Montford Point Marine Association Inc. National Newsletter January/February 2009 “Preserving the Legacy”
Fellow members, supporters and friends,
I would like to first wish all of our members and supporters a very Happy 2009! Calendar year 2008 was again a very busy and productive year for our Association. Since our last update many chapters and individuals celebrated the 233rd Anniversary of our beloved Corps at MPMA Chapter events as well as traditional Marine Corps Balls. I attended the New York Chapter Ball which featured Major General Walker Gaskin (2008 MPMA Hall-of-Famer) as the guest of honor. Once again NY Chapter President and Northern Regional Vice President James Carr and his Chapter put on a first class event attended by over 500 members and supporters. It was particularly gratifying to see long time NY Chapter member Joe Davis at the event. Joe suffered a stroke last summer at appeared to be in very good physical shape at the event.
We now must look forward to the many Black History Month events planned at or near our local chapters. Please do all that you can to ensure our members or included or mentioned during these ceremonies. We also are looking forward to our 2009 Spring Council and Convention both will be held in Saint Louis with more details later in this update.
Please take a few moments to review this update and pass it fellow members and supporters that I may have missed.
National News: Many of us watched in amazement the inaugural events recently. Some members expressed concerned that the Tuskegee Airmen were invited to the ceremonies and the MPMA was not. The National Office sent letters to the transition team as well as calls and letters to local politicians without response. The National Office remains focused on bringing a Bill to Congress that will award a Congressional Gold Medal to our members and that is where I will continue to put my efforts.
Fall Council 2008: As required by our National by Laws the 2008 Fall Council were held telephonically on December 20th 2008. The majority of the National Executive Committee was on this call. I would like to thank all who participated despite some scheduling challenges. The final numbers from our past year will be presented at our Spring Council.
Spring Council 2009: will be held 23 thru 26 April 2009 at the Marriott St Louis Airport 10700 Pear Tree Lane St Louis, MO 63134. Please call 314-423-9700 to make your reservations soon.
Convention 2009: will be held at the same Marriott from 22 thru 26 July 2009. Please mark your calendars now. More information will be passed in our next update. Please make your reservations early for these events at: http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/stlap-st-louis-airport-marriott/
Regional News: Central Region: Meeting will be held in conjunction with their Annual Chosen Few Banquet in St Louis on Friday and Saturday, February 6th & 7th 2009 at the Saint Louis Airport Marriott Hotel, 10900 Pear Tree Lane, and St. Louis MO. Tickets for the banquet are $50.00 per person. For tickets and more information contact Central Region Vice President and St Louis Chapter President Tony Chestang at 314-438-1076, Bob Campbell at 314-973-5725 or John Tighman at 314-750-8356.
Southern Region: will hold their Regional Meeting at Henderson Hall, Arlington, VA on March 21st 2009. There will be a golf tournament on March 20th and a dinner on the 21st. Lodging will be available at the Quantico Crossroads Inn. Please contact Senior Regional Vice President James Averhart for more information at 540-288-6129.
NEW Chapter Forming! The Southern Region, in conjunction with the National Office, is in the initial planning stages of establishing a new chapter in the Tampa Bay, Florida area. Marine Clarence Gyden is leading the effort in Tampa. If you know of anyone in the Tampa area that would like to join in this effort please have them call Clarence at 813-952-7818. We have established a Charter date of 19 February to commemorate the Marines Landing on Iwo Jima in 1945.
Chapter Happenings: New York Metro: Held their Annual Marine Corps Birthday Celebration on November 9th 2008 at Antun’s Restaurant in Queens Village NY. MPMA Hall of Famer Major General Walter Gaskin was the guest speaker. As mention at the top of this update this was once again a superior event! The Chapter also hosted their Annual Toys for Tot’s Luncheon. This annual event gives thanks to support of the Chapter and makes donations to the Marine Reserves TT Program. This year they donated 200 toys!
Louisville, KY: Will hold their annual Covington-Hagan Scholarship Banquet on April 4th 2009 for tickets and more information call Chapter President and National Treasurer Charles Stallard at 502-231-0132 or 502-550-2423. November 13th Hall of Famers Thomas Cork and Charles Stallard received a plaque from the VA office and a proclamation from the office of Congressman John Yarmuth for their presentation of the documentary “Fighting for Freedom”. The Louisville Chapter was very active during the holiday season supporting the Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots and the Louisville Veteran’s Day parade.
