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Congressional Black Caucus

Oct 30, 2007

Montford Point Marine Association Inc. National Newsletter
October/November 2007

“Preserving the Legacy”

Fellow members, supporters and friends,

At the top of this edition of our update is the 2007
Congressional Black Caucus which was held in Washington DC
September 26th-29th. Florida State Senator Anthony C.
“Tony” Hill, Sr. was largely responsible for the Montford
Point Marine Association receiving an audience at The
Honorable Corrine Brown (D-FL) and The Honorable Sanford D.
Bishop, Jr. (D-GA) 19th Annual Congressional Black Caucus
Veterans Braintrust. I had the opportunity, along with five
original Montford Pointers (Lt Col Joe Carpenter, 1stSgt
George Kidd, GySgt Reuben McNair, Capt Sam Saxton and Cpl
James Ferguson) to address members of Congress and the
leaders of many African American Veterans groups. My
remarks were to inform those who did not know about the
pioneering work of the Montford Pointers and to lobby for a
Congressional Gold Medal, A Commemorative Stamp and to have
Camp Johnson (Montford Point) placed on the National
Register of Historical Places. Very Special thanks to US
Representative Corrine Brown who allowed each original
Montford Pointer the opportunity to share parts of their
story to the audience. Needless to say we were very well
received by all. I literally brought a suitcase of handout
information for the group which was quickly collected by
the crowd after our remarks.

Florida State Senator Tony Hill, who spent a lot of time
visiting with us at our National Convention in
Jacksonville, Florida, has remained very active in
gathering State and National support in our efforts to
bring much overdue recognition to the Men of Montford
Point. I would also like to thank the many staffers of
Representative Corrine Brown’s office particularly Lee
Footer, Senior Legislative Assistant for US Representative
Corrine Brown, for arranging the logistics to make this all
happen. Each of the original Montford Pointers was
presented an American Flag from the Offices of
Representative Brown at a reception in Washington DC the
evening of September 28th.
National Public Relations Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Eric
Lindsay was also in attendance documenting the event with
digital pictures. Additionally, Dr. Melton McLaurin was at
the Caucus receiving honors for both his work on the
documentary and his book America’s First Black Marines “The
Marines of Montford Point”. This was a very historical day
in the Association’s history.

MEMBERSHIP DUES: are currently due for all annual members.
Please forward both your National Dues (still at only
$25.00 per year) and your Chapter dues immediately to your
Chapter representative or to National Financial Secretary
David Fortune at MPMA PO Box #1070 Sharon Hill PA 19079.
In order to continue to run this organization we are in
great need for all members to become current in their
dues.

HEADLINE NEWS

California Fires: I have been in contact with many
Association members with our National Vice President to
check on the safety of members in the Southern California
area. There have been no reports of damage to home or
members reported. If any member or supporter knows of
members or persons in need, please notify the National Vice
President, Mike Johnson at 909-815-1972.

Documentary Airing: We are pleased to announced that that
the documentary film will be shown on 87 PBS Channels
during November, 2007. Please check your local PBS listings
for airing times and have a chapter plan to telephone
members to let them know of the airing dates. Documentary
Film may be purchased at our National Museum for $20.00
plus $5.00 shipping and handling. Please contact Finney or
Louise Greggs at the Museum Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday
from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm at 910-450-1760/1340.
Additionally, Dr. Melton McLaurin’s book that compliments
the documentary can also be purchased from the Museum for
$29.95 + $5.00 S/H.

EVENTS

MPMA Fall Council 2007:As required by our by-laws, the
National Executive Committee will hold our Fall Council
telephonically on Saturday, 1 December 2007 beginning at
3:00PM EST 1200 noon Pacific. National Executive Committee
members will receive a package in the mail shortly from the
National Recording Secretary, Regina Lawrence. Regional
Vice Presidents and National Executive Council Members are
invited to this call by not required to submit any reports.
For further questions about the Fall Council please
contact me at the numbers at the end of this update,

Quantico Black History Month Formal Dinner: will be held at
the Fredericksburg Expo & Conference Center on Saturday, 23
February 2008 from 4:00 PM – 12:00 AM. Tickets are $55.00
for adults and $25.00 for children under 10 years old.
Tickets may be purchased online at
https://www.quanticobhmcommittee.com/home_page.html. For
additional information please email retired Marine Master
Sergeant William “Bill” Jones at William.jones@dtra or
phone at 03-767-3364. This will be the premier
Washington/Quantico area Black History Month event and will
sell out again quickly. If you plan to attend as I do, get
your tickets early!!!

Spring Council 2008: will be held at the Houston Hyatt
Regency 17-20 April 2008. National Officers are requested
to make their travel plans and reservations a minimum of
three weeks in advance to ensure you get the best possible
price for your arrangements and that the Association only
spends what is necessary for reimbursement of those
officers whose travel is covered by the Association.

2008 NAACP Convention: will be held 12-17 July 2008 in
Cincinnati Ohio. For additional information please visit
the official NAACP website at www.naacp.org.

