Montford Point Marine Association Inc. National Newsletter January/February 2008 “Preserving the Legacy”
Fellow members, supporters and friends, I hope that each and every one of you had a joyous Christmas holiday and I wish you all a very prosperous 2008.
We received some very sad news right before Christmas that original Montford Pointer William “Bill” Washington of St Louis had passed away. Bill was extremely active in the St Louis Chapter and the general Missouri area. Bill often spoke at events telling the story of Montford Point. He was the guest speaker at the Marine Ball at Fort Leonard Wood a few weeks back and Marines are still talking about the impression he made on those in attendance. Bill also assisted many journalist tell the story of Montford Point, often entertaining them in his home where he amassed an impressive collection of Marine and Montford Point Memorabilia. I had the pleasure to speak with Bill a few days before his death and he was in tremendous spirits helping to finalize the details for the St Louis Chapter Chosen Few Banquet in February. Central Regional Vice President Anthony (Tony) Chestang and a host of other represented the Association at Bill’s homegoing ceremony on December 23rd. Mr. Washington will be missed by all of us. I have attached a link to our website that covers an on camera interview that Mr. Washington did earlier this year. Please take a few moments and watch this. http://www.ketc.org/yourstories/livingstlouis_montfordpointmarines.asp
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.
Awards: Nominations for Association Awards are due no later than the first day of our Spring Council (18 April 2008). Please refer to our by-laws for the details of these awards. As always, our Awards Committee Chair and Western Regional Vice President, Nathaniel Hosea, will send packages to Chapter Presidents in late January or early February detailing these awards. Award recommendations can come from any member but we prefer to receive them from Chapter Presidents or Regional Vice Presidents. There will be example Award Submissions for the Hall-of-Fame in this year’s package. Those members who are considered but not selected for the Hall of Fame will automatically be considered for another award. Our Award Committee consists of the Chair, National Vice President, Regional Vice Presidents and one Past National President as an advisor. For more information about awards, please contact Nathaniel Hosea at 714-537-3112.
Queens Tickets: Have been sent to the Chapter Presidents. I say it every year but this is our only National Fundraising event which almost in itself generates the cash we need to operate as an Association and provide the revenue needed for our National Scholarship endeavors. Please take advantage of this from a local aspect as well. If Chapters run a queen to sell tickets they are awarded a 40% rebate once they reach the minimum goal of $500.00. This can bring significant money not only to National but to the local chapters. Last year’s National Queen Joneita Carroll from Camp Lejeune Chapter #10 raised over $10,000.00 in which over $4,000.00 stayed at the chapter level. If Chapters need additional tickets they may contact National Special Projects Officer George Herring at 619-266-8180.
Documentary Airing “Marines of Montford Point-Fighting for Freedom”: We have received nothing but positive feedback on the airing of our documentary movie during November. There will probably be additional airings during the month of February for Black History Month. While searching the net I discovered an airing in Detroit for Thursday, February 21st from 10-11 PM EST. Also, it will be broadcasted in the Utah area on station KUEN Saturday, January 19th @ 9:00 PM and Monday January 21st @ 11:00PM. Please check your individual PBS Stations for airing times and pass to other members and to me. 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. This is an AOL link that might assist in finding broadcast times in your area; http://television.aol.com/show/the-marines-of-montford-point-fighting-for-freedom/1319097/episodes
Books: Please check out the following link for information about another book currently on the Market about the Montford Pointers. I have mentioned Colonel Culp’s book in previous updates. The Colonel recently did a book signing in Jacksonville, North Carolina
EVENTS MPMA Fall Council 2007: As required by our by-laws, the National Executive Committee held our 2007 Fall Council on Saturday 15 December. This council was done telephonically and the main purpose was to close the books on our Association year and to gather the final reports from those National Officers who deal with funds.
