First on this month’s update is to welcome the many new members that have joined either by membership or by support of the Montford Point Marine Association. Once again I would like to remind all recipients that this email list is for MPMA business only. Please do not forward unsolicited non-MPMA business to anyone on this list. Our list includes elected officials, many General Officers and regular folk like me who do not want forwarded email sent. Thank you for respecting this list.
That being said, it has truly been an extremely busy time for the Association. The unfortunate death of Captain Frederick Branch has brought some much deserved attention to our organization. Many members and supporters worked very hard complying with press requests and phone calls. Special thanks again to our National Public Relations Officer, Master Sergeant retired, Carmen Cordoba, for fielding an unbelievable amount of phone calls and special requests. Thanks also to Philadelphia Tribune Reporter and Author, Yvonne Latty, who responded to a very short deadline for a magazine article. Many of you met Yvonne at last year’s convention. Yvonne authored the book We Were There which featured short stories about the African American experience in the armed forces. One of those stories included Captain (USN) Thomas McPhatter and Original Montford Pointer and Iwo Jima Survivor.
Yvonne is currently writing a new book chronicling the experiences of service personnel in the current War on Terrorism. Yvonne is looking for veterans with combat experience for her book. Veterans can be of any branch or service, any gender and any race. If you are a veteran of the War on Terrorism, or know of any veterans that fit this criteria, and would like to be considered for inclusion in this book, please contact Yvonne at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact me and I’ll put you in touch with Yvonne.
Convention 2005 Notes The dates for our 40th Annual Convention are 13-17 July 2005 with the 13th and the 17th being travel days. Chicago is hard at work to make our 40th Convention a memorable event! Registration packages have been sent out to Chapters detailing the events and cost. This year Chicago is offering a discount for those who purchase packages for the events in the amount of $25.00. Also members will be allowed for the first time to purchase tickets by phone utilizing their credit cards. Please contact John Vanoy at 773-487-1922 or at the Chicago Clubhouse at 773-873-6600. Also, Chicago has set up a website at www.montfordpointchicagochapter2.org to help communicate the latest convention information. Please visit this site for the very latest on Convention ’05. We’ll see you in Chi for 05!
We are asking all chapters to make sure our National Recording Secretary, Regina Lawrence, has a current chapter list of paid up members. Please forward your most current chapter list to Regina immediately at: email@example.com or 804-763-3592.
National Sergeant-at-arms, Mike Johnson is reminding all Chapters to bring their Chapter Colors (Flags and Banners) with them to Convention Chicago. Banners and flags will be displayed in meeting rooms and if the hotel permits, at the National Banquet. Flags make a great backdrop for the events and for pictures. Chapters must bear the cost in bringing or shipping these flags. For further information, please contact Mike at; firstname.lastname@example.org or 909-815-1972.
Resolutions Director, Alexandria Johnson, is asking that all requests for resolution changes be sent to her immediately. We are already past the deadline but if they are sent immediately, they will be given consideration. Please contact Alexandria directly at: 718-671-0011. Aj710734@aol.com or 100-8 Elgar Pl. #8E Bronx NY 10475
Queens Contest Chapters are reminded that to remain financial with the Association and to have a vote in the elections at this year’s convention, they must meet the minimum Queens Contest participation goals set forth in our by-laws of $500.00 per chapter. The Queens Contest is the only nationally sanctioned fundraiser of the year. Monies from the contest help our operating budget that funds activities such as the Museum Project and our Scholarship commitments. Please make sure you turn in your raffle tickets to your chapter representatives in a timely manner. Chapter Representatives are reminded not to send the stubs in with their report to National Special Projects Officer George Herring, but to bring stubs with them to the convention. Stubs will be matched with reports before they are placed in the barrel for drawing. Any questions about the Queens Contest can be addressed to George at 619-266-8180.
Convention Journal Chapters and individuals are reminded that the deadline for submitting items for the Convention Journal is 10 June. Ads run from $500.00 (Outside back cover) to $60.00 (One Quarter Page). All ads should be camera ready. If there are any questions concerning the Journal, please direct them to Southern Regional Vice President, Reuben McNair. Rueben can be reached at 202-529-0845. Please mail Journal Items to Rueben at 2617 24th Street NE, Washington, DC 20018. The point of contact in Chicago is Rochelle Crump and she may be reached at 312-814-2744 or email@example.com.
Marine Corps Ball Celebrations Chapters are reminded to submit request for guest speakers for their annual balls/banquets and events early to ensure you get your speaker of choice. Requests should be submitted to the speaker in writing detailing all the particulars about the event. 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.
1stSgt Ken Futch, Detachment 1, Ammo Company, Rome, GA, is searching for an original Montford Point Marine to be the guest of honor at their ball in Rome, GA on November 5th 2005. If you know of a Montford Pointer that is interested, please call his cell phone; 678 923 7257 or email the 1stSgt at; firstname.lastname@example.org. They will provide transportation and lodging that would be required to have a Montford Pointer as their guest of honor. The First Sergeant retires on July 31st of this year and would like to ensure the story of Montford Point gets out to his Marines before he retires.