MPMA Convention 2008: The dates for our 2008 convention in
Houston Texas have been set. Convention will be from 16-20
July with the 16th and 20th as travel days. The President’s
reception once again being held on the Wednesday travel
day. The number to the Hyatt Regency is 713-654-1234. The
Hyatt Regency Houston is located in Downtown Houston at
1200 Louisiana Street, Houston, Texas 77002

MPMA Convention 2009: It’s never too early to start
planning to host a convention. If you are interested
please let our National Convention Director Nat James or
the National Vice President Mike Johnson know.

Chapter/Region Happenings:

National Museum: Held a “Meet the Author” book signing
event at the Museum on 30 October for retired Marine
Lieutenant Colonel Ronald K. Culp who authored the recently
published book “The First Black United States Marine; The
Men of Montford Point” 1942-1946. This book was published
by McFarland & Company Publishers Inc., Jefferson North
Carolina. I have purchased the book on Amazon.com and it
is a very good read.
http://www.mcfarlandpub.com/book-2.php?isbn=0-7864-3000-1
Finney Greggs provided a lot of technical research support
and is featured in the book with a ½ page photograph.
Special thanks to both Finney, his wife Louise and the
entire Museum staff for continuing to help get our story
out to the American people!!!

Philadelphia Chapter #1: has announced their annual Marine
Corps Birthday and Veterans Ball has been canceled due to
lack of ticket sales. Those who purchased tickets will be
reimbursed by the Chapter Financial Secretary no later than
the next meeting.

Philadelphia Chapter Vice President Charles Clarke will be
among the honorees at the 6th Annual Veterans Service at
Vine Memorial Baptist Church 56th & Girard Avenue in
Philadelphia on Sunday, November 25th beginning at 11:00
AM. “Clarkey” has been an institution not only with the
Philadelphia Chapter but the Veterans Hospital and many,
many Philadelphia Veteran’s Organization and is most
deserving of this honor.

Chicago Chapter #2: The Chicago Chapter will hold their
annual President’s Ball on Saturday, 17 November beginning
at 6:00 PM at The Four Points Hotel by Sheraton, 1353 South
Cicero Avenue, Chicago IL. For tickets and information
contact the Chicago Chapter at 773-973-6600.

New York Metro Chapter #3: Will hold their Annual Dinner
dance on Sunday, November 11th at Antun’s Caterer’s at
96-43 Springfield Blvd, Queens Village New York. Tickets
are $75.00 and may be purchased by contacting the New York
Office at 212-267-3318, Joe Davis at 718-978-7631 or Ken
Rollock at 201-569-7113

Albany Georgia: Has reestablished their Charter by having
14 members become current in their dues. It’s been a very
long time since Albany has been represented at official
functions and we look forward to seeing them at our Spring
Council in Houston. Special thanks to Ronald Munson of
Albany for making this happen!!!

DC Chapter #6: Will hold their Annual Marine Corps
Birthday celebration on Friday, 16 November at LaFontaine
Bleu in Lanham MD. Event will begin at 7:00 PM and tickets
are $45.00 each. For tickets and additional information
call Clifford Stone at 301-449-6533 or Rebuen McNair at
202-269-4121.

Los Angeles Chapter #8 The Los Angeles Chapter will hold
their Annual Marine Corps Birthday Ball on November 10th,
2007 beginning at 7:00PM at the Chester Washington Golf
Course, 1930 West 120th Street, Los Angeles CA 90047.
Hotel accommodations are available at the Ramada Plaza 5250
West El Segundo Blvd, Hawthorn California 90250. The rate
is$75.00 per night and reservations may be made by calling
310-536-9800. For tickets and more information, please
call National Vice President and LA Chapter President Mike
Johnson at 909-815-1972.

Camp Lejeune Chapter #10: Will hold their Marine Corps
Birthday celebration on Saturday, November 10th at “The
Point” the clubhouse for Camp Lejeune. Event will start at
7:00 PM. For tickets and additional information call Nat
or Judy James at 910-358-1303.

Additionally, Camp Lejeune will hold their Annual Black and
White Ball on 19 January 2008. Tickets are $30.00 each.
Please call Judy or National Convention Director and Past
National President Nat James again for tickets and
information.

Camp Lejeune will hold its Heritage Ball on 23 February
2008 at The Point. Tickets are $20.00 each and may again
be purchased from Nat or Judy.

St Louis Chapter #13: will hold their annual “Chosen Few”
Banquet on Saturday, 9 February 2008 at the Airport
Marriott in St Louis. For tickets and more information,
please contact William E. Washington at 314-997-0374.

Mobile Alabama Chapter #33: Will hold their 2d Annual
Marine Corps Ball in honor of the 232nd Marine Corps
Birthday on Saturday,10 November beginning at 7:00 PM. Ball
will be held at the Radisson Admiral Semmes Hotel in the
Crystal Ballroom located at 251 Government Street, Mobile
Alabama. Tickets are $45.00 each and may be purchased from
Chapter President Rodney Lee at 251-476-5938 or
251-776-2424.

