Michigan Marine News Winter 2011

Page 1

The Michigan

MarineNews Winter 2011

Department of Michigan Marine Corps League and Auxilliary


Happy Birthday Marines

236 Years of Faithful Service • (1775-2011) ✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯✯

Uncommon Valor Was a Common Virtue

Flint, MI Permit No. 512


Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage

A Birthday Message From the Commandant of the Marine Corps


or ten years now, our Corps has been engaged in continuous combat operations against those who threaten the security of America and our allies. We turned the tide in the Anbar province of Iraq and continue to see success today in southwest Afghanistan. While it has come at a cost.. . we have much to be proud of. This past year in operations around the world including humanitarian disaster relief, counter-piracy, theater security cooperation, special operations, counter-insurgency and many more, you continued to solidify our place as America’s Expeditionary Force in Readiness. Since the Continental Congress created two battalions of Marines 236 years ago, our legacy as an ever-ready, ever capable, victory producing organization remains intact. Our rich heritage of selfless service and fidelity to Nation and to one another lives on in all who currently wear the Eagle, Globe and Anchor - those who have answered the clarion call to duty with remarkable courage, dedication and unshakable resolve that Marines are so well known for. To all Marines - past and present - and especially to our families ... I extend my deep gratitude for all you have done and all you continue to do. As we celebrate our 236th birthday, let us look forward to future challenges whatever they may be - and reaffirm our pledge to be America›s premier crisis response force; to be the first to fight. .. Always ready for the toughest and most challenging assignments. Happy 236th Birthday, Marines! Semper Fidelis,

James F. Amos General, U.S. Marine Corps N

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Michigan Marine News • Winter 2011


“We Support Our Troops Both At Home and Abroad”

Table of Contents



Departments Calendar of Upcoming Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Department Commandant. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Sr. Vice Commandant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Jr. Vice Commandant. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Around the league Decorated Vet Slated to Lead Parade Dies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Vet Gets Third Purple Heart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Marine Mobile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Lennie Brooks Recruited 27 New Members. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 World War II Veterans Celebrated: V-J Day Noted. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Marines Taking Care of Our Veterans at Jacobetti Home for Veterans in Marquette. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Flint Detachment Fun Shoot. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 MCL National Convention. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Flint Detachment Installation of Officers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Flint Honor Guard Members Receive Individual National Meritorious Unit Commendations From Detachment Commandant, Jack Porn. . . . . . . . . . . . . 16


THE MICHIGAN MARINE NEWS The official Publication of The Department of Michigan Marine Corps League Editor— PDC Jim Tuohy Tel: (810) 695-3088 Fax: (810) 695-3088 E-mail: mimarinenews@aol.com The Michigan Marine News is published quarterly by the Department of Michigan, Marine Corps League. The Marine Corps League is a non-profit congressionally chartered veterans organization. The opinions and comments that appear in this magazine are received from a variety of sources and are not necessarily those of the Department of Michigan, Marine Corps League

Marines, Corpsman, Associates and Our Auxiliary. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Veterans Cost-of-Living Increase . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 2012 Disability Comp to Increase 3.6 Percent. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 VFW Call to Action Stop Balancing Budget on Backs of Military and Veterans. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 A Little-Known Story from the Pentagon on 09/11/2001. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Saginaw Masonic Lodge #77 to Host Veterans Appreciation Day . . . . . . . 20 Michigan’s New National President. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Events 2011 Department of Michigan MCL & MCLA Mid-Winter Rally. . . . . . . 22 Copy And Art Deadline for the Spring 2011 Issue is:

March 15, 2012

Send Information to: Jim Tuohy, Editor 12086 Riverbend Dr., Grand Blanc, MI 48439-1724 Tel: (810) 695-3088 or E-Mail Information to mimarinenews@aol.com. Michigan Marine News • Winter 2011


Commandant: Lennie Brooks Email: lennieb65@sbcglobal.net Senior Vice Commandant: Norman F. Pfaff Email: norjo2@yahoo.com Junior Vice Commandant: Wendy Zamora Email: halfpint16@ameriitech.net Vice Commandant- Northern Zone Email: Raymond R. Rayl, jarhead1946@gmail.com Vice Commandant: Central Zone Email: Emil A. Franz III, dutchmaster@charter.net Vice Commandant: Eastern Zone Email: Scott R. Neff, scott.neff@comcast.net Vice Commandant: Upper Peninsula Zone Email: Frank R. Bilsky, N/A Vice Commandant: Southeast Zone Phillip S. Smith Email: Marret94@aol.com Vice Commandant: Western Zone David K. Masunas Email: masunasfam@gtlakes.com Vice Commandant: Southern Zone Raymond L. Rowley Email: jarhead@copper.net Judge Advocate: Charles E. Brown Email: cebrownlawyer@gmail.com Paymaster: Don L. Lumsden Email: dlums54365@aol.com Chaplain: Kenneth J. Aune Email: kjaune2001@yahoo.com Junior Past Commandant: Felipe G. Zamora Email: Gunnyz@ameritech.net

