This has been a most busy month for the Montford Point Marine Association. Topping this month’s update is the Death of Captain (ret) Frederick Branch. Captain Branch died 10 April and his funeral was 19 April in Philadelphia and he was interned 20 April at Quantico National Cemetery next to his wife Peggy who preceded him in death about 5 years ago. His Funeral Service in Philadelphia was well attended by Association members. Past National Presidents Gene Doughty and Sam Saxton were in attendance. Also on hand were the Northern Regional Vice President, Ken Rollock and Chicago Vice President Racine “Tree” Wilson. Representing our friends in Connecticut were Paul Young and Howard Hunter. Lawrence Brown, Philadelphia Chapter President was there with a contingent of Original Montford Pointers and Chapter members. General Stanley, a fellow Kappa of Captain Branch, was also there with his wife Roz. Colonel Chris Baker and his wife Marcie were also there. Special thanks to Colonel Baker for getting the word out and keeping us all updated with the times and places of the services. A very special thank you to our National Public Relations Officer, Carmen Cordoba, who released a very timely Press Release so that Captain Branch’s passing received the Country-wide publicity he so richly deserved. Captain Branch’s inspirational leadership and pioneering spirit will be missed by many.
Captain Branch was interned at Quantico National Cemetery on Wednesday 20 April. Navy Chaplain and Montford Point Marine Life Member Captain Ronnie King gave a very moving invocation. Those in attendance included the Commandant of the Marine Corps, The Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, Major General Select Walter Gaskin, Retired Lieutenant General Frank Peterson, Retired Major Generals Leo Williams III, Jerome Cooper and Clifford Stanley, retired Brigadier General George Walls and a host of other General Officers. From the Montford Point Marine Association Past National Presidents Jerome Milburn & Sam Saxton, Maryland Chapter 28 President James Stewart, DC-6 President William Wilbur, DC-6 founding member Lieutenant Colonel Joe Montgomery, MPMA Hall-of-Fame member Jim Fairfax and National Public Relations Officer retired Marine Master Sergeant Carmen Cordoba. There was great news and print press coverage at this event. Thank you to all the members that went out of their way to pay their last respects to a true American Pioneer!!
Brooks Gray Building Dedication
On Friday, 15 April, a magnificent building at Camp Johnson, Montford Point was dedicated to our founder and first National President, Master Gunnery Sergeant Brooks Gray. Under a cool and very windy day, many spoke of Brooks’ accomplishments putting MPMA on the map. In attendance were Brooks’ widow, Melvia and their children and grandchildren. Also in attendance was Brooks’ sister. From the General Officer Ranks were the Base Commander, Major General Robert C. Dickerson, Major General Cornell Wilson, Major General select Willie Williams and Brigadier General Ron Coleman. The Gray family was treated like royalty during the entire day’s events. Friday evening many of use gathered at Camp Lejeune Chapter #10’s brand new clubhouse in Jacksonville. Camp Lejeune has aggressively sought to have a clubhouse for years and it has finally come to fruition. Museum Director Finney Greggs and his wife Louise worked tirelessly to ensure the Museum was well prepared to receive the many visitors that passed through that day. Finney even stayed up very late the evening before to ensure that there was a Special display of the memorabilia that the family donated. All in all it was a marvelous dedication!!!
Our 2005 Spring Council was a huge success! Many business issues were settled or significantly moved forward. Camp Lejeune will be the site of the 2006 convention. The audit will be done very soon. Instead of waiting until our books are perfect, we decided to have the audit now and take what is learned from that audit to refine our financial reporting. We also got a first look at the National Newsletter. National Public Relations Officer, Carmen Cordoba promises this will be in the mail to all paid up members very soon. Also, a decent Convention SOP was drafted. Special thanks to those individuals who stayed after the business meeting on Saturday to draft this most important document. Convention Committee members including myself, our National President, Nathaniel James, Convention Director Ken Rollock, Delegate Director Gus Willis and MGySgt James Carr of the NY Chapter all worked diligently to ensure future chapters have a great guide to conventions. Chapters should receive a copy of this draft prior to convention 2005 and the members will vote to ratify this SOP at the convention. On the Friday of the Council the Chicago Chapter invited all council attendees to their clubhouse in South Chicago. There we socialized and ate heartily. The Chicago clubhouse has undergone extensive renovations over the past few years. Under the leadership of Chapter President Norman Payne, members Howard Neal and others have made the Chicago Clubhouse the standard of buildings within the Association. We are definitely looking forward to returning to the Windy City in July. Please continue to visit the Chicago website for up-to-date convention information at: www.montfordpointchicagochapter2.org all members must register for the convention in order to attend the business meetings. Registration fee is $35.00.
