August, 2003 Newsletter
everyone had a great summer – for some reason it seems that the past few
months have been moving at light speed.
The Council has been working hard in order to stay in touch with
the units and support groups since there have been many changes in
leadership across the board. This
newsletter will bring you up to date since our last newsletter in
off the top, let’s address the annual meeting.
We had intended to have it in early summer and the Commandant had
accepted our invitation to be our Guest of Honor. Unfortunately, CMC’s schedule changed at the last minute
and his office recommended we postpone the visit.
Since that time, we have been unable to find a date that works for
both the Council and the Commandant.
As a result we have elected to conduct our annual general
membership meeting the morning of the Birthday luncheon.
Membership meeting announcements/information will be mailed out
shortly, which will include specifics on time and location.
many of you know, with Operation Iraqi Freedom there were a great many
support efforts being conducted across the nation.
Locally, the Coordinating Council provided “goodie boxes” of
personal comfort items to detachments out of the Anti-Tank Training
Company from Broken Arrow, as well as to a company of Light Armored
Vehicles from 2d Marine Division that a former Assistant Marine Officer
Instructor from the NROTC unit at the University of Oklahoma was assigned
of the Council also attended the funeral services for Lance Corporal Tommy
Blair an LAAD gunner with 1st Battalion, 2d Marine when he was
killed in action at Al Nasiriya on March 23, 2003. We were honored to be able to provide a Gold Star flag to
Lance Corporal’s Blair’s mother.
July 20, Council representatives attended the Vietnam photo display of
former Marines Blas Preciado (Kiowa) and Leland Parker (Comanche) at the
Jacobson House on the OU campus.
also were privileged to attend the ceremonies in Moore where Corporal Paul
Gardner USMC was honored by the City of Moore on August 14 as they
welcomed him home after he was wounded in an ambush near Baghdad on April
some of you may know by now, Oklahoma’s Marine for Life representative
finally arrived this summer. Captain
Chris Mayfield checked in recently to serve as the initial link between
those Marines leaving active duty and needing assistance in getting
resettled into the civilian world. We scheduled a brief meeting with Chris
to welcome him aboard and invited representatives from the local chapters
of the Women Marines Association and the Marine Corps League.
The Council officers and members of the Recruiting Station were
also present. Chris will be
asking for Council assistance from time to time and I’m certain that
many of you will be involved in his efforts in the future.
Captain Mayfield will be serving as an “ex officio” member of
the Council board.
upon the many requests the Council has received in the past about how
historical memorabilia should be handled, we have worked with the Oklahoma
Historical Society and we feel they are the most appropriate facility for
relevant artifacts former Marines may desire to preserve.
We anticipate transferring the Iwo Jima model that was donated to
the Omniplex a few years ago to the Historical Society and on September 8
the Council coordinated the Historical Society’s acceptance of the many
news articles, shooting trophies, and other memorabilia belonging to GySgt
V.D. Mitchell USMC (Ret) a renowned sniper from the Vietnam era who was a
mentor to Council member John Culbertson.
Councils active duty unit support programs continued over the summer with
free hotel rooms (with a free dinner & bottle of wine), along with
Redhawk game tickets, season passes to Frontier City and White Water Bay,
and OU football tickets provided to Vance, Fort Sill, and the Recruiting
are thankful for your membership donations that continue to finance our
planned unit support for the upcoming year. We
have been very fortunate that a lot of our support to units is provided on
a “gratis” basis from Council members.
Thanks to those of you who have called and offered up these great
benefits and if think you can help in this regard please contact us.
the past few months we have had some changes in personnel assigned to
active duty units across the state. Captain
Joe Bevan relieved Captain Susan Jenkins as the Marine Officer Instructor
at the OU NROTC unit. Captain
Bevan was assigned as an infantry officer in during Operation Iraqi
Freedom and is a great addition to the Unit.
Captain Jenkins will remain in the Norman area.
The Marine Artillery Detachment at Fort Sill had a change of
command on September 5th when Colonel Al Pace relieved Colonel
Tom Kelly. Tom will retire
and plans on staying in Lawton. Al
is coming in from an outstanding tour at Camp Lejeune. We look forward to
working with Captain Bevan and Colonel Pace as “ex officio” members of
the Council Board.
have also learned that Colonel John Priddy USMC (Ret) has recently arrived
in the Oklahoma City area from HQMC and Washington, D.C.
of the issues the Board has been dealing with is the actual determination
and fulfillment of unit and supported organization requirements.
To assist in this effort we are creating a “President’s
Advisory Committee” made up of Council member volunteers and
incorporating representatives of the Marine organizations throughout the
state. The role of the
committee will be to advise and recommend appropriate ways for the Board
to accomplish the stated charter objectives of providing support for both
active units and collateral organizations.
Additionally, committee members will assist in actually carrying
out the selected support options. Council
members who would like to participate in the efforts of the President’s
Advisory Committee are encouraged to contact us at your convenience.
We would appreciate your help.
a sad note, we regret the passing of Master Gunnery Sergeant Norman J.
Leimgruebler USMC (Ret) – one of our Council members - on August 12,
wrap up, just a quick mention of the planning for this year’s Birthday
luncheon. We are honored to
have Lieutenant General Jim Conway – Commanding General, I Marine
Expeditionary Force – as our Guest of Honor.
His experiences in Operation Iraqi Freedom were extraordinary and
we look forward to his visit. The
date of this year’s luncheon is November 21 and it will be held at the
Oklahoma City Homebuilder’s Association building.
Invitations will be out shortly.
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