Appointed Department Staff

Adjutant: George J. Wittstock, Jr., PDC gwittstock@hotmail.com Chief or Staff: John P. Tuohy, PNC jpt551037@comcast.net Sergeant at Arms: Billy G. Traylor traylorbl@sbcglobal.net Assistant Sergeant at Arms: Donald R. Boak, II, drayboak@verizon.net Legislative Director: Douglas R. Williams willi183@msu.edu Historian: Dale K. Erion eriondale@sbcglobal.net VAVS Director: Norman C. Jewell JewellSemperFi@aol.com Michigan Marine News Editor: James J. Tuohy, PDC, jimt205842@aol.com Webmaster: Mark A. Sutton mm12sutton@yahoo.com Department Emailer: Emil A. Franz, III dutchmaster@charter.net Fort Custer National Cemetery Liaison: Robert L. Cook, bob_cook2008@comcast.net Great Lakes National Cemetery Liaison 1/24th Memorial Liaison: James J. Tuohy, PDC,/Angelo Lema, Jr., atljr@prodigy.net Awards & Citations: Philip S. Smith marret94@aol.com



Board of Trustees

Michigan Marine News • Winter 2011


November 2011 Nov 10th Birthday open houses’ at: • Flint Detachment • Downriver Detachment • Macomb County Detachment • Dearborn Detachment • Capital Detachment Nov 12 Various Detachment Birthday Balls Check the Webpage at www.Michiganmarines.org Nov 24

Turkey Day- enjoy

Nov 25

Toys For Tots Kickoff Day

December 2011 Dec 1

VAVS Meeting – Saginaw VA 1:00 PM

Dec 25 Santa Claus comes to everyone (if you’ve been good)

January 2012 Jan 21-22

Mid Winter Rally, Sheraton-Detroit Novi Hotel

February 2012 Feb 16-19 National Mid Winter Conference – Tyson’s Corner Marriott, VA.

Marine Corps League Life Membership Dues (as of Jan 1, 2009) AGE GROUP







$500 $300 $150

Buy a Life Membership. Submission of the incorrect dues or no birth date may result in the entire transmittal being returned without being processed. To avoid a delay in transmittal turnaround time, please verify the amounts are correct before sending. To become a Life Member, you must already be a member in good standing.

Department Commandant Department Commandant Department of Michigan Marine Corps League N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N

Happy 236th Birthday Marines by Lennie Brooks et me start out by wishing a very Happy 236th Birthday Marines. We aren’t getting older, just better. I attended Shoreline Det Steak out in July. What a good turn they had of non members. While I was there they recruited at least one new member. While talking to their Commandant and Adjutant, I issued a challenge to them. The challenge was to beat me in recruiting starting in June and ending in March 2012. That means their entire Detachment against one person, me. It was a challenge with no hesitation. On the way home, I thought why not send this challenge to all Detachments. I did just that. The stipulation was that the Detachment had to accept the challenge. I have had 4 accept the challenge so far. As of this writing I only have 6 new members. This challenge ends March 31, 2012 I attended the National convention in Aug. What a great experience. I met a lot of people I talk to on Facebook and was reacquainted with old friends from CA and AZ. I learned quite a bit from the various Departments and from the National reports. A couple of things I learned that stand out were the Rifle and Pistol competition, Physical Fitness in schools and Marine for Life. When I got home I appointed a liaison for the Department for all 3, all


were approved by the Board of Trustees. There will be a uniform change to the lettering of the covers once the wording is changed. As you all might know by now, the Department received the bid for 2013 National Convention. I thought St Louis put on a better presentation then Michigan, but one question was asked and that was the deciding factor, which was about the weather that time of year. Congratulations to Shoreline Detachment for 3rd place in membership growth in their Division. John C Rock Detachment and Washtenaw Detachment placed 3rd and 1st in their Division for VAVS. Congratulations to all. Our Department newsletter placed 2nd in the newsletter competition. Way to go Jim. Just a reminder about the Mid-Winter Rally which is being hosted by the SSgt Burgess and Northwest Detachments in Novi. All information can be found on the Department website at www. Michiganmarines.org we will be having several classes that are long overdue. It would be beneficial for all to attend. Finally, here’s wishing all a very Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas to all. See you in January. Semper Fi Lennie N

