Former Korea Marine Finally Gets Dress Blues

Former Korea Marine Finally Gets Dress Blues

By: Mark N.

This was in one of the local papers today. I have known Mr. Lancing for years. Steadfast servant to the community, and just an all around nice guy who will take care of you the best that he knows how. And the new breed of Marines stepped up and took care of him.

LEOMINSTER — James Lancing thought he may never get the uniform.

The at-large city councilor served in the Marines during the Korean War, but he was never issued the Corps’ dress-blue uniform after his tour.

Lanciani said he considered approaching U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern to ask if he could help him get the formal outfit of the Marines.

But he never did.

“If it wasn’t meant to be, it wasn’t meant to be,” Lanciani said.

However, once the Leominster Fire Department got word that the councilor did not have the uniform and that it was something he felt was missing, the folks in the department made sure it was meant to be that Lanciani had the dress blues.

Deputy Chief Jeff Davis said that on a recent summer day, firefighters were gathered on the front bench outside the station when one of them mentioned that Lanciani did not have formal Marine wear and had an interest in getting it.

“The idea was born and the plan was set forward,” Davis said, adding that it took some work, “between researching what type of uniform, the medals Jimmy had on, where to buy it, what size he is and, most importantly, how to display it and how to present it.”

The Fire Department checked all the boxes off the idea Monday when they presented Lanciani with a framed uniform, bearing his Marine medals, in front of family, friends and local officials at the fire station.

As Lanciani was introduced and given the uniform, he fought back tears.

“I always prided myself, and still pride myself, as a proud Marine,” Lanciani said. “I can tell you I feel complimented and proud to be a United States Marine.”

Lt. Jonathan Campagna, a fellow Marine, presented Lanciani with the uniform. He said the councilor embodies the traits of a Marine: honor, courage and commitment.

“He served his community honorably, the same community that fostered the love of this country,” Campagna said. “We have been blessed to have him serve the city of Leominster as a council member for years. He has brought that first-to-fight mentality to the council’s chambers.”

Lanciani will step down from the City Council after his current term is up.

“It’s true that every Marine is proud to be a Marine,” Campagna said to Lanciani. “But Jim Lanciani, you are one of the few Marines that makes other Marines proud.”

Lanciani was given a standing ovation as he accepted the gift.

“From the bottom of my heart, thank you and God bless you,” he said.

http://www.sentinelandenterprise.com/news/ci_30432789/leominsters-lanciani-proud-marine-and-now-he-can

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Sgt Grit wants to hear from you! Leave your comments below or submit your own story!

23 comments


  • sgt bob holmes

    I was in korea and spent three years in the marines, and I and the others in my company never had dress blues,wish I had one now but just to late…….


  • John Davis Jr

    Never had them as a grunt Co. L 3rd Bat.8th Mar. Division. 1960 to 1963.on to supply until 1964. End of enlistment.


  • James Kerins

    I am not very pleased to read the Marine had “No Formal Uniform” This is not true and it really pissed me off. We Marine’s are not issued Dress Blues. You will get a partial issue for Recruiter duty or career planner you get trousers and cover, If you are going to be a in special duty you will be issued a set of dress blues IE. embassy duty or 8th And I drill team. ALL other Marines which is over 95% are issued a dress Uniform which is the “Marine Green”. We have trousers, long sleeve shirt and tie with tie bar and a green blouse with belt and brass shined buckle. The occasion will call for Alpha, Bravo or Charlie categories of the uniform. The highest level would be Alpha with medals and ribbon and that is A FORMAL DRESS UNIFORM FOR ALL MARINES. When we had the Marine Corps Ball Many in the FMF will be wearing the Formal dress uniform of the Alpha Dress greens. The wanted to give him a gift that is fine, but to say he never had a formal Marine Uniform is false and disrespectful to my Marine Corps Uniform regulations. Capt Kerins US Marines (ret) Mustang Officer No. 762 in the Marine Corps Mustang Association.


  • henry kaspar

    Semper Fi I was in platoon 168 2RTB PI Feb/May 51 At that time only Sea going received blues but I do , remember donation the $1 every pay day and the DI stand there making sure everyone donated, those that didn’t paid for it after returning to barracks.If I remember the pay was 32 dollars a month. great memories and guys—— have a great day Henry


  • WILLIAM O. PAULY JR.

    JOINED IN 1951 PLT 320 P.I. WE WERE PAID 75 CENTS A DAY NO MARINES WERE ISSUED BLUES. FUNNY WE ALWAYS HAD MONEY AND DONATED $ 1.00 EVERY PAYDAY FOR THAT STATUE OF MARINES RAISING THE FLAG ON IWO. BEST MONEY I EVER SPENT. SEMPER FI MARINES. #1204514.


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