Mark Donna, a Cpl. Stanley L. Moore detachment member donated two new bicycles to the Toys for Tots program. Over the years the detachment has collected thousands of toys for deserving children.
More well deserved badges are worn on these new Eagle Scouts then a cadre of Army Generals. Marine Bob Henckin, Rich Walsh, and Michael (Mick) Hornev, from the Kalamazoo Detachment presented Certificate Of Achievement to these future leaders. In the upper right picture, Bob, Mick and Rich gather beforehand.
This beautiful, night time photo features the Honor Guard of the Edson -Kline-Van Slyke Detachment leading the first Auburn Christmas parade. LR Jon VanTol, Tony Lyle, David Mook, and Mack Hagaman are partially illuminated by the lights of the fire truck in the background.
On Saturday Dec. 9, 2017, The Fred Cochran Detachment #151 and Young Marines Participated in the packaging of care boxes for our local Marine Corps Reserve unit, Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, which is deployed to Afghanistan to provide support for Task Force Southwest operating in Helmand Province. Family Members of Alpha Company Marines also participated as well as many other veteran groups, Blue Star Mothers and Wins For Warriors Foundation. The Event was held at â€œThe Pepsi Stadium Clubâ€? at Fifth Third Ballpark in Grand Rapids
Jeff Hannak, past Commandant of the Downriver Detachment, and co-chairman of 242nd Marine Corps Birthday Ball, acknowledges the youngest member in attendance. Pvt. Alexandra Engle, a most recent graduate of boot camp, is the 18 year old granddaughter of Randy and Diane Ditto, members of the Downriver Detachment. Marine Hannak reports that over 60 local business contributed gift cards and products to the event. Between 240 and 300 Marines and guests attended the all-day event. 39
All Active Marines Face Annual Battle Skills Test Starting in 2018 Before newly minted Marines even reach the fleet, they spend months being inundated with knowledge and transformed from soft civilians to high and tight rocking warfighters. But in the years after boot camp and the school of infantry or Marine Combat Training, those skills can start to fade. That’s why the Corps is launching an annual Battle Skills Test beginning in January. First reported by Marine Corps Times, Marines will be evaluated on 30 out of 178 common skills they learn early on in their careers, according to a memorandum dated December 22, 2017.
Herman Miller of Zeeland, Michigan, is presented a certificate by Commandant Masunas. Erin Molenhouse headed the group who collected donated items for hospitalized Veterans.
All Marines – from the newest of boots to the commandant – will have to pass the skills test each year. Land navigation, along with a host of other specific tasks, broken into the following categories: basic infantry skills, stand a post, communications, first aid, history, leadership, and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The individual test will hit on everything from how to perform actions with a service rifle, handle detainees, read a map, and use a compass. They must learn their way around a tourniquet, how to triage and treat a casualty.
NEW MEDICAL DIRECTOR APPOINTED AT ANN ARBOR VETERAN’S HOSPITAL The Department of Veteran Affairs is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Ginny Creasman, Pham. D. FACHE, as the new Medical Center Director of the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System effective February 18, 2018. Dr. Creasman will oversee delivery of health care to more than 69,000 Veterans with an operating budget of over $500 million.
Designed to be taken in any clime and place – sorry, no ducking this because of PCS – the test requires minimal equipment, can be administered at any time in 2018 by the unit commander, and can be broken into separate sections spread out over an extended period of time, or a solid block over a set number of days. Marines are required to take and pass the skills test annually, but because all of the subjects covered were taught during initial training, it’s more of a refresher, and one that’ll hopefully get easier each year – which is the whole point – rather than a test Marines have to cram for.
Prior to her previous appointment at the Alada E. Lutz VA Medical Center (VAMC) in Saginaw, Michigan. Dr. Creasman has served in many VA leadership roles at the national VISN and Medical Center levels, focusing on promoting Veteran-Centered services and improving Veteran health care. Dr. Creasman has a Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Kentucky and is board certified in healthcare management with the American College of Healthcare Executives. 40
SSGT. G.P. PORTA DETACHMENT #163 SSgt. G. P. Porta was a member of the Lima Company, 3 rd Battalion, 26th Marines, 5th Marine Division when killed in action. Laying in the arms of Corpsmen Frank Harrell saying the Lord’s Prayer when he died. SSgt. Porta, a drill instructor at the time of his deployment, was called into combat in the middle of MCRD-SD recruit Platoon 2213 training cycle. At his death, he left two children behind. SSgt Porta’s nephew belongs to the detachment
JOHN C ROCK DETACHMENT #902 Pvt. John C Rock joined the Marines in 1942 and became a causality the same year. Pvt. Rock serving as a raider and sharpshooter, went missing in action at Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. At his death, he left three sisters and his mother Mary E. Rock of Saginaw, Michigan
HAROLD R. COOLEY DETACHMENT 841 Harold R. Cooley, In addition to a Detachment named after PFC Harold R. Cooley, a portion of highway M-21 in Shiawassee county shall be known as the "PFC Harold R. Cooley Marine Corps League Memorial Highway. PFC Cooley, a WWII Marine was riding on an amphibious tractor when hit by enemy fire in the landing at Guam in 1944.