Department Sr. Vice Commandant Sr. Vice Commandant Department of Michigan Marine Corps League N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N

Recruiting and Retention of Existing Members by Norm Pfaff t the past summer convention during the commandant council, several items were discussed. First and foremost for every detachment was recruiting and retention of existing members. Have all members carry a pamphlet describing the history of the Marine Corps League, purpose of the League and where and what time your monthly Detachment meeting are being held. With permission of the local restaurants place some of the pamphlets at the cash register and some of the Detachments would have a Saturday breakfast there. Some Detachments will work out a payment plans for new and delinquent members. Be sure that all members receive a monthly newsletter informing them of your regular meeting, members that are sick or in distress,


and upcoming events, phone numbers of the Officers, membership renewals and delinquent members, member birthdays and discharge dates. One detachment has a history of its members describing his duty stations, length of service, rank held, MaS, any interesting facts he might want to add. Keep the Department informed of your fund raisers, support other units in their fund raisers and support other veterans organization. Should any Detachment be in need of any help, we are always available to assist you. Semper Fi Norm Pfaff Senior Vice commandant N

Michigan Marine News • Winter 2011


Department Jr. Vice Commandant Jr. Vice Commandant Department of Michigan Marine Corps League N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N N

Thank You for Your Vote of Confidence

by Wendy Zamora elcome Marines, Navy Corpsman and Auxiliary Members. Let me start by saying thank you to the membership for your vote of confidence in me at the Department Convention for the office of Jr. Vice Commandant. Following the convention, I sent out the dues postcard that I mentioned at the convention via the department email. If you did not receive it and are interested in it, please let me know. The postcard is merely an idea that can be utilized by your detachment paymaster in reminding you that your dues are coming up or are past due. It is easy to get new members into the League, but we must not forget about retaining the ones we have. If the member does not want to stay, we need to find out why and what can we, as an organization, do to keep them. Mentoring new members is something all of us need to do when we bring someone into the League. I have also attended the National Convention in Boise, Idaho. This was an excellent convention with a lot of business that transpired. There were 14 Proposed By-Law Changes submitted and the membership voted to accept four. The following changes took effect as of the close of the National Convention. (1) Section 415 will now read: The elected officers of the Department shall be the Department Board of Trustees; however, a Department Convention is authorized to appoint the outgoing Department Commandant, or a Past Department Commandant, to serve a one-year term as a member of the Board of Trustees. No individual Member of the Department shall serve in more than one position on the Board of Trustees. (2) Add the following paragraph to Marine Corps League Covers: A. The basic uniform of the Marine Corps League is the unique cover that identifies the Members of the Marine Corps League. Be-


cause all other parts of the uniform that are designated in this Enclosure are optional, the cover remains as the only consistent identifier for the Marine Corps League Members, which is why the cover is worn indoors at appropriate Marine Corps League functions. When the Marine Corps League Member is wearing the appropriate cover, as listed below, they are considered to be in uniform. (3) White Duty Belt: Add the following: A. White Duty Belt may be worn by a member while performing the duty as Sgt at Arms or as a member of the Color Guard/Honor Guard and only with the Undress Uniform Short Sleeve White, or Long Sleeve White Shirt. B. The Duty Belt should be standard PLAIN WHITE COTTON BELT 3� with Brass Marine Corps waist plate w/EGA or WHITE WEB BELT with Gold (in Color) Marine Corps Buckle, either highly shined brass or Hamilton gold plated anodized brass with the EGA. Associate members will wear the plain buckle. (4) Placement of the National Marine of the Year ribbon shall follow the Distinguished Service Ribbon in order of precedence. This is also where Michigan went before the membership for their vote for the 2013 National Convention. I must tell you it was a very close vote, but we got it. Phil and I are your Michigan Co-Chairs. Please take time to read his article in this edition. Lastly, we are coming into the holiday season soon. I would like to take this time to wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas. Take the time this season to tell your loved ones how much you love and care for them, make some beautiful memories and relax. Semper Fi, Wendy Zamora Jr. Vice Commandant N

Take the time this season to tell your loved ones how much you love and care for them, make some beautiful memories and relax.

