Newsletters & Information > April & May MPMA National Newsletter
April & May MPMA National Newsletter

May 5, 2006

Montford Point Marine Association Inc. National Update
April May 2006  

Greetings supporters and members!
It is with great sadness that the very first item of
business for this update is to announce the death of the
wife of a very dear friend and Montford Point Marine
lifetime member. Deborah Platt, wife of retired Master
Gunnery Sergeant Samm Platt passed on Saturday April 22nd
after a courageous battle with cancer. Samm was very
active in the Montford Point Marine Association Beaufort
Chapter and recently approached me to see what he could do
to help revitalize the Atlanta Chapter. Samm is also the
past Master of the Sons of Beaufort Masonic Lodge
Deborah was very active and held in very high regard as a
Eastern Star, serving as the Past Worthy Matron of Griffin
Chapter # 386. Notes of condolence may still be mailed to
Samm at; 7135 Thames Lane, Riverdale, GA 30296.

Our email list is now over 350 strong! I would like to
remind folks to please do not send me forwarded emails that
have nothing to do with Montford Point, me personally or
Veterans Benefits. I am getting entirely too many
unnecessary emails. Please, before you “shotgun” email out
to everyone in you mailbox, please delete my name. I will
send you a courtesy email asking you to do this.
Afterwards, if the emails continue, I will be forced to
block your name. Thank you to the vast majority of you who
continue to respect the integrity of this email list. We
are attempting to pass valuable information.

Chapter Events
In the past few months we have had the great opportunity to
stand up three more chapters.
Chapter #33 Mobile, Alabama, Chapter #34 Boston, MA &
Chapter #35 Warner Robbins, GA.
Both your National Vice President and I have worked closely
with these chapters to ensure they have a proper Charter
and all the necessary documents to become a part of our
organization. A list of the Chapters and interim Chapter
Presidents is provided;

GySgt ret Ernest Branch      MSgt ret Rodney Lee      MSgt ret
Allen Lewis
Chapter President      Chapter President      Chapter President
Boston, MA #34         Mobile, AL #33         Warner-Robbins/Macon, GA
44 Highland Street      145 Beradmoor Drive      103 Ellice Court
Roxbury, MA 02119      Dalphine, AL 36526      Warner Robbins, GA
617-445-9961   251-625-1282         478-953-2451

Please put members who are geographically close, in touch
with these leaders.

Camp Lejeune # 10. Has a new website. Please visit at Please visit often to learn the
absolute latest information on Convention 2006 and what’s
happening with Chapter #10.
Spring Council: The Spring Council was a huge success!
Many thanks to the host Chapter, Camp Lejeune #10 and the
Chapter President Nat James for a well organized event!
Chapter Presidents and Officers are reminded to bring their
final copies of the past year’s reports to the National
Convention. Chapter #10 had the opportunity to show their
recently constructed clubhouse to the National Executive
Council and everyone was impressed. The Clubhouse was the
location for not only our daily meetings, but for breakfast
and our social gatherings. We all look forward to the same
Southern Hospitality during the National Convention.

Montford Point Marine Documentary: Two days after the
council meetings, Academy Award recipient Lou Gossett Jr.
visited with members of the Association. Mr. Gossett has
agreed to do the voice over on our Documentary which will
be PREVIEWED during our National Convention. Special
thanks to Museum Director Finney Greggs and his wife,
Louise for providing the logistics to get Mr. Gossett in
the Jacksonville area! Gossett, who won an Oscar for his
role as a Marine Drill Instructor in 1982’s “An Officer and
a Gentlemen,” is looking forward to the film and attending
the National Convention. Please click on the link to read
more about Mr. Gossett’s participation;

Art Holiday a newscaster and documentary filmmaker in St
Louis, is working on a documentary on the life of Original
Montford Pointer and Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famer Johnnie
Johnson ( . Art was the Master of
Ceremonies for the recent St Louis Chosen Few Banquet and
is interested in hearing from Montford Pointers who served
with or knew Johnnie Johnson. Please contact Art directly
at or at 314-968-3900. We are
hopeful that Art will make the National Convention to
personally talk to folks that knew Johnnie.

