2008 Spring Council Our 2008 Spring Council was a great success. Houston Chapter President Leo Taylor and his crew worked hard that we could have productive meetings and an informative social gathering. On Thursday night we were treated to a great home cooked meal and a presentation by the National Buffalo Soldier Museum that had 2 performers in period Buffalo Soldier uniforms talk to each other about the great history of these African American Military Pioneers. Members were very impressed with the accommodations at the Hyatt Hotel. The Spring Council gives us the opportunity to work out any “kinks” before the National Convention and we still have a few to work out to include transportation info from the two airports that service the Houston area. The business presentations were extremely professionally presented. We also convened our awards committee to determine Association Awards. I’m proud to announce that the 2008 Class of the MPMA Hall-of-Fame will include; Lieutenant General Ronald Coleman, Major General Walter Gaskin, John Tilghman (St Louis Chapter), William E Washington Jr. (St Louis Chapter Posthumously) Augustus “Gus” Willis (San Diego Chapter Posthumously) National Treasurer Charles Stallard, Resolution Chair and past NY Chapter President Alexandria Johnson. Congratulations to these well deserved members!!!!!
Changes to the National By-laws: Changes to our National by Laws are done by resolution only. Request for changes should be in resolution format and submitted to the Chair of the Resolutions Committee, Alexandria Johnson at least 60 days prior (May 17th, 2008) to our National Convention. Alexandria may be contacted at: Alexandria Johnson Resolutions Chair MPMA 13 Freemont Turn Palm Coast, FL 32137-8416
MPMA Convention 2009: We received three bids for our 2009 Convention at the Spring Council from St Louis, New York and Quantico, Virginia. Chapters are requested to discuss these locations with your members and be prepared to vote on a site the very first day of our Convention in July. Thank you to the three chapters who presented these bids. We will hear bids for 2010 at our 2008 Convention in Houston.
National News: On April 11th I had the privilege to be the guest speaker at the 4th Annual Covington-Hagan Scholarship Banquet in Louisville, KY. This was my first visit to this Chapter and I was very impressed with the entire organization of this event. I was treated to a small tour of Louisville upon my arrival and the banquet was also very special. The Central Region Vice President, Tony Chestang, made the trip from St Louis and everything from the dinner to the dance was very well planned and executed. Thank you to Louisville Chapter President Charles Stallard for his hard work in putting this event on after it was snowed out in March.
Regional News: On March 28th I traveled to Jacksonville, North Carolina for the Southern Region Meeting. This meeting was planned and organized by Southern Region VP James Averhart and his team. In attendance were Chapter Presidents from; Camp Lejeune, Atlanta, Quantico, Warner Robbins/Macon, Cherry Point, Beaufort and Tidewater. James Averhart chaired this very informative meeting which included a tour of the museum and our attendance at the funeral service for prominent Camp Lejeune Chapter member, John McCoy, who passed on Easter Sunday. We concluded the weekend meeting with a social dinner at The Point, the clubhouse for Camp Lejeune Chapter #10. We were entertained with a dramatic oral presentation by 13 year old Ashanti Curry, whose presentation depicted her as “Montford Point” In her “I am Montford Point” presentation she recalled how Montford Point was conceived and described the conditions and the men who went through these hallowed grounds. We also received a very motivating speech by Sergeant Major Adam Terry. Sergeant Major Terry captured the attention of all present with his motivating and very accurate account of the Montford Point experience and how it allowed him to achieve the successes that he has. There was also a moment when designated members in the audience stood up to proclaim “who am I” as they briefly gave biographies of well know Montford Pointers and officers stationed at Camp Montford Point. National Vice President Mike Johnson also made the trip for this historical region meeting. I had Edgar R Huff Jr. and his lovely wife, Brenda, as my special guests and they said this is one of the very best events for Montford Point that they have attended. Thank you James and your entire crew for putting on this much needed region meeting!
Chapter Happenings: Indianapolis: Will hold their Annual Luncheon on Saturday, 17 May at the American Legion on Martin Luther King Drive. Tickets for this event are $8.00 and may be purchased from the Chapter President, Sergeant Major Johnny Washington. The Sergeant Major can be reached at 317-549-2849.
Maryland Chapter 17 was honored to have had our national president, Joe Geeter to participate in an affair at Morgan State University honoring the original Montford Point Marines and our past national president, Jerome Milburn.
Chapter president William Foreman presented a $1000.00 scholarship from the chapter to Ransom X. Livingston, who is a student at the University of Maryland. His father served in our Marine Corps and is a member of Chapter 17.
We would also like to acknowledge past national president Gene Doughty for the vital role he played in assisting Teria Morgan, a college student whose name was submitted by our chapter for a scholarship foundation. She was able to complete her bachelor’s degree.
Los Angles Chapter #8 Members attended the Awards Day for the JROTC students at Fontana High School where cadets received various awards for leadership and community service.
Queens Contest: By now many chapters are in full swing with the raffle ticket sales for our National Fundraiser. For those who are not familiar, the Queens Contest is our only National Fundraiser to help with our scholarship efforts and operational costs. Tickets sell for $1.00 each or $25.00 for a book. Chapters are required to sell a minimum of $500.00 worth of tickets to remain in good financial standing with the Association. The Chapter Queen that sells the most tickets is crowned National Queen at our convention. In speaking to our National Special Projects Officer George Herring, he reports that the highest gross amount we have ever raised was 34K. I have established a goal of 40K for this year.