Attention Readers


ue to the state of the economy, the Michigan Marine News fundraising has suffered to the point where we have minimum funds coming in to support the current cost of using professional services to print our magazine. If this does not improve within the next few months, we may be forced to publish this newsletter online and post it on the department website for your viewing. If this happens, all detachments will be notified. Hopefully we will attempt to continue to print enough copies for the va hospitals as well as both of the state veterans homes until funding improves. Semper Fi Jim Tuohy, Editor N


Michigan Marine News • Winter 2011


highly decorated WW II veteran slated to be the Grand Marshall of the Brighton Fourth of July parade passed away before the event. Howell Township resident, Dudley F. Scott was recently hospitalized at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital outside Ann Arbor and had been suffering with pneumonia. Scott was 87 years old. Scott served as a rifleman with the Marines in the South Pacific and at Iwo Jima. In 2009 Scott was presented with the Purple Heart, a Bronze Star, a WW II Victory Medal as well as several other awards. At that special awards ceremony with U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers two years ago, Scott refrained from sharing any war stories because he felt people would see him as “bragging” Scott was a dairy farmer and owner/operator of the Saw Dust Box. He also was an active member of the Marine Corps League in Howell. He is survived by his wife, Edith, six children and many grandchildren. “Sleep in Peace Marine” N

Marine Mobile


arine Fred Gibas of Bay City, a VAVS Rep at Aleda Lutz VA Hospital in Saginaw displays his GMC Acadia (MarineMobile) completely decked out in true Marine Corps tradition. Graphics were printed and installed by Klender Design, Inc. of Bay City, Mi. N

Around the League

Decorated Vet Slated to Lead Parade Dies

Vet Gets Third Purple Heart

by John Lundberg and Doreen Wise, Livingston Daily ivingston County resident Woodrow “Woody” Brown was awarded a Purple Heart with a Gold Star- his third Purple Heart for being wounded in the line of duty- during a ceremony held Oct 20th Brown enlisted in the Marine Corps on June 21, 1943 at the Age of 17, requiring written consent from bot his mother and his father, who was a WW I Navy veteran. His first enemy action was the capture of Pelielu Island which, in the Marine Corps annals was the bloodiest battle ever conducted. What was projected to be accomplished in three days took 63. Brown was wounded for the first time by an incoming mortar round that hit him one hour after landing. Patched up and sent back to the line, he was hit again an hour later. When his company (125) men had been reduced to squad level due to casualties and wounded, Brown was one of those still capable of fighting, and the remaining men were pulled from the line as no longer an effective fighting force. He was then sent to Pavuvu to train for the invasion of Okinawa, where he was made an acting sergeant and became a squad leader. In the invasion of Okinawa, he was wounded for the third time and evacuated from the beach for treatment of bullet wounds to the arm and chest. Brown was sent stateside to U.S. Fleet Hospital 103 in San Francisco for further treatment of those wounds and finally declared fit for duty Aug 16, 1945, although not redeployed due to the war’s end. Brown was wounded three times in the Pacific during the war, and was awarded two Purple Hearts. He was entitled to the Purple Heart with gold star but never received it as it was sent to his old address and disappeared from there. At 83 and having been part of the Honor Guard at Military Funerals in Livingston County for 37 years, we asked the office of U.S. rep. Mike Rogers, R-Brighton for assistance in securing this medal. Rogers’ office tried for a year to obtain Brown’s information and medal and, after confirming Brown’s entitlement, arranged its presentation. Brown has been a member of the Marine Corps League 161 in Livingston County and part of its Honor Guard since 1972. When presented with the award, he said, “This has been one of the best, most memorable days of my life.” N More Around the League on page 10


Michigan Marine News • Winter 2011


Lennie Brooks Recruited 27 New Members

Department Commandant, Lennie Brooks receives a plaque for recruiting new members.

Department Commandant, Lennie Brooks receives a certifiate of Apreciation from National Commandant, Vic Voltaggio.

Dept. Cmdt - Lennie Brooks receives a Bayonet for recruiting award, then... goes back then manages to cut himself while checking out how sharp the blade was. (maybe he needs one with a rubber blade on it). PNC John Tuohy, National Convention Chairman, presents bids for the 2013 National Convention.