Quantico Chapter #32 Held its elections on December 4th 2008 and below is a list of these officers: President: Nigel McKenzie, Vice President: Victor Eaves, Sergeant at Arms: Kenny Crutcher, Secretary: Diedra Ware, Treasurer: Preston Malone, Public Relations: Parissa Fetherson, Chaplain: Tashal Williams. Congratulations to these officers who will be instrumental in the planning and execution of our 2010 National Convention! Quantico was also responsible for decorating the Christmas Tree at the National Museum of the Marine Corps. Special thanks to Mr. Mooney Monday for giving us this opportunity!
DC Chapter #6: on January 8th 2008 DC-6 held Chapter elections and elected Major Jeffrey Brown as Chapter President and Long time MPMA member and multi former DC-6 Chapter Queen Lieutenant Colonel Patricia Johnson. Congratulations to both of these fine officers for their selection! We are all looking forward to DC-6 once again being a force in our Nation’s Capital, especially during these times! Special thanks to retired Past Chapter President Master Gunnery Sergeant USMC retired William Wilbur for his many years of leadership for DC-6!
Detroit Chapter #19: Chapter Secretary Robert Middleton and others were responsible for securing a $65,000.00 check from the Detroit based Chrysler Warren Plant for their Toys-for Tots drive. Mr. Middleton coordinates the Toys for Tots Campaign on behalf of the Marine Corps League, Montford Point Detachment #158. Congratulations all!!
Los Angles Chapter #8 members, of the Montford Point Marine Association were in attendance at the Veteran Day Celebration at Hollywood Park Casino, Inglewood California, On November 7, 2008. They where awarded Honorees and Awards for the service during WWII and being the first African Americans to join the United State Marines in 1942. The celebration was also a kick off of President-Elect Barack Obama Inauguration celebration, hosted by Black Diamond Enterprises & Associates Mrs. Deveaux.
National Awards: Each year Chapters have the opportunity to recognize those Chapter Members that go above and beyond their normal duties with Association Awards. These Awards are detailed in our National by Laws. Chapters are required to send these award recommendations to the National Award Chairman (Quantico Chapter Past President Kenny Crutcher) in time for our Spring Council. The Membership committee consists of Kenny as Chair, the National Vice President, The Regional Vice Presidents and at one Past National President. Their recommendations are sent to me for approval. The highest award that we can bestow on an individual is membership in the Montford Point Marine Association Hall of Fame. These award recommendations are the most scrutinized. The Nominee’s actions should rise head and shoulders above lower level awards and their actions should benefit the entire Association. Please ensure Hall of Fame recommendations are fully researched so that they may receive serious consideration. If there are any questions on Awards please contact Kenny Crutcher at 571-214-9653.
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. Our National Special Projects Officer George Herring is requiring that all chapters that are running a Queen properly fill out the requisite forms and submit the required documents for the Association to recognize that you are in fact running a Queen.
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 Saint Louis.
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 25th, 2009) to our National Convention. Alexandria may be contacted at: Alexandria Johnson Resolutions Chair MPMA 13 Freemont Turn Palm Coast, FL 32137-8416
KUDOS: On this update I would like to send kudos out to all the National Officers and members who are constantly feeding me information to pass on to members. We have all come to realize that open communication is the only way that we will continue to be a viable veteran’s organization. Please continue to keep both me and our National Vice President informed on events in your area.
Further and continued kudos to our National Web Master Gunnery Sergeant USMC retired Gilbert “T” Taylor who continues to update and reformat our website. Our website is now up to 25,000 “hits” and has been directly responsible for new members and a possible new chapter. Additionally both Maryland 28 under the leadership of Chapter President James Stewart and New York Metro under Chapter President James Carr also continue to keep their websites current. The web page address to these sites appears at the end of this update. Please visit these sites regularly and leave comments.
TAPS/Final Formation: James Wilson: an Original Montford Pointer of the Philadelphia Chapter passed on Friday November 14th 2008. Mr. Wilson was a staunch and well loved chapter member for many, many years. Walter Thompson: Original Montford Pointer and contributor to the first Montford Point documentary in the mid 1990’s passed recently. Walter was a very long time member of the Saint Louis Chapter and until recently a regular attendee at both the Spring Council and National Conventions. I will miss Walter regaling us with his colorful stories about Montford Point.