Special Projects Officer George Herring suggested and the Council agreed to have our National Vice President Mike Johnson gather information from Chapters of their Scholarship initiatives so that when Mike, as Chairmen of our Ways and Means Committee, approaches Corporations for donations, he can show what the Association is doing as a whole and not just the National Scholarship information. I ask chapters to please be responsive to Mike when he sends a form to you to detail what you award in scholarship donations. Special thanks to our National Recording Secretary Regina Lawrence who organized this cost effective way to have our Fall Council.
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.email@example.com or phone at 703-767-3364. 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!!! We will have a display table at this event and I hope that members from the Quantico and DC-6 Chapter will join me at this event.
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. Houston Chapter President Leo Taylor is our main point of contact for both the Spring Council and the Convention. Leo may be reached at 713-455-4511.
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: I had the pleasure to attend two chapter balls this year, the first in New York on November 12th and the second event was in Chicago on November 17th. Both events were well planned and attended with over 500 attendees at Anton’s in Queens for the NY Ball. New York has held their ball at Anton’s Restaurant in Queen’s Village for many years and they have a terrific rapport with the management. One of the highlights of the dinner/program was the dessert presentation were the servers rolled the dessert trays out to music and pyrotechnics.
This made for a spectacular conclusion for a very enjoyable evening. Special thanks to Northern Regional Vice President and NY Chapter President James Carr and his bride Vicky, who made me feel right at home throughout the evening.
Needles to say I received the same treatment at the Chicago event. After many years of trying, I finally made it to my hometown for a Montford Point event. Chapter President Norman Payne and his entire ball committee made this too a very enjoyable evening. The guest of honor was Navy Captain Annie B. Andrews who serves as the Commanding Officer of the Naval Training Command at Great Lakes Illinois. Captain Andrews gave a very heart filled speech about the pioneering efforts of the Montford Pointers and her awesome responsibility of commanding the only US Navy recruit training base in the country. Captain Andrews presented command coins to the original Montford Pointers in attendance. Besides a good showing of loyal Chicago members, Central Region Vice President Anthony Chestang and National Treasurer & Louisville Chapter President Charles Stallard were in attendance with their wives.
My very special thanks to all who were involved in these two super events!!!!!!
Camp Lejeune Chapter #10: Will hold their Annual Black and White Ball on 19 January 2008. Event will be held at The Point at 148 Bryn Marr Road, Jacksonville, NC and begin with a social hour at 6:00 PM. Colonel Adele Hodges, Commanding Officer of MCB Camp Lejeune will be the guest speaker. Colonel Hodges is the first woman to command Camp Lejeune and is a life member of the Association. Tickets are $30.00 each. For tickets and additional information call Nat or Judy James at 910-358-1303.
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 Central Regional Vice President Anthony Chestang at 314-524-7420.
Louisville Chapter #22 is hosting the 4th Annual Covington-Hagan Scholarship Banquet on Saturday, March 8th. The guest speaker is Major General James L. Williams, USMC, Commanding General, 4th Marine Division. Ticket price is $50.00 per person. Point of contact for tickets and additional information is Chapter President Charles Stallard at 502-231-0132 (H) 502-550-2423 (C) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 Master Gunnery Sergeant and past National Public Relations Officer, Gilbert Taylor, for his role in getting our national website back up and running. Our website at; www.montfordpointmarines.com has a completely new look and is filled with information and links to stories about the Montford Pointers. Please pass this link to folks in your address book that may have an interest in Montford Point. The Master Gunny is set to retire later this year and has a very busy photo business he would like to continue once retired. Here is the link to his site; http://lgcustomgraphics.spaces.live.com/default.aspx?wa=wsignin1.0 Master Gunny has provided the group shots for our past two conventions that have come out perfect. Thanks “T” for staying all over the website the past few months!!!
