1st MARINE DIVISION ASSOCIATION

DESERT CITIES MITCHELL PAIGE MOH CHAPTER

JUNE, 2011 NEWSLETTER

TUN TAVERN TEAM

Wes Ahlgren Mac Dube Dean Hunter Bob Shepard
Mike Bales David Franklin Dick Partee George Stettler
Carl Brooks Charlie Garbarini Henry Sanchez Jim Sullivan
Harry Covert George Hatzidakis Ray Schum Quint Villanueva
Michael Walker      

Please to see that we already have 17 members on board.  If you would like to join, we are asking for a minimum annual donation of $100.00.
 
JUNE 16TH MEETING
Please make your reservation now to attend this meeting, 1130 at the Desert Falls Country Club.
 
The Guest of Honor will be Colonel Austin Renforth, Commanding Officer, 7th Marine Regiment.  Prior to this command he was Chief of Staff of the 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton. The Colonel will talk to us about the 7th Marines training and deployment this year.  He also will install the new officers and directors.
 
JUNE 17TH WOUNDED WARRIORS BBQ, 29 PALMS
We are heading back for another barbecue for our Marines on Friday, June 17th at the Wounded Warriors Detachment Barracks, 29 Palms.  We will have an opportunity to meet their new commanding officer, LCol Ted Wong who will be our guest of honor and speaker at the July 21st meeting.
 
For those that missed the first one this will be your opportunity to join in on the camaraderie that we enjoyed with these Marines on April 8th.
 
We are asking for a $25 donation which should cover the costs for the steaks and the side dishes and beverages that we will purchase and take up there.  We will need a couple of volunteers to handle the chef duties on the barbecue grills that they will provide for us.  The rest of us will socialize with the Wounded Warriors since they are going through a tough time as they recover and prepare to be discharged from the Marines Corps.  We learned, last time, that they truly appreciated our one on one conversations and the interest that we showed them as Marines.
 
Please RSVP at (760) 901-5494 and let us know that you are going.  We will work out car pooling arrangements beforehand.  This barbecue is limited to members only, no spouses or guests.
 
TAPS
One of our beloved members, a WW II Marine, passed away on Monday, May 16th at 92 years old.  George Hatzidakis was a regular at our meetings and was always one of the generous members when donations were needed.  We enjoyed his stories and his war and life experiences and will miss him.  George’s funeral services were held at in Los Angeles.  We called Dale Turner at the L A County Chapter so that he could pass the word to George’s friends there.
 
After the October 31st Palm Desert Golf Cart Parade, Karen and I invited everyone to stop by for a post parade reception.  George & Virginia came broughgt  us a bottle of a Greek liquor called MASTIKHA which we proudly displayed on our bar.  After hearing the news from his daughter, we opened the bottle and had a toast and asked God to Bless George Hatzidakis.  The next day, I took the bottle to our May 19th meeting and our members stood and toasted a George. The meeting was dedicated to George.
 
I informed LCol John Reed of George’s death and he responded from “somewhere in the Pacific” that he had offered a prayer to George.  They had a special bond since meeting George in March, 2009 at a 2/7 live fire exercise at 29 Palms.  Both have a framed photograph of themselves together there.
 
LUNCHEON TO HONOR WOMEN MARINES
There were 112 members, guests and Marines at this luncheon at the  I W Club.  Mary T. Roche was the Mistress of Ceremonies and did another outstanding job. The Guest of Honor and Speaker was LtCol Alison Clardy, USMCR, (Ret.)  She talked about the history of women in the Marine Corps and their current role today in the modern Corps.
 
Thanks again to the great support we had from Carl Brooks, Dick Partee and Buddy Sklar with some very nice raffle prizes.  It was great to see a couple of the women Marines win!  We also appreciated Charlie Garbarini, Henry Sanchez, Bob Shepard and George Stettler for  purchasing full tables for their guests and women Marines.
 
Thanks to Rev Melanie Sanchez for the Invocation and Benediction, George Stettler for his presentation on the Fallen Warrior Table, Charlie Garbarini and Karen Sullivan for selling raffle tickets and Col Mike Walker for arranging the bus transportation for the women Marines at no cost to the Chapter.
 