Convention 2006: Convention 2006 will be in Jacksonville,
North Carolina. Dates are July 26th through the 30th with
the 26th and 30th as travel days. National Convention
Director and Past President Nathaniel James and the members
of Chapter #10 are working hard to finalize events. Along
with the Conference Suites, the Holiday Inn, 910-347-1900
$85.00 plus taxes and the Innkeeper, 910-938-0800 $71.00
plus taxes have been reserved. Please make your
reservations for both early. Convention information should
arrive in the mail very shortly. One of the delays was
that we do not have an accurate mailing list because
chapters have not provided our National Recording Secretary
with the most current information. We had a mailing of the
National Newsletter immediately before the Spring Council
This not only delays getting information to the masses, it
cost the Association with unnecessary postage. I encourage
all to ensure your Chapter President has the latest contact
information on you.

Convention 2007: We are still looking for a Convention
site for Convention 2007. Chapters are asked to work
together for a possible joint convention and to also look
into non-chapter sites. It is important to have a site
locked down very soon. If your Chapter is interested,
please be contact me or the Vice President immediately.

By-Laws Resolutions: Are required to be in 60 days prior
to the convention. Please ensure Resolutions Chairperson,
Alexandria Johnson receives your resolution recommendation
by the end of May 2006. Alexandria has moved and her
current address is:
Alexandria S. Johnson
13 Freemont Turn
Palm Coast, FL 32137
National Naval Officers Association (NNOA) The Quantico
Chapter of the NNOA will be the host chapter for the 34th
Annual National Professional Development and Training
Conference 17-21 July at the Marine Corps Base Quantico.
The Quantico Chapter has worked very closely with the
Quantico Montford Point Marine Chapter with their events
since that chapter stood back up in October. For the
latest information, please visit their website at;
National Quartermaster: National Quartermaster, Elijah
Abram has the brand new 51st and 52d Defense Battalion
coins for sale now. Coins are only $8.00 plus shipping and
handling. Abe also has the official MPMA patch that can be
either worn or displayed. Patches are $10.00 each.
Additionally, Abe has the pullover golf shirts for $45.00
plus lettering and shipping. Abe has reduced the price of
previously issued coins to $5.00 each.
Please contact Abe at 843-838-5475 or for more details.
Coins make a great presentation to speakers and folks that
have contributed to your Chapter’s mission.

National Chaplain: Reverend James Moore is asking Chapter
Presidents or representatives to ensure that he has an
accurate list of the members who have passed in the last
year so he may begin planning the memorial portion of the
National Banquet. Reverend Moore also would like to remind
us to contact him immediately after the death or serious
illness of members so that he may provide prompt
communication with the family. Reverend Moore may be
reached at 843-846-0881 or email at:

National Recording Secretary: Regina Lawrence would like to
remind members that all requests for membership cards go
through your local Chapter President to prevent duplicate
mailings. Lost cards will be charged a replacement fee of

Appointments: I have recently made the following
appointments: Johnnie Henderson as the deputy
Parliamentarian and to Charles Paige as the Voting
Committee Chairperson. Johnnie will serve as a back-up to
Aaron German, who remains as the Association’s Primary
Parliamentarian. Charles is replacing Charles Stallard
whose duties as the National Treasurer and Chapter
President for Louisville require more time.

Queens Tickets: We are in the home stretch for our Queen’s
contest. Please give one good last push for this National
Fundraiser. Camp Lejeune does not want to intimidate
anyone, but they ask for an additional 1000 tickets at the
Spring Council. I am sure Chicago has an answer to that.
The Queens Contest is the National Office’s premier
fundraiser for the year and funds our scholarship efforts
as well as our operating costs. It is also an excellent
opportunity for the local Chapters to raise money for their
local initiatives. Just a few years ago Camp Lejeune
Chapter #10 took home over $4,000.00 in rebates!!! Chapters
are required by our National by-laws to raise a minimum of
$500.00 to remain financial and to keep their voting rights
at the National Convention.
Tickets sale for $1.00 each or $25.00 for a book of 25.
The raffle takes place at the National Convention and the
winners need not be present. My offer to fill out the
raffle tickets for those who purchase through me still

NAACP National Convention: Will be held from 15-20 July
2006 in Washington, DC at the Washington Convention Center.
More information will be passed as it is received. We
scheduled our National Convention purposely not to conflict
with the NAACP. To receive a registration for the
Convention call 410-580-5780 and leave your full name and
complete mailing address. Please visit for
the latest information with the NAACP.