BELCHER-LANE-WILLIAMS DETACHMENT 146 Pvt. Dewayne T. Williams, was killed in action in Quang Nam on his 19 th birthday – September 18th, 1968. PFC Williams was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a rifleman with the 1st Platoon, Company H, in action against communist insurgent forces. Pfc. Williams was a member of a combat patrol sent out from the platoon with the mission of establishing positions in the company's area of operations, from which it could intercept and destroy enemy sniper teams operating in the area. In the night as the patrol was preparing to move from its daylight position to a preselected night position, it was attacked from ambush by a squad of enemy using small arms and hand grenades. Although severely wounded in the back by the close intense fire, Pfc. Williams, recognizing the danger to the patrol, immediately began to crawl forward toward a good firing position. While he was moving under the continuing intense fire, he heard one of the members of the patrol sound the alert that an enemy grenade had landed in their position. Reacting instantly to the alert, he saw that the grenade had landed close to where he was Lying and without hesitation, in a valiant act of heroism, rolled on top of the grenade as it exploded, absorbing the full. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
BELCHER-LANE-WILLIAMS DETACHMENT 146
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Charles Melvin Belcher, at nineteen enlisted in the Marine Corps. After Parris Island Boot Camp, he entered WWI combat. Military engagements included Ainse Defensive, Toulon Sector and Chateau Thierry, were he was gassed on the night of June 14, 1918. Suffering severe burns and partially blinded, he died in the hospital on October 30th, 1918. He was awarded the Fourragerre by the French Government, as were all members of the 5th and 6th Marine Regiments for heroic efforts. Belcher’s remains are interred at Lakeside Cemetery in Port Huron.
BELCHER-LANE-WILLIAMS DETACHMENT 146 James Howard Lane studies to be an attorney were interrupted when the United States entered WWI. After Parris Island Boot Camp, he became part of the 4th Brigade, Second Marine Division, when sent off to France where they played a heroic role in the battles of Belleau Woods and Chateau Thierry. The division received a citation for their bravery from the French Government. It was during one of the battles that Marine Lane lost his life – June 25, 1918, scarcely five months after enlistment. His remains were returned home and interred at Lakeside Cemetery in Port Huron. NO PHOTO AVAILABLE
David Murnighan Detachment #161 David F. Murnighan was born on 7 August 1924. David enlisted in the Marines on 16 June 1942. In October of the same year he was assigned to VMSB-142 which flew the Douglas SBD Dauntless.
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In April of 1943 David joined the Navy V-12 unit, which was a program designed to supplement Commissioned Officers during WW II. David attended college at Oberlin College in Oberlin Ohio. The next year he attended The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Marine Murnighan went to Guard the gates of Heaven on 15 November 1969.
George Toogs St. Martin Detachment #550 George Elmer Toogs St. Martin - Detachment #550 - George Elmer St Martin - – Sgt. Major, US Marine Corps. Served in WWII and Korea. (If you have more information on Marine George St. Martin, please forward to me and I will put in a future issue.)
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Fred Cochran Detachment #151 Fred Cochran—One of the Detachment’s original charter members, Fred Cochran served as a Department Commandant in the very early days of our existence in Michigan. It’s reported he died at either a Detachment or Department meeting doing the thing he loved most—just being a Marine!
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CPL DUANE E. DEWEY AWARD
STIGGY’S DOGS Stiggy’s Dogs come to our attention through the David Murnighan Detachment who recently made a donation to this 501 (c) (3) organization. Located in Hamburg, Michigan, a very worthy local organization to support. Address: P.O. Box 830, Hamburg, Michigan, 48139. Phone 248-667-8364
Department Commandant Dave Masunas presents the Cpl. Duane Dewey Award The Cpl. Duane Dewey Award receives very little recognition throughout the state. Here’s more …….. The Military Appreciation Luncheon, hosted by the Battle Creek Chamber of Commerce (Military Affairs Committee), is the annual venue that showcases the presentation of the Cpl. Duane Dewey Award. The award is named in honor of Michigan native and Medal of Honor recipient Cpl. Duane E. Dewey, who received the medal from President Eisenhower during the Korean War. The Department of Michigan, Marine Corps League, sponsors the award. It is presented by the Kalamazoo Detachment #879 to the most accomplished Officer Candidate from the Platoon Leaders Class in the State of Michigan. Criteria: Be a college senior who is a member of the PLC/OCS having recently (or in the immediate process of) being commissioned as a 2nd Lt in the USMC. The award winner is chosen by the USMC Officer Selection Office in Lansing. They select the officer they feel is best qualified. The Marine Corps League does not take part in the selection process. The Dewey Award has been at previous events presented in person by Cpl. Duane Dewey. When Marine Dewey is not available, a senior officer of the Department of Michigan Marine Corps league assumes the role. A certificate and a 2nd Lieutenant jewelry box are presented to the winner. The award winner’s name is then added to the plaque. The plaque hangs at the Red Arrow VFW, home of the Kalamazoo Detachment 879.
