Montford Point Marine Association Inc. National Newsletter
Special BLACK HISTORY MONTH February 2008 Edition
“Preserving the Legacy”
Fellow members, supporters and friends,
With so many events in February and the high demand for the Original Montford Pointers, I felt the necessity to have another update go out to the masses.
The first note is to encourage members and supporters to check our official national website regularly. Our webmaster, Master Gunnery Sergeant Gilbert Taylor is literally updating this site with new information daily. The site address is; www.montfordpointmarines.com. We are attempting to affix rank or title to all the members listed in our hall-of-fame page. If you see a name and are positive of the rank, please notify MGySgt Taylor and he will update.
I know many of you have heard about the two small planes that collided over the skies in Southern California recently. One of the occupants of one of the planes was the son of retire Marine Colonel Clayton Johnson. Colonel Johnson’s last duty station was the Equal Opportunity Advisor to the Commandant at Quantico.
Sadly we also lost two Original Montford Pointers recently, Bernard Potts from Chicago and Hubbie James from the New York Chapter. Both of these pioneers were mainstays in their respective chapters for many, many years. Mr. James played in the Band as a trumpeter and his late son was the infamous “Karate Joe” (Steve James) in many of the so-called black exploitation films of the 70s. They will both be missed sorely.
Additionally, our National Parliamentarian, Aaron German, lost both his Mother (Fannie) and Father recently. They were both in a nursing home and died within days of each other with his Mom going first. They were together over 60 years! Aaron’s dad (Willie Guy) was a very proud Montford Pointer. Notes of condolence may be sent to the family at 1894 Olive Branch Road, Mounds, IL. 62964
MLK Day Events
Los Angeles Chapter #8: on 13 January 2008 members participated in the Dr. Martin Luther King celebration at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood California. Also LA members served as Grand Marshals with the Buffalo Soldiers in the Inglewood California Dr. Martin Luther King Parade.
Camp Lejeune Chapter #10 members served as the parade Grand Marshall at the Wilmington NC Dr Martin Luther King Day Parade on 21 January 2008. Past National President Nathaniel James led a contingent of original Montford Pointers for this great honor.
Also, Camp Lejeune Chapter #10’s 2008 Black and White Ball was a huge success! Marine Corps Base Commander and MPMA life member Colonel Adele Hodges was the guest speaker. Colonel Hodges held her Change of Command on 28 January and is headed to the Quantico/DC area for her next assignment. We would like to thank Colonel Hodges for being a tremendous host for our 2006 Spring Council, National Convention and Documentary Premier. The Colonel and her staff have been instrumental in many Chapter events during her reign as Base Commander and the Association if forever grateful for her initiatives and support! Good luck and god speed in your next assignment m’am!
National: I had the honor and pleasure to be the guest speaker at the Tri Command (MCAS Beaufort, MCRD Parris Island and the Beaufort Naval Hospital) Dr, Martin Luther King Commemorative Service on 15 January 2008 at the recruit chapel aboard MCRD Parris Island. I’d like to thank Cynthia Golson Deputy EEO Officer for the Tri Command for the invitation to speak. Among the members in the audience were two original Montford Pointers, 2007 Hall of Fame inductee retired Staff Sergeant LaSalle Vaughn and retired Master Sergeant Fred Drake. Also, our National Chaplain, Rev James Moore, Past National Vice President and Beaufort Chapter President Elijah Abram were in attendance. Additionally, Past National Public Relations Officer and our current National Webmaster Master Gunnery Sergeant (MGySgt) Gilbert Taylor introduced me and retired MGySgt Tyrone Jackson and member Stanley White were also in attendance. I spent the last 6 years of my career in Beaufort so it was like a homecoming for me. http://www.islandpacket.com/news/local/story/132444.html Thank you all for making my short visit to the Low Country memorable!!!!
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. Our National Vice President, Mike Johnson and I will be at this event.
5th Annual Black History Month Showcase: This event will take place on Saturday and Sunday February 16th and 17th at the Philadelphia Convention Center and features a Salute to the History of Blacks in the Military. Many members and supporters called me to tell me that Montford Point was not included in this event. I received a call from Original Montford Pointer Rudy Carter in Virginia and I immediately sent off an email to the organizer, Mr. Everette Staten, who called me and detailed that he did not know of our existence but was very accommodating in ensuring we will have a table at this event. Event is free to the public and they expect upwards of 15,000 folks to pass through the displays. I plan on being at the Convention center on Saturday the 16th and have members of the Philadelphia Chapter man the booth on Sunday the 17th. For more information please visit their website at www.blackhistoryshowcase.com.