Chapters are reminded to contact me directly with the
details of your upcoming events. It’s never too early to
advertise your events for planning purposes.

Kudos:
To Ms. Sierra Morgan of Baltimore Maryland. Ms. Morgan was
the recipient of the Gunnery Sergeant Andrew Wiggins USMC
“Memorial Award” a $1000.00 scholarship for her college
education. Special thanks to President Emeritus Gene
Doughty who continues to serve as our Scholarship Director.
We are still in search of an individual to continue in
this role after Gene retires. Please contact me or the
Northern Regional Vice President, James Carr, if you are
interested or wish to nominate an individual for this
important appointed post.

Our National Vice President, Mike Johnson, for standing up
the Ways and Means Committee. The committee consist of;
Mr. Johnnie Henderson, Jacksonville Chapter President James
Tippins, Sergeants Major retired E.D. Gillis and Annanias
Rose, President Emeritus Gene Doughty and led by Mike
Johnson. This is but the first step in ensuring we have
individuals who will seek ways to raise monies for the
Association.

To Major General Cornell Wilson who recently became an
official life member of the Association! General Wilson
has been a supporter for many years by speaking at local
and national events across the country and having his
guests donate money to our scholarship endeavors in honor
of his 25th wedding anniversary. The General was also
featured this summer in Ebony Magazine with his son who is
a Marine Officer. Thanks General for your continued
support!!!

To Original Montford Pointer, John F. Gray, who is featured
in the much celebrated Ken Burns World War II Documentary
“THE WAR” currently showing on PBS. Mr Gray will be
honored this year at the 2007 Mobile Alabama Veterans
Parade on November 12th. Mr. Gray served for 50 years in
the Mobile County public schools. The Montford Point
Marines were mentioned many times during this documentary.
More information on Mr. Gray can be found on the flowing
link;
http://www.al.com/news/press-register/index.ssf?/base/news/119261279298310.xml&coll=3

Ken Burns Documentary also featured original Montford
Pointer Willie Rushton of Mobile, Alabama. For more
information about Mr. Rushton please visit the following
link: http://www.pbs.org/thewar/detail_5202.htm

To St Louis Chapter members; William E. “Bill” Washington,
John Tilghman and Al Ross who were featured in a very
extensive newspaper article in St Louis MO. These members
continue to work with local and National Museums to ensure
our story is being told. Mr. Washington often hosts media
personnel at his home to allow them to view the many
historical documents and pictures he owns. Mr. Washington
was also feature on KETC series Your Stories; St. Louis
Remembers World War II, and shared his experiences in the
war. Thank you all for continuing to carry the torch of
the Men of Montford Point!!!

To Original Montford Pointer and retired Sergeant Major
William “Movin” Vann and his wife Evangeline who continue
to give periods of instructions to the Staff Non
Commissioned Officers Academy at Camp Pendleton as well as
numerous interviews in the Southern California Area. There
are hundreds of SNCOs in our Corps that are getting the
history first-hand from this dynamic couple!

National Chaplain: Chapter Presidents and members are
reminded to encourage our elder members to prepare a bio
for the press and the funeral home. We often get last
minute requests from the family asking about their loved
one’s service dates, rank, etc… Please make sure that
up-to-date bio information is ready at the Chapter level.
Members are reminded to report the lost of members and
supporters immediately to our National Chaplin, Reverend
James Moore. Reverend Moore may be reached at 843-846-0881
or email at: james.moore@usmc.mil

TAPS: Many of you already know that the Association lost a
very special member in Sergeant Major retired Augustus
“Gus” Willis. Gus served in many capacities during his
many years with the Association including Chapter President
of the San Diego Chapter and most recently as our
Convention Delegate Chair. Gus was responsible to the
Association for ensuring that an accurate count of members
was done to issue the delegate votes whenever a vote was
needed, especially for our election of officers. Gus took
his responsibilities very seriously to make sure we were in
compliance with the National By-Laws. Many members of the
San Diego and Los Angeles Chapters attended the memorial
services for Gus.

Executive Council Members, please provide me
recommendations to fill Gus’ position as our Delegate
Chairperson as soon as possible.

Corrections/Additions: In addition to the National
Officers that were reelected at this year’s convention was
Charles Stallard who was reelected as our National
Treasurer. Charles was erroneously left off the list in
the last update.

As always, please continue to check our official website
for more information through the Association at
www.montfordpointmarines.com or www.mpma28.com
http://www.mpmalejeune10.org or http://www.mpmanyc.com or
www.montfordpointchicagochapter2.org

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

Semper Fidelis!

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

 JAMES E STEWART JR PRESIDENT

JOHN TILLMAN VICE PRESIDENT

Historical advisor Byron Stewart PhD

 

5708 CHRIS MAR AVE
CLINTON MARYLAND, 20735
240-535-5580
oklamarine@aol.com
 
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