To National Treasurer and Louisville Chapter President Charles Stallard, who was featured in a very detailed article in the Courier Journal in November. Charles detailed his experiences in Vietnam and his life. There was a color picture that accompanied this article with Charles in his Montford Point Uniform. Charles was also responsible with making contact with the family of Donald Walker, an African American Marine whose remains were recently identified from the Korean War. PFC Walker was killed in the Chosen Reservoir battle. Thank you Charles for continuing to be a role model to the Community as well as to your fellow Association members!!!!
To Major Rhonda C. Martin. Major Martin is the General Aide for Lieutenant General Ronald Coleman and was recently selected for top level school (Command and Staff College). Major Martin will start school approximately 28 July. Major Martin has been the singular point of contact for arranging to have General Coleman available for many of our events over the past couple of years and we wish her success in school!
To Colonel select Robert C. Clements for his selection to full Colonel. Lieutenant Colonel Clements serves as the Chapter President for the National Naval Officer Association for Quantico. Lieutenant Colonel Clements and his group has partnered with our Quantico chapter for special events, community service projects and networking. Colonel Clements is scheduled to pin on his eagles in April at ceremonies in Iraq. He is hoping that Association life member Major General Walter Gaskin will do the honors. Congratulations Colonel!!!
To Gunnery Sergeant retired Linda Sykes, a former recruiter, recruiter NCOIC and recruiter instructor and her husband Master Sergeant retired Glenn Sykes for their continuing efforts to reestablish the Atlanta Chapter. If there are individuals in the Atlanta area that would like to assist in this effort, please call either Linda or Glenn at 770-425-5160.
To active duty Gunnery Sergeant Tammy Williamson, who is currently serving as a recruiter in the Raleigh area and is working to establish a chapter in the Raleigh/Durham area. If there are individuals in that area who would like to assist or join this potential chapter please contact Gunny Williamson at 804-986-9730. Thanks to all three of these dynamic Marines for their efforts to help our Association grow stronger!!!
To members Annie Grimes, Leo Taylor and Mr. Louis Massengale who continue to provide me with first class stamps from time to time that allows me to keep my reimbursable for postage manageable. Every little stamp helps. Thank you all for this continued support!!!!!
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: email@example.com
Sick in Quarters: Original Montford Pointer and retired Navy Captain Thomas McPhatter has been in a nursing home for the past few months in San Diego. Captain McPhatter served on Iwo Jima with the 8th Ammo Company and upon his release from the Marines after WWII attended theology school and was commission in the Navy in the Chaplin’s Corps. Captain McPhatter spent a career in the US Navy administering to the spiritual needs of thousands of servicemen and women throughout the world including a tour in Vietnam. Capt McPhatter was and is a huge proponent of civilian rights, often putting his career on the line for military individuals. I’ve known “Capt Mc” for 17 years and he continues to be both a spiritual and Association advisor of mine. Capt Mc can receive phone calls at 619-456-2014. He enjoys hearing from friends and supporters and complete strangers so please take a minute to call him and thank him for his commitment to us.
Delegate Chairperson: We are still in search of replacements for both Gus Willis’ position as Chair of the Convention Delegate Committee. Nominations can come from Chapter Presidents and members. The Delegate Chair is the objective third party that works with the National Financial Secretary and Chapter Presidents to ensure we have an accurate accounting of members for voting purposes. This is an important appointed position that does not require a lot of time but we cannot vote on issues or in elections without their assistance. Nominees must only be a member in good standing and have the desire to accept this appointment. Please send recommendations to either me or our National Vice President, Mike Johnson.
Scholarship Director: Past National President and current Scholarship Director, Gene Doughty, has announced that he will step down from this position at the end of his current term. We are actively seeking nominations for this position. There is no requirement for this person to have advance knowledge of scholarship experience, just good leadership skills. Gene has served us well in this position for many years and he is ready to turn this over to a new leader. Members can nominate others or themselves. Please let me or Northern Region Vice President James Carr know of interested individuals immediately. For those Chapter Presidents in need of scholarship applications please contact Gene very soon. The deadline for submission is approximately 15 April 2007. Gene may be reached at 718-882-2523.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 610-495-3619