Michigan Marine News • Winter 2011

by Marine Corps League he Marine Corps League of Livingston County invited World War II veterans and their significant others or caregivers to take part in a free celebration of V-J Day Aug 14 at American legion Devereaux Post 141 at Grand River and M-59 in Howell Township. V-J Day marks the day of victory for the Allied forces over Japan in World War II. It is calculated both as Aug 15, 1945, for the day the fighting with Japan ended, as well as Sept 2, 1945, for the day Japan officially surrendered. Attendees at the ceremony in Howell Township were encouraged to wear medals and other items that they received from their service. Organizers made an audio recording of the veterans’ personal stories about where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news about the victory over Japan. N


Around the League

World War II Veterans Celebrated: V-J Day Noted

Marines Taking Care of Our Veterans at Jacobetti Home for Veterans in Marquette

Lake Superior Detachment #764 Marine Corps League Mike Stoll stands next to a garden in the Jacobetti Home for Veterans. He started the garden for the veterans, and they use the vegetables for cooking, outings, and if someone just wants a veggie.

Rod Aho (pictured left), member MCL Lake Superior Detachment #764, donates money for a therapy bed to Jim Feliciano (pictured right), VAVS Officer for the American Legion.

More Around the League on page 13 Michigan Marine News • Winter 2011


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Michigan Marine News • Winter 2011

Shooters gather for the safety brief prior to the start of the shoot.

Around the League

Flint Detachment Fun Shoot

Top Shooters of the day. Shooters get set in their respective positions.

Our youngest shooter, Garrett gets some instruction on using the M-16 Rifle.

The Auxiliary Ladies with helper Elle Haney serving lunch to the shooters.

Bob Chase, Flint Detachment line safety officer.

John Tuohy, PNC Chairman of the annual fun shoot.

Young Garrett after firing his first position (offhand).

Department Sr. Vice, Norm Pfaff claims one of the prizes.

More Around the League on page 14 Michigan Marine News • Winter 2011


Around the League 14

MCL National Convention

Michigan Marine News • Winter 2011

National President Alice.

Past Devil Dogs of the Year with the newest member who is still in shock.

National Sr. Vice Jim Tuohy with General Paxton.

National Marine of the Year 2010-2011

Around the League

National President Elect Gerri National Young Marine of the Year. Tuohy Escorted by Asst. Sgt at Arms Ray Darley.

National Commandant makes a presentation to General Paxton.

National Commandant Vic Voltaggio escorted by Lisa Solarzyk Asst Sgt at Arms.

PNP, Virginia Johnson and Lovely daughter Kim.

Leanna Dietrich is awarded Devil Dog of the Year.

PCDD Bob Lent, announces Devil Dog of the Year Award.

General John M Paxton Jr. Guest speaker for the National Convention.

PNC Bob Becker, escorted by PNC Helen Hicks is selected as the 20102011 National Marine ofthe Year.

Past Moy, Jim Hackbarth places the Moy Ribbon on PNC Bob Becker. Michigan Marine News • Winter 2011


Around the League

Flint Detachment Installation of Officers

National President, Gerri Tuohy installs the Officers of the Flint Unit, assisted by PDP Peggy Tuohy and Past Unit President, Mary Brief.

Newly elected and Appointed Officers of the Flint Detachment, take their Oath of Office.

Members of the Flint Detachment Honor Guard receive National Meritorious Unit Commendations from National Sr. Vice Commandant, Jim Tuohy for their outstanding dedication to their community. Pictured (L-R) Leonard Senkine, Steve Martin, Jack Porn, PDC Adrian Cervini, Darryl Miller and Chuck Hyde. Congratulations Marines.

Flint Honor Guard Members Receive Individual National Meritorious Unit Commendations From Detachment Commandant, Jack Porn


eorge Granbury, Montford Point Marine is congratulated by Detachment Commandant Jack Porn. George recently received a Commendation from Gen. James Amos, Commandant for his service as a Montford Point Marine during WW II. George also received a personal letter from the President, Barack Obama. “Congratulations George” we are all proud of you and your service to our country. N

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Michigan Marine News • Winter 2011