Stiggy’s Dogs specializes in helping to write a happy ending for rescue dogs and veterans. Founded by Jennifer Petry, in memory of her nephew HM3 Benjamin Phillip (Doc Stiggy) Casticlione. Doc Stiggy devoted his life to preserving and improving the physical and emotional health of those serving in his unit. He gave his life working as a Corpsmen in Helmand Providence in Afghanistan taking care of “his Marines” until September 3rd, 2009. Doc Stiggy was respected by his Marines for his wellknown determination, professionalism and sharp wit. To his family he is known for his caring nature and love for family and dogs Stiggy’s Dogs is a 501(c)(3) organization that rescues and trains shelter dogs to be psychiatric service dogs for military veterans living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (“PTSD”) or Traumatic Brain Injury (“TBI”). The psychiatric service dogs are trained and deployed at no cost to the veteran. Stiggy’s Dogs all pass the Canine Good Citizen ® Certification test and then are paired with their handlers for further training. Since each veteran has unique qualities and needs, each dog is individually trained to meet that veteran’s needs. Stiggy’s Dogs offers the veteran and dog pairing a lifetime of support after deployment.
At the Winter Rally, a short presentation on the history and purpose of the Department of Michigan Marine Corps League Foundation was given. A recap follows: Simply put, the foundation has been identified to replace the anticipated loss of income from the Great Lakes Marketing Program (GLM.) The program, expected to dry up in the next three to four years, will send some of our programs into a tailspin should we not find a replacement for the lost income. Established in 2008, the Foundation was established as a 501 (c)(3) organization. A charity driven designation; donors to our foundations may deduct their donations – especially attractive to corporations and other donors who make large gifts with the expectation of reducing their overall tax bill. Often the question is asked of a League member—is a donation dropped into the collection jar deductible—the quick response is usually “yes,” we are a 501(c)(4) organizations. Actually, donations to a 501 (c)(4) are generally not deductible. However, because all Marine Corps League departments, detachments, auxiliaries, pound, packs and kennels in good IRS standings, are part of National’s 0955 group list, donations are treated like donations to a 501(c)(3) organization. A caution is extended – keep your IRS 990 filings up to date. These must be filed yearly within five months and fifteen days following the end of the fiscal year. With a calendar year ending on 12-31, the form must be filed by May 15th, of the following year. A fiscal year ending on 6-30, must be filed by November 15 th of that year. After a third year of non-filing, you may lose the designations requiring you start all over. You would also be dropped from National’s group list. Our Foundation is not associated with National Marine Corps League. We would not fit under their 0955 group list so a 501(c)(3) designation was mandatory to collect tax deductible donations. Currently the money collected for scholarships and veteran activities, comes from four different sources: 1) Great Lakes Marketing 2) Donations from the Auxiliary, detachments, and others 3) fundraisers and 50/50 raffles and 4) miscellaneous donations. Nearly 50% of this money comes from GLM – to match what we are losing, the Foundation has a multiple prong plan underway: 1) A GoFundMe account is already in place; a pickup in promotional activities is planned 2) general donations from many sources will continue to be sought – corporate, individuals, other foundations, etc. 3) Grants will be solicited and 4) a program to encourage deceased members to identify the Foundation as an organization for memorial gifts, and end of life donations will soon be underway. As a member or detachment, there are several ways you can help the foundation meet its goals. Consider end-of-year donations – both individual and detachment – it’s a write off for individuals and part of the charter of a detachment. Bring the “loose change” jar out at every meeting. Join in on the department fundraisers – the more help we have the more successful we will be. If you are still employed, does your company have an employee donation match program? It’s a great way to double your gift. And finally, consider memorial gifts to the foundation. Preserve your legacy well beyond your death with a gift to the foundation. Memorial gifts in your honor to the foundation is another great way to preserve your legacy. If you have an extra ten dollars in your pocket, send it to Paymaster Phil Zamora. We will return a foundation challenge coin – it’s 100% profit as the coins were purchased by a friend of the foundation. The Trustees, all Michigan Marine Corps League members thank you in advance for keeping the Foundation viable and its purpose on target. Semper Fi Jerry McKeon President
The Military Order of Devil Dogs is adding six new members (Pups, Devil Dogs) to their respective Pound after going through the Department Initiation. Pictured in the center, Tim McGee, Chairman of the Scholarship Committee, accepted donations to the Scholarship Fund from four different detachments. They included the Macomb Detachment, The Flint Detachment, John C Rock and Edson Kline Van Slyke Detachment who combined donated $1,200.00 to the fund.
