I share this story in the hope that it inspires other Marines to see what they can organize. They will be amazed how it can grow!.
Six years ago through word of mouth about a dozen Marines got together for lunch here in Sarasota, Florida for The Birthday. It was quite a simple affair, just a toast, some cake, and sing The Hymn I started a roster and mailing list, and the next year with the list and continued word of mouth we had about 38. The following year we had grown to 60, to include a General, a Corpsman, and a Woman Marine. The following year we had grown to 78 and had to get a private room in the restaurant. That year we also had the distinct privilege of having as our Guest of Honor a Congressional Medal of Honor awardee. A local resident, Hector Cafferata who was awarded the MOH for his actions at the Choisin Reservoir on "Fox Hill" with Fox 2/7 attended. This past year we arranged a notice in the local paper and had grown to over 100. The youngest Marine was 26 years old (an active duty Marine with two tours in "the sandbox" on recruiting duty here in the area) and the oldest was 88 years old. Our Guest(s) of Honor were WWII Marines, and we had 28 Marine Veterans of almost all the Pacific Island battles, including 10 Iwo Jima survivors!! Check the photos attached. What an experience! What an honor to be in the presence of those Marines!
Try it for this year's Birthday. Call the Marines you know in your community. Have them call the Marines they know. You have a lot of Marines in your community, and you have WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War, and Iraq Marine Veterans too. Our format is no speeches. It's just chow , swapping lies, some toasts, a cake ceremony, and sing The Hymn.
2nd Lt., 1st Lt., Capt.
0302 RVN 68-69