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Marines, Corpsman, Associates and Our Auxiliary


he past year and a half we have been talking about hosting the 2013 National Convention. In the past, Michigan has hosted three National conventions; 1940 in Detroit, 1960 Grand Rapids and 2001 in Dearborn. Well, get ready Michigan because after a VERY close vote by the red hats on the floor of the National Convention, Grand Rapids, MI will be the 2013 host at the Amway Grand Hotel. Everything will be under one roof and there are plenty of things to do in Grand Rapids. There is plenty of work to do and we would appreciate all the help possible when this important convention of the league comes to the state. Hopefully, by the time this article comes out, we will have had the initial meeting of the convention committee. We are looking at Marines, Corpsman, Associates, Auxiliary members and even family members who are willing to put in the time for the next two years to put together Phil & Wendy Zamora presenting proposal for this convention. 2013 National Convention in Grand Rapids. If you are willing to put in the time and can attend a monthly meeting and more by the time the convention comes around, contact either myself or Wendy at (517) 541-1501 or email us at 2013inGR@gmail.com to volunteer your time. For you Devil Dogs out there that will have had your Devil Dog collar (red collar) for more then one year and would like to move up to Pedigree Devil Dog, then Grand Rapids will be your chance to do just that. We will continue to update you and ask for help through this magazine or the Department email. Semper Fi Phil & Wendy Zamora Co-Chairs, 2013 National Convention N More Communications on page 18

Veterans Cost-of-Living Increase


hairman Murray Passes Veterans Cost-of-Living Increase to Allow Veterans to Share in Critical Benefit Boost for the First Time in Two Years. Murray's bill, which passed the Senate yesterday, would result in more money in the pockets of millions of veterans across the country.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray, Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, announced that a bill that she sponsored to provide a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) for Americas’ veterans has passed the U.S. Senate. The COLA for veterans will match the 3.6 percent annual increase provided to Social Security recipients, which on Wednesday was announced will happen this year for the first time since 2009. The Veterans COLA would affect several important benefits, including veterans’ disability compensation and dependency and indemnity compensation for surviving spouses and children. It is projected that over 3.9 million veterans and survivors will receive compensation benefits in Fiscal Year 2012. “A cost-of-living increase for our veterans is long overdue and well deserved,” said Senator Murray. “Particularly in this difficult economy, our veterans deserve a boost in their benefits to help make ends meet. This is an important step for our veterans, especially on the heels of news that a COLA will be provided for the first time since 2009.” The COLA is designed to offset inflation and other factors that lead to the rising cost of living over time. The COLA rate is based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index. N

Michigan Marine News • Winter 2011


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VFW Call to Action Stop Balancing Budget on Backs of Military and Veterans


ASHINGTON (October 18, 2011) --- The national commander of the country’s largest and oldest major combat veterans organization is asking his 2 million members and all their friends and families to urge their elected officials to not break faith with the nation’s military and veterans’ communities. “We and our families who have and continue to serve and sacrifice the most need to raise our voices loudly and clearly before the nation’s debt is placed squarely on the shoulders of our military families and veterans,” said Richard L. DeNoyer, a retired Marine and Vietnam combat veteran who leads the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. and its Auxiliaries. “It is critical that our voices not be lost in the ongoing budget debate that seems to now equate national service and sacrifice with the size of healthcare premiums,” he said. “The ‘people programs’ inside the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs are expensive because it takes people to fight our wars, and with less than one percent of our citizens currently in uniform, any degradation of these hard fought-for programs will break faith with those who sacrifice the most, and will place the continued viability of the all volunteer military in serious jeopardy.” The VFW national commander’s call to action is the result of three letters sent last Friday by the leadership of the Senate Armed Services Committee and both House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. The letters support or suggest possible ways to eliminate or reduce quality of life programs and benefits in order to avoid more drastic budget cuts should a deficit reduction deal fail to pass by Thanksgiving Day. Sending individual letters were Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Ranking Member John McCain (R-Ariz.). The joint Senate/House VA Committee letter was signed by Senate Chairman (and Select Committee member) Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Ranking Member Richard Burr (R-N.C.), and House Chairman Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) and Ranking Member Bob Filner (D-Calif.). The joint VA committee letter was short on specifics, since the four signers believe existing laws exempt all VA programs from sequestration --- forced reductions without discussion or modification --- but they did provide an eight-page summary of cost-saving acts that Congress considered in the past to reduce, modify or extend VA programs ranging from disability compensation to educational assistance. Another attachment was a one-page list of current proposals to tighten income verification requirements, slow GI Bill tuition expenditures, reaffirm VA pensions to significantly disabled veterans, and round down annual cost of living adjustments to the nearest dollar, while delaying payment for one month. The individual letters signed by Levin and McCain were far more ominous, because they both agreed with proposals President Obama