WE NEED YOUR HELP
The 3 /4 recently deployed to Afghanistan from 29 Palms. The are part of the 7th Marine Reinforced Regiment.  Last week, I saw Col Randy Newman, former CO of the Regiment.  He had just returned from a two month tour of Afghanistan to help with the transfer of the Division Command from the 1st MarDiv to the 2nd Mar Div.  I asked him how the 3 / 4 were doing and learned that they are in the fight and have experienced casualties in the two months they have been in deployed.
 
I contacted the 3 / 4 and asked what we can do to help support them.  I learned that there are two major needs:   Socks and Baby Wipes.  Socks should be mid calf high,  cotton and can be white.  We should gather all the donations and pack them up and ship them over to the 3 / 4.  We know how to ship them, so please get involved and bring Socks and Baby Wipes to our next meeting on June 16thso Dick Partee and I can haul them to 29 Palms and ship them soon afterwards.  If you can’t make the meeting, then plan to drop them off at my house:  73315 Haystack Road, Palm Desert. CA 92260 (760)219-8317.
 
Marines help Marines!
 
NEW MEMBER
William Ross has joined the chapter.  He served as a Captain with the 7th Communications Battalion, 1st Marine Division in 1965 - 1968.  Bill and his wife Marilyn live in Palm Desert.  Dick Partee recruited him to join the chapter.  Welcome aboard!
 
AGUA CALIENTE RESORT
I erroneously reported that they have been offering freebees to combat veterans of the 7th Marines.  Actually, new member Rick Saxon and his wife Joni are receiving  these packages and are donating them directly to deserving young combat veterans.
 
Bravo Zulu, Rick!
 
HAND SALUTES
I noticed at recent functions that Marine veterans are confused over the proper protocol for hand salutes.  Recent U.S. congressional legislation addressed the hand salute of the national colors by any person who claims to have served in the U.S. military.  The legislation now allows the rendering of a hand salute by any person (veterans?) out of uniform and uncovered.  As we all know this privilege and honor has always been reserved for those in military uniform while covered.
 
General James Conway, Commandant of the Marine Corps, issued an official USMC directive on December 16. 2008 to address the new congressional legislation. The Commandant specifically orders that “Let there be no confusion, nothing has changed for Marines.  By custom and tradition, Marines do not render the hand salute to the National Colors when not in uniform or uncovered.”
General Conway adds, “Marines not in uniform will face the flag and stand at attention and place the right hand over the heart. If covered and not in uniform, Marines will removed their cover and again place the right hand over the heart.”
 
For additional information on this topic, read the entire contents at ALMAR #052108 Directive or check the official USMC website.
 
RELIEF AND APPOINMENT CEREMONY
SgtMaj Michael Kufchak was promoted last month to be the 1st Division Sergeant Major at Camp Pendleton.  Now, he was relieved as the Regimental Sergeant Major by SgtMaj Scott Samuels at a 29 Palms Ceremony on May 20th.
 
We will miss Kufchak since we’ve had a great working relationship with him over the past 2 ½ years.  Even during his one year deployment to Afghanistan, we stayed in contact and did a few things to provide the 7th Marines with some support from the Chapter.
 
 We look forward to developing the same kind of relationship with SgtMaj Samuels and extend our best wishes to him with his new duties.
 
MEMORIAL DAY SERVICES
There are a number of memorial services in the Desert Cities on May 30th. Cathedral City has two services:  Forest Lawn Memorial Park and the Desert Memorial Park at Ramon Rd and DaVall.  Indian Wells Civic Center, El Dorado & Hwy 111 . Coachella Valley Cemetery on Avenue 52 in Coachella. Check the Desert Sun or call for the times of each service. Most attendees are veterans wearing their branch of service cap or shirt.  
 
This is a patriotic experience and takes just an hour to support our fallen warriors.  We hope to see you there.
 
 
Semper Fidelis
 
 
Jim Sullivan, Editor
 
Officers & Directors
Quint Villanueva, President            Dick Partee, Vice PresidentJim Sullivan, Sec/Treas.      Henry Sanchez, Director          Carl Brooks, Director