1stSgt Ken Futch Detachment 1, AMMO Co Rome, Georgia 30165 706 234 1030 ext 222
Montford Point Marine Panelist Sought Mrs. Kenitha Grooms-Williams is looking for Original Montford Pointers who would be interested in attending the “Hidden Faces of War” Symposium that will be held on July 3, 2005 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Mrs. Grooms-Williams has been working in the public relations/advertising industry for over 10 years and is currently employed with an agency that is a representative of the National D-day Museum in New Orleans. Although the Museum has been visited by millions of people and has reached out to numerous veterans organizations since its conception in 2000, it is her belief that they have neglected to reach out to the African American units that played a major role in World War II. Therefore, she has partnered with a Marketing/Entertainment Firm to host this event. Mrs. Grooms-Williams is seeking panelists to participate in this event. As the world commemorates the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, numerous events will be held to honor servicemen and women that contributed to the fight for peace and freedom. However, many of these events have neglected to encompass African American service members and instead have chosen to view their roles as insignificant and in some cases nonexistent. The “Hidden Faces of War” Symposium was established to give African American veterans a platform to share their experiences and the issues they faced during World War II. The event will take place during the 4th of July weekend to give the citizens of New Orleans and its surrounding area the opportunity to celebrate their independence while at the same time praise the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives to ensure liberty and justice for all. The city will also be hosting the Essence Festival, which will enable us to reach millions of others that share our belief of the importance of such an event. If you have any questions please feel free to Mrs. Groom-Williams at 504-912-2157 or email@example.com.
In search of: My name is Lorretta (Lorrie) D. Wrenn. My father, Thomas S. Dlugos was the Company Commander for the 49th USMC Depot Company (all black) on Guam. He was the only commander who refused to carry a weapon – other commanders thought it was necessary because the troops were black. Dad only remembers the names of two of the men - Rufus McKenzie and Heiner (sp?) Thomas. There was a reunion of the black Marines from Montford Point in Detroit in 1978 and my Dad just missed seeing Thomas there - Dad was at the same hotel but for a different occasion. Can you help me find one or two of these Marines who trained at Montford Point? I would like to put them in touch with my Dad who has had open heart surgery twice, colon cancer twice and had a stroke May 2, 2004. Please help me if you can or put me in contact with someone who can. Thank you so much, Lorrie. Lorrie.firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
KUDOS Congratulations to Lieutenant Colonel Denice Williams who recently retired from the Marine Corps. Lieutenant Colonel Williams has played a very active role in our Association for many years. She was honored at last year’s New York Chapter’s birthday celebration. We wish LtCol Williams nothing but the best in her retirement and I know she will continue to play an important role within the Association.
Congratulations to Beaufort Chapter member Ricky Phillips who was recently promoted to Master Gunnery Sergeant! Ricky gain notoriety for introducing Guest Speakers at Beaufort’s MPMA events without notes! Congratulations Ricky on this well deserved promotion!
Many of you have already seen the fabulous picture taken at the internment of Captain Frederick Branch of the Commandant of the Marine Corps and nine current and retired African American Marine General Officers. Special thanks to former National Public Relations Officer, Master Gunnery Sergeant Gilbert Taylor who superimposed the names, dates and Marine Corps’ Emblem on this picture. We are hopeful that we have a similar gathering of these historic individuals at the Chicago Convention.
Convention Standing Operating Procedures The Convention SOP is has been updated and is currently being re-typed. A draft of the changes will be sent to each member of the Executive Council for review. Convention SOP will not be sent to those chapters who have not had representation at the last two conventions/Spring Council unless specifically requested. Executive Council Members are requested to bring their copy of the draft and any recommended changes to the Chicago Convention where we will vote on the changes.
TAPS Johnnie C. Johnson, an Original Montford Point Marine and a Musical Legend, expired on April 13, 2005. Mr. Johnson was eulogized on April 22, 2005 with interment services immediately following at the National Cemetery in Jefferson Barracks, MO. His funeral service was well attended by both MPMA Chapters in St. Louis, MO, many friends, musicians and fans from various places around the world. He is survived by his wife, Frances, and eleven (11) children. Mr. Johnson was born July 8, 1924 in Fairmont, West VA. He enlisted in the Corp in 1943 and was one of the first 1500 Black Marines. He served overseas in the Marshall Islands. Johnnie played the piano and was in the company band which was called the "Barracudas". The band played at many U.S.O. Shows while overseas.
Dining out with Major General Clifford Stanley The Staff Non-Commissioned Officers 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.firstname.lastname@example.org . 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 or www.montfordpointchicagochapter2.org
Please find a copy of the Marine Corps League Magazine Spring 2005.Vol.61, No 2, there is an article about Sergeant Major deceased Louis Roundtree, the most decorated Marine to graduate from Montford Point.
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 email@example.com 610-495-3619