Samuel Campbell: A long time member and supporter of the Philadelphia Chapter died suddenly on New Years Eve 2008 in his home. Sam was 67 years old. The Philadelphia Chapter met at Sam’s home every month. Sam always had his basement expertly set up to conduct our meetings which usually ended in a meal that he prepared. Sam will be missed by all who knew himL Sam’s going home ceremony was in the same church that we said farewell to Captain Fred Branch 4 years ago and it was packed to the rafters with family and friends.
Mrs. Ruth Hamilton: Wife of original Montford Pointer and long time MPMA Hall of Famer and Chicago Chapter member Harry Hamilton recently passed away in Chicago. Mrs. Hamilton was also a founder and very long time member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Montford Point Marine Association.
James Oglethorpe Jackson: an original Montford Pointer died on Sunday December 7th 2008. Atlanta Chapter President Linda Sykes led a contingent of members in Lagrange, Georgia to pay final tribute to this American Pioneer and Georgia native. Richard “Dick” Woodard An Original Montford Pointer deceased October 2008 Services were conducted at Largo Community Church Mitchilville, Maryland 20721 Those wishing to extend condolences can do so via 301-218-5155 Ms. Perquita Woodard
Myron E. Ludvick an Original Montford Pointer who was a member of the New York Chapter. Myron passed away peacefully on July 6, 2008 in Florida. A memorial service was held July, 2008 at Baldauff Family Funeral Home 1233 Saxon Blvd, Orange City, FL 32763. Myron was survived by his wife and daughter. Cards can be sent to the family at: 895 Rayston St Deltona, FL 32725 C/O Ms. Danah L. Ludvick 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, Hall of Famer and Iwo Jima Survivor Navy Captain Thomas McPhatter is still undergoing life saving treatment at the Lemon Grove Care and Rehabilitation Center near San Diego. The Captain can be reached at 619-463-0294 ask for the staff to bring a portable phone to him. I spoke with this legend recently and he is in good spirits and loves to hear from friends and strangers alike. Please find a moment and check on him. Trust me; he’ll do the talking if he is having a good day.
Chapter Rosters: As we get closer to our 2009 Spring Council, 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!
3rd Black Marine Reunion: will be held 26-29 June 2009 at the Disney Resort in Orlando, Florida. The deadline to register is March 2, 2009. This group led by Robert “The Gator” Wallace (352-259-2435) 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. Or call Bill Woods at 949-364-4318 or Cliff Bowman at 252-633-5453.
Quantico Black History Month Association 2009 Black History Month Dinner: Saturday, 28 February 2009 from 6pm to 9pm. Social Hours from 5pm to 6pm at the Fredericksburg Expo & Conference Center in Fredericksburg, Virginia. The Fredericksburg Conference Center is located in the popular shopping area of Central Park (Exit 130B, Route 3 West off I-95). Our speaker for next year's dinner is Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL)! As usual, we anticipate the sales of tickets to go very quickly, as news of our dinner spread across the Northern Virginia and Maryland area. Last year's dinner hosted over 700 people to meet our guest speaker Mrs. Daphne Reid from the sitcom "The Fresh Prince of BelAir." Tickets are $55 dollars for adults and $25 dollars for children under 10 years old. Tickets went on sale Sunday, 2 November 2008 and are sold on a first come, first served bases. This year ticket will INCREASE in price by $5 dollars if you purchase your tickets AFTER 1 February 2009, so contact William "Bill" Jones US Marine Corps (retired) Chairman, Quantico BHM Committee 4121 Plank Road (Box 213) Fredericksburg, Virginia 22407 (540) 548-1203 or at work at 703-767-4295. For more information concerning the dinner please visit our website at: www.QuanticoBHMcommittee.com. Book Review: I had the pleasure to meet Colonel Gerald D. Curry USAF during the Military Expo in DC back in October. The Colonel has a very special book named “Striving for Perfection” about developing Professional Black Officers. I have read this book and it is a must read especially for both junior and senior military officers. To order this book visit; fectionacademy.com or www.currybrotherspublishing.com. Or call 719-466-7518.
Obama Memorabilia: Long time supporter and plaque and poster designer Dee Siffer has a website of quality Obama memorabilia at www.obamafineartprints.com Dee has designed plaques for many USMC General Officers to include our current Commandant James T. Conway.
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! 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