Dozens of items, all donated by members or companies were up for raffle. The fifty/fifty winner won over $200.00 and one lucky winner took home a Made-In-USA Henry rifle.
Kevin D. Magin, Legislative Director, Dept. Of Michigan, Marine Corps League LEGISLATIVE REPORT – February 2018 The short version – not much happening on the military or veterans political front in either Lansing or Washington. It is not there isn’t meetings, discussions and bills proposed, it’s that leadership has had critical issues to deal with in both environments. With the start of the new year Washington is still trying to deal with issues that far surpass dealing with the military although these issues do impact current and past active duty members. A few things appear to be clear for the military from Washington: A 2.4% increase in basic pay – the largest increase in 16 years. A 2% increase for retirees – the largest in 6 years. The new Blended Retirement System goes into effect. The new system blends a fixed pension system like the military has always had, with a user-contributory system, the Thrift
Savings Plan. New military members will be automatically enrolled in the BRS, service members with less than 12 years active duty on Jan. 1, 2018 will have a limited time to decide if they want the new system or an older one. Many of the changes in the new Forever GI Bill will begin in 2018. The new GI Bill does away with the 15-year time limit for using your GI Bill, makes more reservists eligible, and changes the Monthly Housing Allowance amount for new members. VA Compensation rates will go up by 2 percent, the same as military retirement. Veterans Services – Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow has introduced the “Veterans Deserve Better” bill to attempt to correct problems with the Veterans Choice program. Whether there will be action and bipartisan support remains to be seen. It is clear that the Veterans Choice program has some problems and how to work these out is not something all of D.C. agree on how to accomplish. In Lansing there are still issues relating to the updating and expansion of the Veterans Homes. Veterans home Update: Detroit/SW Michigan Facility: Thanks to Marc Sutton from the American Legion for this update. “The Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency and the DTMB testified in front of the Capital Outlay subcommittee of Appropriations for both House and the Senate to ask for an expansion of the area where they could acquire land for the first southeast Michigan property. In the original appropriations bill, authorizing the $108,000,000, it was specific that property be used in Oakland, Macomb, or Wayne counties. The ideal size of land they seek is at least 24 acres for a veteran home campus. Unfortunately, there are upcoming deadlines that the state must prepare now for if we receive the VA Home Grants. The Authority has not been successful in purchasing land in the 3 counties and have asked, due to time constraints, to expand the region they can look. The proposal is to look at a state property in Livingston County. This change would not prevent one of the counties to still compete or change their mind on property previously looked, nor would it prevent one of the other 5 homes in the future to be placed there.” Grand Rapids – MLive reported that: “The Grand Rapids facility would be located on the current property's south side and house a total of 128 residents. If federal funds are approved for the project this year, construction could begin in June 2018 with an expected completion date of fall 2020. "We want to be ready to put a shovel in the ground as soon as we get approved for the funds," said James Redford, head of Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency. "That's why we're being so proactive." The application to Washington for funding is in DC and the expectation is that a decision to grant or not grant funds to Michigan may be made by February 1, 2018. I hope to be able to update several issues from both Lansing and Washington in the next issues. Semper Fi, Marines Kevin D. Magin, Legislative Director Department of Michigan 47
The Upper Peninsula Detachment # 444 is a busy detachment despite the travel distance for some members. Top left - At their 242nd Marine Corps Birthday celebration, Commandant Art Menard presented the UP Honor Flight committee with a certificate of Appreciation for all that they do for veterans. Top Right -Mike King applying the final touches to the Detachment float featuring the Eagle/Globe/Anchor. Bottom leftâ€”Auxiliary member Andrea King and detachment members Art Ybarra, Fred Charles, Larry Stier amd Joe Menard get ready for Escanabaâ€™s Annual Christmas Parade. Bottom-right - a Toys for Tots promotion put on by radio station WYKX at a local grocery store finds Marines Larry Stier, Gerry Rivard. and Toy Coordinator Mike King.
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A WAR GOES ON The family’s left, the cold earth remains Another burial they all end the same The mound of dirt will cover the coffin A scene of sorrow replayed too often The results of war in a faraway land A young life taken from a mother’s hand While we live safely on American shores Our young soldiers die in another’s war
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Only their families know of their death As life goes on as usual for all the rest A war on foreign land is easy to ignore Until it’s your turn for a knock on the door Jerrymckeonemail@example.com
The Official online publication of the Department of Michigan Marine Corps League