2d Annual Black Marine Reunion. The Second Annual Black
Marine Reunion has been official canceled by that group. I
will encourage those members looking for a group to come to
our Convention in July.

12th Annual Cherry Point Black Marine Retirees Reunion will
be held August 18th-20th in Orlando Florida. The host hotel
will be the Holiday Inn in Altamonte Springs, FL
407-862-4455. Please contact John Veney Sr, at
407-358-9550 for more information

General Officer Happenings;
Major General Walter Gaskin will assume command of the 2d
Marine Division on Friday the 16th of June. This will be
the very first time that an African American has commanded
a Marine Division! His change of Command for the
Recruiting Command will take place on 19 May at 10:00 AM at
the Gray Research Center in Quantico. Congratulations
General Gaskin on a successful tour leading the Marine
Corps Recruiting Command!!!!!!

Retired Major General Charles Bolden was recently selected
to the NASA Hall-of-Fame! Hall of Fame ceremonies will be
on Saturday, May 6th. Please click on the following link
for more information; General
Bolden is a past National Public Relations Officer for the
Montford Point Marine Association and we would like to
collectively congratulate him on this great achievement!!!!

Retired General Clifford L. Stanley his wife Roz, Past
National President Sam Saxton, Past National Sergeant at
Arms, Kennard Turner, his wife and I attended the filming
of an interview with Former Secretary of State and Chairman
of the Joints Chief of Staff, General Colin Powell. The
interviewed was arranged by The History Makers
( and conducted by Emmy Award
winning Journalist Juan Williams. The event was attended
by many former cabinet members that General Powell served
with and was held at George Washington University in
Washington DC. General Powell and others mentioned the
Montford Point Marines during the evening and I am working
with one of their schedulers to have some original Montford
Pointers interviewed by The History Makers. Please visit
their website to learn more about this very worthy project.

Brigadier General select Ronald L. Bailey will be frocked
to Brigadier General by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff, General Peter Pace on Monday, 15 May 2006 at 1200 at
Henderson Hall, Henderson Hall Theatre. For those wishing
to attend, please RSVP by 8 May to 703-784-2536

In Search of: Former Marine and Original Montford Pointer,
Abel M. Grace, is looking for members of the 52nd Defense
Battalion that served with him. PFC Grace may be reached
via email at

The Following is a Public Service Announcement for those
members who were stationed at Camp Lejeune from 1958-1985;
Hello, my name is David Martin and I am a representative if
the Community Assistance Panel for the Water Contamination
studies and MCB Camp Lejeune, NC.  If you would be so kind
as to announce the following Public Service Announcement at
your upcoming convention, it will assist us in our efforts
to identify and contact those who may have been exposed to
Volatile Organic Compounds in the drinking water while
serving at MCB Camp Lejeune, NC. This is a joint effort
between the ATSDR, USMC, DOD and
Please contact me by email if additional information is
required. Thank you. David Martin SonofaGunney

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
(ATSDR), along with the United States Marine Corps (USMC)
and Department of Defense (DoD) are attempting to identify
and locate former USMC/USN personnel, spouses, dependent
children and civilian employees who resided or worked at
MCB Camp Lejeune, NC from 1958 through 1985 for future
studies of illness or disease which may be linked to
CONTAMINATED DRINKING WATER at the base during that period.
If you or someone you know, resided or worked at MCB Camp
Lejeune, NC during this period and are suffering from
severe medical conditions or disease, please go to to register and for further

Its official, DD-214's are NOW Online! The National
Personnel Records Center (NPRC) has provided the following
website for veterans to gain access to their DD-214s
online: This
may be particularly helpful when a veteran needs a copy of
his or her DD-214 for employment

Maryland Chapter President, James Stewart, is constantly
updating his web site with information that his late
father, James Stewart, an Original Montford Pointer and
Hall-of-Fame member, left him. Please visit this link and his
website for some great information and history.

As always, please continue to check our official website
for more information throughout the Association at . Please also check chapter
sites at: , and

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

Semper Fidelis!

Joe Geeter
Master Gunnery Sergeant (retired)
National President, Montford Point Marine Association
27 Red Tail Court Limerick, PA 19468 610-495-3619



Historical advisor Byron Stewart PhD


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