1st MARINE DIVISION ASSOCIATION

DESERT CITIES MITCHELL PAIGE MOH CHAPTER

JUNE, 2010 NEWSLETTER
 
 
JUNE 17TH MEETING
Scheduled guest speaker is BGen. Stacy Clardy, USMC, Commanding Officer, 29 Palms.  He has served with the 1st Marine Division and looks forward to meeting “The Old Breed”
members at our next meeting.
 
We will meet at 1130 at The Desert Falls Country Club, Palm Desert.  Please make a reservation at (760) 901-5494.  We are expecting a big turnout, so those with reservations will be guaranteed seating for lunch.
 
WOMEN MARINES LUNCHEON
About 90 members, guests and Marines participated at the May 22nd luncheon to Honor Women Marines at the I W Club, Indian Wells.  Mary T. Roche, former Mayor of Indian Wells, was the Mistress of Ceremonies for this event.  Marilyn Paige was the guest speaker and generously displayed all of Colonel Paige’s medals including the Medal of Honor.  Both of these ladies did an excellent job!
 
Harrison Tanksley, SgtMajor for MCAGCC, 29 Palms also joined us.  James McCallum played the bag pipe, including the Marine Hymn. 
 
A lot of work went into the planning and execution of this luncheon.  We need to recognize Buddy Sklar, who co chaired the event with me;  George Stettler for handling the Fallen Warrior Presentation and setting up the table honoring fallen warriors;
Melanie Sanchez, Henry’s lovely wife, handled the invocation and the benediction.  My wife, Karen, for preparing all of the nice gifts for the Women Marines.  Linda and Charlie Garbarini for their usual support and help with table assignments, name tags, table decorations, flags and last minute details. I should also thank our (world traveling) president, Quint Villanueva, for what he did in helping with the invitations, mailing and table signs before he left town again.  And, we need to thank Mike Walker for making the bus arrangements at no cost to the chapter.  This really helped us control the costs.
 
LIVE FIRE EXERCISE
We were invited to observe a platoon size assault at 29 Palms on the 6th of May and had to report to 29 Palms at 0445 that morning.  I was pleased to see Quint, George Stettler, Henry Sanchez, Bob Ferguson & Charlie Garbarini show up at Costco at 0330 that morning ready to go. The trip was well worth it since we watched the assault supported with heavy machine guns, mortars and a new rocket.  Despite a 35 - 40 mph head wind, the mortars locked in on the target bunkers and showed how effective they were.
 
A special thanks to SgtMajor Lewis and L Col. Simmons for having us there!  Pictures are available on our web site.
 
THE PACIFIC                                                        Colonel Mike Walker, USMC (Ret.)
Marines, Know this is a controversial series. But it sure does a lot right.
 
Gee, seeing the file cabinets and the stamp pads, the greens and the khakis and the collar stays, felt I was a 0302 Lieutenant all over again.  Hearing “Attention on deck” and “slop chute” and “shipping over” brought forth memories.  Seeing the Q-Huts and the way GySgt Basilone folded and stowed away his cover in episode nine was spot on.
 
They got it right.  It also drove home two points.
 
Firstly, for all the s--- I get for being an officer, someday someone needs to capture how lonely it is to be a commanding officer, and especially a commanding officer in time of war.  There is something magical in being called “Skipper” as it represents the most difficult burden one will ever shoulder, the duty, honor and responsibility of leading Marines.
 
Secondly, and more importantly, it also makes one realize that no matter what medals you get, what medals you didn’t get, what you saw and what you didn’t see, the most important thing that will ever happen, whether you spend three months or thirty years in the Corps, is the honor and privilege of wearing the Eagle, Globe and Anchor, the accomplishment of earning the title of “United States Marine.”  Everything else is all “sea stories”.
 
MEMORIAL DAY OBSERVANCE
I hope everyone will make it a effort to show up at one of the four ceremonies scheduled on Monday, May 31st.  Most begin at 0900. Check with them or the Desert Sun to confirm times. 
 
During this time of war in Afghanistan, American Marines and soldiers are suffering causalities and remind us of all of those that gave their all in honor of our great country. Wear you chapter shirt and red Marine cover to let others know that you are a Marine.
 
7th MARINES - AFGHANISTAN
Regimental SgtMajor Mike Kufchak sent me an e-mail indicating how pleased the Marines were with the shipment of Solar Showers we sent them last month.  As the weather warms up they are being used now that the weather is warming up in Afghanistan.  The showers are being used at combat outposts where there are no sanitation facilities available.
 
He also expressed the need for Baby Wipes which are apparently in short supply over there.  So, we have been working on this need and have been in touch with the major manufacturers and looking for the best deal available.  We also received  a donation from Patagonia for several hundred pairs of men’s underwear which will be shipped directly to the 7th Marines in Afghanistan.
 
Sadly, the SgtMajor also informed me that he has lost nearly 40 men in Afghanistan.  He also said that the command will be returning to 29 Palms within 4 months.
 
PALM DESERT ELECTRIC GOLF CART PARADE
The next annual parade is scheduled for Sunday, October 31st.  We are going to enter a 8 passenger golf cart and ask our WW II Marines to ride along and be honored for their service.  We also want our members to walk along with this cart.  The route is only one mile long.
We will be talking more about this in the next few months.  Please mark your calendar to be there!
 
OLD MAGAZINES & BOOKS
Don’t forget to save them and bring them to the next meeting and give them to Frank “Doc” Gillette.  Doc does a terrific job in distributing them to the Marines and veterans hospitalized.  He has become the most reliable source for magazines. 
 
HISTORY LECTURES
Franz Jevne has patiently set this program up at Palm Desert High School and we finally did the first one on May 27th.  SgtMajor Ray Wilburn did the WW II segment on the Marines in the Pacific.  Pete
Van Vechten did the Korean War story.  Their presentations were made to 5 history classes at Palm Desert High School.  And, both of them did a great job. I was impressed with how interested the high school kids were in their presentations.
 
Thanks to Franz for initiating and overseeing this program.  And thanks to Ray and Pete for what they did to make it a success.  We will do it again and need more volunteers for the next school year.
 
 
GOD BLESS AMERICA.


SEMPER FIDELIS


Jim Sullivan, Editor