Newsletters & Information > MPMA UPDATE SEPTEMBER 2004

Aug 29, 2004

Fellow members, friends,

Welcome to the many new individuals on this update list.
For the benefit of the first timers receiving this update,
this email list is to be used exclusively for the passing
of information concerning the Montford Point Marine
Association. Please do not forward the names on this list
for any other purpose. Please do forward this information
to anyone you determine appropriate. Because it is so late
in the month, this update will serve as the July and August

The first order of business is to answer the many questions
that the members have had on the health of Captain
Frederick Branch. Captain Branch, of course, was the first
African American Commissioned Officer in the Marine Corps.
Captain Branch is an original Montford Pointer. Captain
Branch recently had exploratory surgery to investigate some
discomfort he was experiencing and is recovering at his
home in Philadelphia. I regularly talk with his grandson,
Alex and he reports that his granddad is anxious to get
back to his daily routine. For those who would like to
send cards or notes of encouragement to Captain Branch his
address is:

Capt (ret) Fred Branch

2518 N 22nd Street

Philadelphia, PA 19132

Captain Branch was the recipient of a City of Philadelphia
Proclamation and an award from the Marine Corps during the
2004 NAACP convention in Philadelphia. Since he was unable
to personally accept the awards, the Philadelphia Chapter
will present them to Captain Branch at its Marine Corps
Birthday Celebration on Saturday 12 November in West

For those who were included in the group picture at the
convention and would like a copy, the picture is available
for purchase. I have seen the picture and it’s a really
great looking shot. It was worth all the time we stood
posing for the picture. Picture is available through Mr.
Charles Cooke for a cost of $24.00. Picture is a 10’x12”
photo and is a great reminder of one of the most attended
and festive conventions in a long time. Please mail checks
payable to Charles E Cooke to:

Charles E. Cooke

1410 Leister Drive

Silver Spring, MD 20904

The winners of the Queens Contest raffle were:

1st Place $2500.00 Name not
readable (DC Chapter)

2nd Place $500.00
Joe Davis (NY)

3rd Place $300.00
Yvonne Butler (Beaufort)

The National Queen for 2004-2005 is Mrs. Valerie Neal from
the Chicago Chapter. The first runner up was Mrs. Jonita
Carroll. Congratulations ladies for all your support of
the Association

Congratulations to all the winners!!!!

I am happy to report that the Association has sent a letter
to Steven Spielberg, under the signature of our National
President, to volunteer our assistance in telling the story
of the battle of Iwo Jima. The Associated Press reported a
few weeks ago that Clint Eastwood and Steven Spielberg have
agreed to bring the story of this battle to the big screen.
The story is based on James Brandy’s book “Flag of our
Fathers”. The Association has taken a proactive position
to attempt to include Montford Pointers in this story. We
will keep the membership posted on how this progresses.


September is the start of our Association year and all
members’ dues are due. Lifetime members are still
responsible for their annual chapter dues. Annual dues to
the Association are $25.00 per year and should be paid
through your local chapter. The exception is those
individuals who are not within reasonable geographical
location of a chapter. Even then, there are chapters that
will welcome you and keep you informed through local
updates. If you are paying lifetime membership, now is a
good time to make that final payment. I cannot emphasize
enough how important it is to keep our active membership
numbers growing.

There were a few names that were not included in the
memorial portion of the Convention Banquet. I would like
to restate that ANY MEMBER could report to the National
Chaplin the death of a member. Our course we would prefer
that this information come from you Chapter President, but
we would rather have two people report the death than none.
Deaths of members should be promptly reported to the
National Chaplain, Reverend James Moore at:

Rev. James Moore

PO Box 357

Seabrook, SC 29940


We are rapidly approaching the Marine Birthday Ball season.
Please inform both the National Public Relations Officer,
Carmen Cordoba, 703-784-6407, and National
Recording Secretary, Regina Lawrence,
804-279-3589, the particulars of birthday celebrations and
any other activities in your area.

Please continue to visit the national website at: the Maryland site at and the new New York site at:

The second of our Trilogy of Coins have been selling
briskly. There are still a limited number of coins
available. Please contact the National Quartermaster,
Elijah Abram at:

Elijah Abram

PO Box 1772

Beaufort SC 29901


Coins depict the first African American marine Drill
Instructors and have color on both sides. The cost is
$5.00 per coin with $2.00 S/H for the first coin and $1.00
for each coin thereafter. I also have a very limited
supply left so if you cannot reach Mr. Abram, call me.
Former National Public Relations Officer, Master Gunnery
Sergeant Gilbert Taylor is busy creating designs for the
final coin in our trilogy. We hope to have that final coin
available by Convention 2005 in Chicago.

Finally, I had the privilege to attend and speak at the San
Diego Chapter’s Chosen Few Banquet on August 28th and I’d
to thank everyone from the chapter who made me feel right
at home. Particularly, 1stSgt ret Barnett Person who not
only invited me but also has served as a mentor for me
since my active duty days in San Diego. I, along with about
a dozen members of the San Diego Chapter, were special
guests at the Friday morning colors ceremony and the
Recruit Graduation on Friday. Special thanks to my old
friend, Sergeant Major Melvin Shepard, Recruit Training
Regiment Sergeant Major, who made a lot of things happen
for the Chapter. At the Banquet on Saturday, in which I
was the guest speaker, there were over 15 Original Montford
Pointers in attendance. The entire evening is well
attended (over 220 people) and expertly arranged. The
Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, bestowed
special certificates on selected members of the San Diego
Chapter during the evening. Special guest included;
Brigadier General James Williams, Commanding General
(acting) of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force and the
Chief of Staff of Marine Base Camp Pendleton, Colonel Myron
Hampton and his wife. The evening raised over $1700.00 for
scholarship purposes. The entire weekend was a rousing
success!! Thanks again to the many members of the San Diego
Chapter that made this happen.

Please continue to do all that you do to Preserve the
Legacy of our heroes!

Semper Fidelis!

Joe Geeter

Master Gunnery Sergeant (retired)

National Vice President

Montford Point Marine Association

Joe Geeter
27 Red Tail Court
Limerick, PA 19468

610 495 3619 Hm
610 337 7000 ext 7797 wk



Historical advisor Byron Stewart PhD


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