The National African American Patriots Consortium Inc and the National Association for Black Veterans Inc. presents The Annual Buffalo Soldiers Memorial Banquet on Sunday February 17th 2008 from 4:30- 7:00 PM at Morgan State University Student Center near Baltimore, Maryland. These groups plan on honoring past Montford Point Marine Association National President Jerome Milburn at this Banquet that I also plan to attend.
Mr. Milburn is also the Chairman Emeritus of the African American Patriots Consortium, Inc (AAPC).Tickets for this event are $45.00 each and I have nine tickets left for those interesting in attending. Please contact me directly with your ticket request at 610-495-3619.
Beaufort Chapter #9: will present our Documentary film aboard Parris Island SC on Wednesday, 20 February 2008 at 2:00 PM at the Depot Theatre. For additional information, please contact Master Gunnery Sergeant Gilbert Taylor at 843-770-5857.
Los Angeles, Chapter #8 will participate in the Black History parade as Grand Marshals in Palm Springs, California.
Camp Lejeune Chapter #10 will hold its Heritage Ball on 23 February 2008 at The Point. There will be a hospitality hour beginning at 6:00 PM and Dinner will begin at 7:00 PM. The guest speaker is Dr. Gina Francis, Veterinary Medical Officer, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Tickets are $20.00 each and may again be purchased from Cleophus Burks at 910-346-3200 or 910-381-3552
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.
Indiana University as part of their Black History Month Celebration will show our Documentary Film Marines of Montford Point: Fighting for Freedom non Sunday, February 24th at 1:00 PM. Location is still TBD. Please visit their site at http://www.indiana.edu/~bhm/events.html
Detroit Chapter: will hold their Annual Black History Banquet on Sunday, 24 February 2008 beginning with a social hour at 6:00 PM, Dinner at 7:00 PM and the program will begin at 8:00 PM. Event will be held at Karas House 23632 Plymouth Road Redford, Michigan. Lieutenant General Ronald Coleman (Life member MPMA) will be the guest speaker. Tickets are $30.00 each. For tickets and more information please call 313-300-0165.
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. I will attend this event.
MPMA Central Region Meeting; Will be held in Detroit Michigan from 14-16 March 2008 at the St Regis Hotel at 3071 West Grand Blvd, Detroit MI phone: 313-873-300. Rates are $99.00 per night.For more additional information please call the Central Regional Vice President, Anthony Chestang at 314-524-7420.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 Colonel Ron Culp whose book The First Black United States Marines received a very favorable review in this month’s Leatherneck Magazine (page 48). The Colonel captured the “war years” of the Montford Pointers through extensive research and interviews. This book may be purchased through the Marine Corps Association. http://www.mca-marines.org.
To our friends and the advertising agency UniWorld Group http://www.uniworldgroup.com/home.htmlLee Triggs and Sharon Lane, who allowed us to use their ad that has appeared in Ebony, Jet, Black Enterprise and a host of other magazines, on our National Website. Mr. Earl G. Graves Sr., the founder and owner of Black Enterprise, is a great supporter of the Montford Pointers. http://www.blackenterprise.com/AboutUsOpen.asp?Source=AboutBE/gravesbio.htmMost folks do not know that Mr. Graves served a tour in the Army as a Captain in the Green Berets.Mr. Graves was the Marine Corps honored guest at the 1999 NAACP Image Awards in NY City.Please support these vital publications with your purchase and subscriptions.
To Colonel select Stephanie C. Smith for her selection to full Colonel. Lieutenant Colonel Smith serves as the Staff Judge Advocate at MarForCom on Norfolk, VA. When she puts on her full eagles she will be the fourth African American Female Marine to do so. The Colonel’s Dad, Ernest A. Smith, is an original Montford Pointer who resides in Goshen, NY. While viewing our newly designed website the Colonel actually ran across a picture of her dad from Montford Point! The Colonel has 7 siblings and they all agree that this is their dad in the picture. Congratulations Colonel and we are looking forward to seeing you at a Montford Point event in the near future!!!Special thanks to long time member Lieutenant Colonel Pat Johnson for bring this to my attention! 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.
President Emeritus of the Ladies Auxillary Sylvia Saxton is recovering from a medical setback and is doing just fine according to her husband, Past National President Samuel F. Saxton. Sam appreciates all the calls of concern for Sylvia. Sam was recently listed in Wikipedia for his life long work in the Criminal Justice System. Sam was listed with heavy hitters like Senior US Senator from Delaware Joseph Biden among others. You can view this list at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_in_criminal_justice_in_the_United_States
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