announced last month to create a commission to examine the current military retirement system, and to alter military TRICARE benefits for those retirees age 65 and older. The president also wants to increase pharmacy copayments for military dependents and retirees of all ages, but both senators suggested the proposal needs further DOD review. Regarding the military retirement system, Levin wrote the commission should expand its scope to “encompass all aspects of military compensation, including the current system of basic pay, allowances (including the housing allowance), special and incentive pays, and health care, as well as the tax treatment of the various components of military pay.” Levin also agreed with the president’s proposal to institute a $200 annual fee for military retirees age 65 and older who are enrolled in TRICARE for Life, but he would link future fee increases to the percentage amount of a retiree’s annual cost of living adjustment. The president’s proposal has no such linkage, and if approved as is, TRICARE for Life fees would rise from the recommended $200 in 2012 to $295 in 2013. This would be in addition to Medicare Part B payments they must already pay. The senior Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee also supports the presidential commission to review the military retirement system, and agrees with Levin that the entire military compensation package needs to be included. Regarding TRICARE, McCain recommended that the Select Committee also consider a Congressional Budget Office proposal to exclude working age military retirees from enrolling in TRICARE Prime, which has the least out-of-pocket expenses. Retirees and their families would instead have the option of enrolling in TRICARE Standard or Extra. “The VFW is very disappointed in Senator Levin and Senator McCain for not only acquiescing to the president’s proposals, but for suggesting additional ways to further balance the budget on the backs of military members, families and retirees,” said DeNoyer, of Middleton, Mass. “Our nation’s financial situation cannot be solved by breaking faith with those who singlehandedly fight our nations wars --- be it today or tomorrow,” he said. “You cannot pass along our nation’s security to future generations just for short-term financial gain. That is an extremely dangerous assumption, and totally disregards the fact that there is an inherent cost that our nation must be more than willing to pay in exchange for asking someone to join, much less donate 20 or more years of their youth to defend our country.” In his call to action, the VFW national commander is now asking his 2 million members, along with their friends and family, to contact their congressional members today to urge their support to protect the current military retirement and pay and allowance system, all TRICARE programs for military families and retirees, and all VA healthcare programs for wounded, ill and injured veterans. N

2012 Disability Comp to Increase 3.6 Percent


ilitary and federal civilian retirees, survivor benefit annuitants, disabled veterans and Social Security recipients will see a 3.6 percent cost-of-living adjustment in January, their first since 2009. The 3.6% COLA will be effective Dec 1 and will be reflected in January retired pay, SBP, Social Security, and VA disability compensation checks. N More Communications on page 20


Michigan Marine News • Winter 2011

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Michigan Marine News • Winter 2011


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A Little-Known Story from the Pentagon on 09/11/2001


uring a visit with a fellow chaplain, who happened to be assigned to the Pentagon, I had a chance to hear a first-hand account of an incident that happened right after Flight 77 hit the Pentagon. The chaplain told me what happened at a daycare center near where the impact occurred. This daycare had many children, including infants who were in heavy cribs. The daycare supervisor, looking at all the children they needed to evacuate, was in a panic over what they could do. There were many children, mostly toddlers, as well as the infants that would need to be taken out with the cribs. There was no time to try to bundle them into carriers and strollers. Just then a young Marine came running into the center and asked what they needed. After hearing what the center director was trying to do, he ran back out into the hallway and disappeared. The director thought, ‘Well, here we are-on our own.’ About 2 minutes later, that Marine returned with 40 other Marines in tow. Each of them grabbed a crib with a child, and the rest started gathering up toddlers. The director and her staff then helped them take all the children out of the center and down toward the park near the Potomac and the Pentagon. Once they got about 3/4 of a mile

outside the building, the Marines stopped in the park, and then did a fabulous thing - they formed a circle with the cribs, which were quite sturdy and heavy, like the covered wagons in the Old West. Inside this circle of cribs, they put the toddlers, to keep them from wandering off. Outside this circle were the 40 Marines, forming a perimeter around the children and waiting for instructions. There they remained until the parents could be notified and come get their children. The chaplain then said, “I don’t think any of us saw nor heard of this on any of the news stories of the day. It was an incredible story of our men there. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room. The thought of those Marines and what they did and how fast they reacted; could we expect any less from them? It was one of the most touching stories from the Pentagon.” Remember Ronald Reagan›s great compliment: Most of us wonder if our lives made any difference. Marines don›t have that problem. God Bless the USA , our troops, and you. If you care to offer the smallest token of recognition and appreciation for the military, please pass this on and pray for our men and women who have served and are currently serving our country and pray for those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for freedom. N

