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 update.
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 Philadelphia.
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, email@example.com 703-784-6407, and National Recording Secretary, Regina Lawrence, firstname.lastname@example.org 804-279-3589, the particulars of birthday celebrations and any other activities in your area.
Please continue to visit the national website at: www.montfordpointmarines.com the Maryland site at www.mpma28.com and the new New York site at: http://www.mpmanyc.com/
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:
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!