There is no doubt we can reach this goal. Many of you have asked me over the past year what you can do to assist in our efforts to gain national attention for the Montford Pointers. My answer is to buy raffle tickets!!! These tickets sales also offset some of the travel I must do to ensure America finally hears the complete story about Montford Point. I cannot communicate this story to the masses by sitting in my home in Pennsylvania. I must travel to these events to get that word out. In the past I have offered to fill out the stubs for those who purchase tickets from me. I first want those chapter members to purchase tickets from your chapter representative, however if you are a member at large or a supporter, I’m asking you to write a check for $50.00 or $100.00 to the Association for Queens Tickets and I will personally make up address labels for you. Again this is what you can do to help the Association offset the many events that I must attend to keep our momentum going. Please take time and write your check today! George is once again asking that chapters submit their monthly reports and to send him your reports and checks by 1 July. Chapter representatives are requested to bring their final report and all stubs to the National Convention in Houston.
KUDOS: SPECIAL THANKS TO FORMER MARINE AARON BRECKINRIDGE FOR HIS GENEROUS CHECK OF $500.00 TOWARDS OUR QUEENS RAFFLE!!! AARON IS SERVING AS A CONTRACTOR IN IRAQ AND HAS BEEN A SUPPORTER OF MPMA AND A FRIEND FOR 10 YEARS. THANKS AARON FOR YOUR SUPPORT!!!
To Lieutenant Colonel Dawn Harrison, who retired on 1 May 2008 aboard Quantico after more than 20 years of superior service. Lieutenant Colonel Harrison has been a strong supporter of the Association for years and continues to look for opportunities to showcase our members. Lieutenant Colonel Harrison will remain the Northern VA area. Good luck in retirement m’am!!!!!
To Quantico Chapter President Kenneth Crutcher who has accepted the appointment of Awards Chairman effective 21 July 2008. Nathaniel Hosea, our Western Region Vice President and Original Montford Pointer, served in this capacity for the past 10 years and upon observing Kenny at the Spring Council felt now was the time for him to step aside and let the next generation take over. Thank you Nate for your years of ensuring that our members and supporters were recognized for their contributions to the Association!
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sick in Quarters: I know it was widely reported that Bob Mason and Percy Corke, both Northern California residents, had fell ill. I have recently spoken to both Bob and Percy and I’m happy to report that both appear to be on the road to recovery! Special thanks to 1stSgt Jack McDowell who has kept us informed of their conditions!
Chapter Rosters: As we get closer to our National Convention, it is extremely important that our National Recording Secretary, Regina Lawrence, has up-to-date rosters of all your members who are in good standing (read: paid up members) within the Association. Chapter Presidents, please ensure this happens at your earliest. Out of date rosters costs us in postage and prevents our newest members from receiving updates such as this one. Please get these rosters in NOW!
Membership Cards: We should be pretty caught up with membership cards. Chapter Presidents are requested to contact our National Recording Secretary directly to resolve any membership card issues. Chapter Presidents please email Regina at email@example.com.
Diversity Military Expo: The first ever Diversity Military Expo will take place in the Washington DC area 3-4 October 2008. This event was conceived and planned by former Navy Commander Gregory Black, who runs the www.blackmilitaryworld.com website. Please visit this site for more info; http://www.diversitymilitaryworldexpo.org/index.html
This expo will feature the leading African American Military Organizations in the United States to include the Tuskegee Airmen, the Buffalo Soldiers and of course the MONTFORD POINT MARINES! I have been honored to be named to the Board of Advisors for this event. Please check out all the advisors at: http://www.diversitymilitaryworldexpo.org/board%20page.html We are finally getting our just due recognition with the elite African American Military Organizations and I am extremely grateful to Commander Black for ensuring that we were included! More detailed information will be provided on this later.
3rd Black Marine Reunion: will be held 26-29 June 2009 at the Disney Resort in Orlando, Florida. This group, led by Robert “The Gator” Wallace has had two very successful reunions in 2005 &2007. During their reunion in 2007 a CBS news crew was there and filmed a very informative piece that was aired on CBS Sunday Morning to an audience of millions! This clip may be viewed on our website. The 3rd Black Marine Reunion recently launched their website at: www.blackmarinereunion.com. Tuskegee Airmen National Reunion; will be held in Philadelphia 17-20 July. For more details please visit their website at http://www.tuskegeeairmen.org/Home.html
ACES Museum honoring Black and minority veterans of World War II and their families; The Philadelphia Vice President Charles Clarke and I met members of this museum staff at the Black Military Expo in Philadelphia in February 2008. Please visit their website for information; http://www.acesmuseum.org/main.html?src=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.acesmuseum.org%2Findex2.html We hope one day to have a Montford Point display there.
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!
Joseph H. Geeter III Master Gunnery Sergeant (retired) National President Montford Point Marine Association Inc. 27 Red Tail Court Limerick, PA 19468 firstname.lastname@example.org 610-495-3619