February, 2003 Newsletter


As you may remember our last newsletter provided a glimpse of how we envisioned the Council would operate.  This newsletter will bring you up to date on Council activities over the past six months and a snapshot of things to come. 

Our major accomplishment early in the year was the IRS approval of our petition to be designated a charitable organization effective 7 May 2002.   I’d like to thank all those who helped us achieve this status, especially Charter Council member Mike McIntosh.

Our November 2002 birthday luncheon was an outstanding success with the visit of the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps --SgtMaj McMichael.  We had a standing room only crowd of more than 250 folks to hear the motivating remarks of the Sergeant Major.  We were delighted to have a superb display of USMC memorabilia provided by Chuck Gregg of Strang, OK.  Despite our best efforts to break even at the luncheon we actually made money – primarily due to the donations following the luncheon.  This allowed us to actually increase the amount of support that was planned for the year – thanks to your assistance – and a special thanks to Jack Skaggs a Charter Council member who donated the Council coins that each of you received.

When we created the Council our intent was to support all Marine activities in the state with available funding, while maintaining a minimal reserve for unexpected requirements.  In other words – meet the requirements of our supported Marine units so that they would have flexibility to award their Marines with incentives that would not otherwise be available.   We also desired to assist the many other Marine organizations (WMA, MCL, etc) in the state in their support efforts for our Marines. 

Following are some of the ways we have assisted Oklahoma Marines:  free hockey game, OU basketball, and Senior Tour Golf Championship tickets provided to the Recruiting Station as incentive awards. The reserve units in Oklahoma City (F/2/14) and Broken Arrow (Anti-tank Company) asked us to establish annual community service awards for their outstanding active duty and reserve Marine—these awards were presented at their respective Marine Corps Balls.  We were also able to assist the Anti-tank Company in Broken Arrow in funding the meals for their family night function after they were notified that some of their Marines were deploying to Kuwait and the unit was short on funding.   In support of the Marine Detachment at Fort Sill we provided funding for the trophies that were awarded at their 9th annual Devil Dog run on 14 September 2003 – an annual run used to raise money for their birthday ball – the net effect was that they were able to reduce the costs of the ball for their Marines.  We were also able to reduce the costs of the birthday ball for the Marines stationed at Vance AFB.   The Marines and Marine option Midshipmen at the University of Oklahoma’s NROTC unit attended the Council’s birthday luncheon without charge in order for them to meet the Sergeant Major and have a chance to hear his remarks.  Finally, we provided a match air rifle and several spotting scopes to the JROTC units at Bixby and Sapulpa.  

We have also been able to provide a monthly hotel room (thanks to the efforts of Charter Council member Tim Carpenter) and welcome basket comprised of a certificate for a free meal (courtesy of the Council initially), a bottle of wine (thanks to Stan and Mary Stack of Beau’s Wine Bin and Spirit Shoppe), and some USMC cookies (courtesy of Connie Beesley, wife of Council member Ed Beesley).  This superb incentive award is being rotated among the Recruiting Station, the Marine Detachment at Fort Sill, and the Marines at Vance AFB.  

Several Council members were able to attend the June 2002 traveling Vietnam Wall display in Midwest City that was arranged by Council member Ed Beesley.  The occasion also marked the reunion of Delta Company, 1st Bn, 4th Marines (Vietnam) and we were honored to meet Marines from Ed’s company.     

The Council also had several members available to greet the Marines of 3d Battalion, 5th Marines (Korea 1950-1953) in early September 2002 as they checked in for their Oklahoma City reunion.  Charter Council member Chief Justice Gary Lumpkin provided welcoming remarks to these outstanding Marines and their wives as they kicked off their activities.  The Council was also able to coordinate with the OKC Memorial to allow these Marines to place memorial wreaths at the chairs of Captain Guzman and Sergeant Davis.

Some of the Council officers were privileged to attend the 22 February 2003 Oklahoma City luncheon commemorating the 60th anniversary of women in the Marine Corps.  The local Women Marines Association chapter sponsored Colonel Angie Salinas – Commanding Officer, 12th Marine Corps District – as their speaker for the luncheon and she was terrific.  The Heartland Chapter of the Women Marines Association deserves kudos for this outstanding event. 

We are also working with representatives of Able Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines on their planned Oklahoma City reunion in October 2003.   If you know of any future Marine reunions in Oklahoma, help us get the word out that we can assist in their activity planning. 

As I mentioned in out last newsletter, we are setting up our annual meeting in May 2003.  We have not yet decided on a specific location as we have invited the new Commandant to be our guest and do not yet know if he will be able to attend.  Once we are certain about our guest of honor we will be able to set a date and location.  In any case we will use the occasion to conduct the annual meeting, confirm renewal of existing Council members, hand out membership certificates to new members, and to meet prospective members.    More details will be published as soon as we have them. 

We will be conducting our annual membership renewal drive in a couple of months and would like to remind everyone that while donations are not required to participate in the Council, we could not exist without your generous support. 

We believe we have established a solid foundation in accomplishing the Coordinating Council’s stated mission as reflected in our charter documents.  However, we are more aware than ever that whatever success we have is absolutely dependant upon your generous support and annual contributions to the Council.  The Board would again like to thank each of you for your unselfish contributions.  Once a Marine, always a Marine.

Semper Fidelis,  

Phil E. Hughes


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