PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE                   from Quint Villanueva

Greetings Marines:  On August 20th Colonel Mac Dube, USMC (Ret.), a founding member of our Chapter was awarded the Silver Star in an impressive ceremony at 29 Palms Marine Corps base, for heroically  rescuing a downed Air Force pilot during the Viet Nam war. Among those in attendance was that rescued pilot from Austin, Texas, former Air Force Captain Phil Jones and his wife.  The ceremony was well attended by Chapter members who presented Mac with a gift of an engraved K-Bar knife for which he expressed, in very moving terms, his thanks and appreciation to the Chapter.

Good news!  Chapter membership now stands at fifty-nine and climbing. As a matter of fact, two senior Marines, one retired and one active, who attended Mac Dube’s Silver Star ceremony expressed interest in attending one of our future meetings with the possibility of signing up.  Thanks to your individual recruiting efforts we’re making steady progress in growing our Chapter.  Well done, folks!

For the benefit of our new members and as a reminder to some of our older members with fading memories, it’s probably a good idea to review what our chapter is all about.  Our Chapter’s undertakings for the most part are directed toward supporting marines and sailors of the 7th Marine Regiment and their families.  To that end, we liaison with the 7th Marines Command staff and its Family Readiness Officer.  Our chapter also lends its support to the Marine Corps Junior ROTC and the Devil Pups.

The degree of support we are able to provide is commensurate with the success of our fund raising efforts which in turn, depends primarily on your active participation and individual generosity.  One hundred percent of the funds raised from individual donations and our fund raising events id dedicated to support the 7th Marines and youth programs.  Our Chapter’s overhead costs are covered entirely by our annual dues.

From time to time, all of us will be asked to make a voluntary donation and to enthusiastically support and participate in a Chapter fund raising event.  Historically, our members have turned to and our efforts have been fairly successful. Looking forward, with your full commitment we can do as well or perhaps even better in our endeavor to serve Marines and their families.

Plan to join us on Thursday, September 16th at 1130, Desert Falls Country Club.  We have a great special guest speaker lined up, Colonel John Holden, Chief of Staff, MCAGCC, 29 Palms.  This will be the first time we have had the Chief of Staff from 29 Palms attend one of our luncheon meetings.

We plan on a good turn out so please make your reservation at (760) 901-5494 and let us know what you want for lunch (Cobb Salad, Cheese Burger or Club Sandwich).

Next month, at the October 21st meeting, we will have Colonel Randy Newman, CO 7th Marines Regiment, as our guest of honor and speaker.  The Colonel will have just returned from a one year deployment to Afghanistan.  We look forward to having Col Newman back and sharing his experiences in Afghanistan.

Our 4th Annual Barbecue will be held at MAGCC 29 Palms on Saturday, October 23rd.  Please circle your calendar to be with us on that date.  We will plan another fun day for our members, guests  and Marines.

More information and details will be sent within the next month.  Invitations will be sent the middle of September.

The date is Sunday, October 31st.  We will have both a Color Guard unit and the Marine Band from 29 Palms join us for the parade this year.

We usually receive a lot of attention, however, it should be bigger and better this year with the addition of the Marine Band from 29 Palms.

The Palm Desert Chamber of Commerce and City of Palm Desert are excited over the news that the Band will be with us.  They have rolled out the red carpet for the Desert Cities MPMOH Chapter and will let us lead off the parade this year!

This year we will honor our WW II Marines and have them ride in the 8 passenger golf cart along with Marilyn Paige.  The rest of us will walk the one mile parade route as escort to honor our WW II Marines. 

Plan to join us and walk or watch the parade.  Let’s show our pride and respect for our WW II Marines and for the 45 Marines in the Band coming down to join us in the parade. Afterwards, everyone is invited to Karen and Jim Sullivan’s for a reception.

The Band will charge us for their costs for the bus and their truck to haul their instruments and equipment.  When I presented this to the board last Thursday, we all decided that rather than tap our treasury, we would individually kick in $100 a piece to cover the expense.  And, two other members, Charlie Garbarini and Jimmie Martin, who sat in on the meeting, also volunteered to give us $100 each. Thanks to Quint, Dick and Henry (on the executive board) and Charlie and Jimmie for their generosity.

The Marine Corps League has an annual luncheon to honor the Marine Corps Birthday and invite the Marine Jr.ROTC Cadets to join the festivities.  This luncheon will be held at the Miracle Springs Spa Hotel, Desert Hot Springs.  Mark your calendar to attend this event.  LCol Lewke reports their fall enrollment at 205 cadets!  An astounding record.

Guest of Honor and Speaker will be LCol John Reed. 2/7.  Also, Cpl Daniel Hickey, who recently was awarded the Silver Star for his valor in Afghanistan, will attend the luncheon as a special guest.

To start the New Year off, we will hold our January 20th meeting at the Officers Club, 29 Palms.  For those of you that attended our July meeting we did talk about this and polled the members and found most in favor of meeting up there.  We will also invite some of the command staff from the 7th Marines to join us.

Col Mac Dube was awarded the Silver Star at the MCAGCC, 29 Palms on August 20th.   He received the Silver Star for his valor in rescuing a downed Air Force Pilot, Phil Jones, on March 27, 1967 - over 43 years ago in Viet Nam.  The Desert Sun and KMIR-6 provided good publicity on the ceremony.

His Silver Star citation mentioned that Captain Dube armed himself with a BAR, 16 magazines of ammo and led a squad of South Vietnamese Marines into enemy territory to rescue the pilot.  Then he made a second trip back to the downed observation aircraft to recover 6 armed rockets so that the observation aircraft could be recovered by helicopter.  His rescue team suffered casualties.  Dube carried one of the Marines over his shoulder and the rockets recovered back to friendly lines. Member, Dave Franklin commented “John Wayne should have met Mac Dube”. Well, as a matter of fact, Dube had met John Wayne some years ago aboard the heavy cruiser, USS Long Beach. Mac socialized and became a drinking buddy with The Duke after that.  What a pair they must have been.  (Talk to Mac at the 10/23rd BBQ.)

There were hundreds of Marines and guests at the ceremony, including approximately 20 from the Desert Cities MPMOH Chapter  This was a GREAT DAY FOR A GREAT WARRIOR!

Please welcome Harry Covert and Cpl Daniel Hickey to the Chapter.  Covert served with VMF 241 from 1962 - 1968.  He lives in Palm Desert and is married to Nancy.

Hickey just received the Silver Star for his heroism in Afghanistan. He is with the 2/7 at 29 Palms and is also married and lives at the base.

Both were recruited by Dick Partee.



Jim Sullivan, Editor