Chapters are reminded to send in your monthly Queens Report to the National Special Projects Officer, George Herring. George reminds us not to send in the ticket stubs but to bring them to the National Convention. Ticket stubs will be matched with reports before they are entered into the raffle. The Queens contest is the Association’s premier fundraiser and also can be the Chapter’s premier fundraiser. Just a few years ago Camp Lejeune Chapter #10 took home over $10,000 to assist with their operating cost and surely contributed to their opening up a clubhouse this year. Let’s get aggressive and sell those tickets!!! Don’t forget to buy your own book too!
Lieutenant Colonel Denice Williams’ Retirement Ceremony and Dinner will be Friday, 29 April 2005 at 6:00 PM at the Wingate Inn Fredericksburg, 20 Sanford Drive, Fredericksburg, VA 22406. LtCol. Williams has been a life member for years in our Association and has been one of our biggest supporters at HQMC. LtCol. Williams often served as Mistress of Ceremonies at our National Banquet. The NY Chapter honored her this past November at their Annual Banquet. The cost of the dinner is $20.00 per and attendees are expected to RSVP by 22 April. Point of Contact is Rodney Blake and he may be reached at 703-784-935 or by email at; Rodney.firstname.lastname@example.org. We wish nothing but the best in Lieutenant Colonel Williams’ future endeavors!
Philadelphia Chapter member Master Gunnery Sergeant William Hosea retired with ceremonies at Norfolk Naval Air Station on 18 March 2005. The Master Guns retired with over 30 years of service. This was a touching retirement ceremony where the Masterguns donated his retirement flag to his Uncle, A Vietnam Veteran who never had the opportunity to enjoy a celebration such as this. We wish the Masterguns and his wife Wanda, the very best in their retirement
Reverend James Moore reminds us to please timely inform him of any member’s death. Rev. Moore may be reached at 843-525-1161 or email@example.com . Chapters are encouraged to have their members, especially the Original Montford Pointers, bio information on-hand so that we may get the word out to members and the press timely. No one wants to think of their death, but prior planning by members will ensure that those you leave behind are not too stressed gathering this information.
2005 Marine Corps Birthday Ball Celebrations
It’s not too early to start requesting your guest speakers for your Chapter’s Ball event. As a point of protocol, requests for General Officers should be in writing. Request for National Officers should include whether the Chapter is reimbursing travel, etc… For those Chapters having events, please let our National Public Relations Officer Carmen Cordoba know as soon as possible the dates, times, place, etc.. So that she may post this information on the web. Again, the Ball season is an excellent opportunity to educated Marines and others about the Montford Pointers. For those located near Marine Commands, request special recognition be given to the Montford Pointers during these events.
Calling All Veterans
Paul Mathes, a Tennessee State Trooper and former Marine, is calling on Veterans, specially World War II Era (Original Montford Pointers) to participate in their World War II Veteran’s Salute on Saturday April 30th in Trenton Tennessee (Trenton is between Memphis and Nashville). Events for the day will include a Parade honoring our WWII veterans, Lunch & Program, Static Display of WWII equipment and the afternoon will include a re-enactment. Huge hotel discounts available. Those interested, please contact Paul at 731-855-1327 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dining out with Major General Clifford Stanley
The Staff Non-Commissioned Officer of the beltway area will host a Dining Out on Saturday the 27th of August 2005 at the Spates Community Club 214 McNair Road, Arlington Virginia. The Guest of Honor is Major General retired Clifford L. Stanley. The cost for Field Grade Officers is $50.00, Company Grade (Blue Dress Alpha) $40.00, SNCO (Evening Dress) $40.00, Civilian (gentlemen, black tie, ladies, formal attire) $40.00. All checks should be received NLT August 5th. Checks should be made payable to “Bernard H. Colebrook Order of the Sword” Please mail checks to; Bernard H. Colebrook Post Office Box 234 Quantico, VA 22134-0234. Tickets may be fully refunded if cancelled by 4:00PM July 15th. The point of contact is Bernard H. Colebrook (work) 202-874-5311 (home) 540-720-2633 or email; Bernard.email@example.com . Proceeds from the Dining Out will be used for Scholarship America “Dollars for Scholarship”
As always, please continue to check our official website for more information through the Association at www.montfordpointmarines.com or www.mpma28.com or http://www.mpmanyc.com
Please continue to do all that you do to Preserve the Legacy of our heroes!
Joe Geeter Master Gunnery Sergeant (retired) National Vice President Montford Point Marine Association 27 Red Tail Court Limerick, PA 19468 firstname.lastname@example.org 610-495-3619