Saginaw Masonic Lodge #77 to Host Veterans Appreciation Day


aginaw – The Saginaw Masonic Lodge #77 will hold its third annual Veterans Appreciation Day on Saturday, Sept. 10 at 11 a.m. at the Saginaw Masonic Center, 2655 N. Center Road, Saginaw. The event is open to the public, whether a veteran or not. The ceremony will include the flag being raised by the Marine Corps, the Heritage High School marching band, and a 21-gun salute from the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #1859 Honor Guard honoring those from the area who have fallen. The Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 180

Marine Corps League members from John C. Rock detachment gather for Veterans Appreciation Day in honor of Deangelo Snow a Saginaw native who gave his life in Iraq last September.


Michigan Marine News • Winter 2011

Emil :Dutch” Franz speaks on the topic of the American Flag and what it means to all of us.

will be presenting a plaque to the family of Deangelo Snow, a Saginaw native who gave his life in service to his country last September in Iraq. Speakers will include Dutch Franz of the Marine Corps League speaking about the U.S. Flag; Ray Hamilton of he U.S.Navy speaking about the role of family during deployment; and Patti Katter of voiceofwarriors.com speaking about veterans’ issues. Saginaw Township Supervisor Tim Braun and Grand master of Masons in Michigan Fred Kaiser will also be making remarks. Other groups attending will include the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Army Reserve, the John C. Rock Marine Corps League,

and the Young Marines. Representatives from the Sounded Warriors Project, Voice of Warriors and the veterans hospital will also be present to answer veterans’ questions. Montrose area veterans will be bringing a two-ton bell dedicated to all veterans. A free lunch for veterans, their families, and ceremony participants will be served at noon (others are welcomed, but are asked for a small donation to send care packages overseas). Reservations for lunch are requested by Sept. 9, as seating is limited to 300. Door prizes will be given out, and a children’s table that includes face painting will be set up for those bringing children or grandchildren. N

Marines from Bravo 1/24 raise colors for the event . USMC Color Guard presents colors.

Michigan’s New National President


t the National Convention in Boise, Idaho PDP Gerri Tuohy was installed as the National President for the Marine Corps League Auxiliary. Gerri was installed by Past National President, Virginia Johnson who travelled all the way to Idaho just for this very special occasion. Virgina was assisted by PDP Peggy Tuohy and PNP Carolyn Ruhmshottel. Congratulations on your accomplishment from all of us in the Department of Michigan.N



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Michigan Marine News • Winter 2011



2012 Department of Michigan MCL & MCLA

Mid-Winter Rally January 20-21, 2012

Sheraton Detroit Novi Hotel- 21111 Haggerty Road, Novi, Mi. 48375 For Direct Reservations call (248) 349-4000 or Toll Free at (866) 837-4180. Online Reservations can be made at www.starwoodmeeting.com/Book/usmcl. Room Rates: $82 per night plus tax 13% - Room Price includes Breakfast. Promotion Code: Reference MCL Mid-Winter Rally: Reservation for these rates is January 12, 2012. Indoor Pool, including Hot Tub & Fitness Room • Valet Parking available (Handicap Parking in front)


Strip Ticket..............................................$45.00 Cocktails 6:00 PM (Cash Bar) Registration............................................ $5.00 Hospitality Room....................................$10.00 Banquet..................................................$30.00 (Choice of) Parmesan Crusted Breast of Chicken, Medallions of Beef Tenderloin Diane, Potato Crusted Salmon) **Banquet reservations need to be in by January 12, 2012 ** A complete forms Packet for the Mid-Winter Rally Is available and can be printed from the Michigan Marines website at www.michiganmarines.org Mail Ad copy and payment to: Northwest Detachment #162 MCL Attn: Mark Sutton 2525 Turning Plow Stockbridge, Mi 49285 ** DEADLINE FOR COPY IN AD BOOK IS JANUARY 4, 2012 **


Michigan Marine News • Winter 2011

Program Advertising Rates Size of Ad


Half Page 8 ½ x 5 ½


Full Page 8 ½ x 11

Quarter Page 4 ½ x 51/2 Business Card 2” x 31/2

Patron (1 Line) ¾” x8 ½” Back Cover 8 ½” x 11”

Inside Front/Back 8 ½ x 11”

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For additional information contact Mark Sutton at 248-390-5481.

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