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 #35 44 Highland Street 145 Beradmoor Drive 103 Ellice Court Roxbury, MA 02119 Dalphine, AL 36526 Warner Robbins, GA 31088 617-445-9961 251-625-1282 478-953-2451 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Please put members who are geographically close, in touch with these leaders.
Camp Lejeune # 10. Has a new website. Please visit at www.mpmalejeune10.com 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; http://www.newsobserver.com/102/story/428166.html
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 (www.JohnnieBeGood.net) . 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 email@example.com 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 and OVER 100 WERE RETURNED BECAUSE OF AN INCORRECT ADDRESS! 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; http://www.quantico-nnoa.org 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 $5.00.
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 stands.
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 www.naacp.org 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; http://www.space.com/news/cs_051230_inductees.html 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 (www.thehistorymakers.com) 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 email@example.com.
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 www.watersurvivors.com 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 www.watersurvivors.com to register and for further information.
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: http://www.archives.gov/veterans/evetrecs/index.html This may be particularly helpful when a veteran needs a copy of his or her DD-214 for employment purposes. http://www.archives.gov/st-louis/military-personnel/
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 http://blackdispatch.smugmug.com/gallery/1401989 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 www.montfordpointmarines.com . Please also check chapter sites at: www.mpma28.com , http://www.mpmanyc.com and www.montfordpointchicagochapter2.org
Please continue to do all that you do to Preserve the Legacy of our heroes!
Joe Geeter Master Gunnery Sergeant (retired) National President, Montford Point Marine Association 27 Red Tail Court Limerick, PA 19468 firstname.lastname@example.org 610-495-3619