November, 2004 Newsletter


Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and is looking forward to Christmas.  I thought I’d write a newsletter to update everyone on the Council’s efforts. 

General Spider Nyland’s visit during our 229th Birthday Luncheon was a great time for all hands.  The reception provided a superb opportunity for everyone to renew friendships with other Council members and to the many guests, while the presentations by Lloyd Hardin and General Nyland provided somber moments to reflect on the hard fought battles of our Corps that continue to earn our Marines respect and honor worldwide.  General Nyland specifically mentioned how he enjoyed his visit and was honored to present the Purple Heart to Jack Skaggs and the Navy Achievement Medal to Eugene Wilson.   The Council is really very fortunate to have such great Marine leaders take the time out of their schedules to join us and help us celebrate our Corps history and traditions. 

Thanks again to the coin sponsors who provided the coins for this year’s luncheon – they are a great gift for everyone to carry away from the luncheon.   The lap blankets – courtesy of Ed & Connie Beesley - are also deeply appreciated – and we understand that Connie has sold quite a few blankets since the luncheon.  Once again the Pith Helmet provided a substantial assist in ensuring that the luncheon continues to pay for itself.  This luncheon was perhaps the best one yet  ( I know I say that every year) with the largest attendance by far – but, if anyone has any suggestions or recommended changes they would like us to consider for next year’s luncheon please let me know.

I was particularly pleased with the participation of the Marine units from across the state – the luncheon was a great opportunity for them to visit with each other and for some of their Marines to visit (and have pictures taken) with the Assistant Commandant.  All of the state’s Marines units continue to excel and deserve our continued support. 

Council Support Activities:

·        Continue assisting with the financial support for family days and predeployments.

·        Fund JROTC cadets, officer program members, and selected Marines participation in events such as the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame ceremony and the birthday luncheon.

·        Provide tickets to the Lakers basketball game in September.

·        Purchase tickets for the Holiday basketball tournament in Oklahoma City featuring OU and OSU for distribution to the Reserve units and Recruiting Station.

·        Participate in the dedication of the remodeled Marine Corner at Fort Sill (which we helped fund in coordination with the Marine Corps League and the Women Marines Association).  We hope this will allow us to expand our membership in the Lawton area.

We have been very fortunate that historically a lot of in-kind support to our units is provided on a “gratis” basis from Council members.  Thanks again to those who have provided these gifts and if you would like to provide support in this manner please let us know.  Support of any kind is welcome and those Council members who can contribute financially to our efforts are deeply appreciated; we could not exist without your continued support.   

For the future make a note of the Medal of Honor Ceremony on 26 March 2005 .  Sponsored by the Albert E. Schwab Detachment of the Marine Corps League in Broken Arrow , the ceremony will be held at Veterans Park beginning at 2:00pm .  Colonel Robert Modrzejewski, USMC (Ret) – Medal of Honor Recipient - will be the Special Guest of Honor and General James Cartwright USMC – Commander, USSTRATCOM – will be the Keynote Speaker.  The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Moving Wall will be on display at the park during the period 21-27 March.  

I’ve mentioned the President’s Advisory Committee in a couple of previous newsletters -- Colonel John Priddy USMC (Ret) has agreed to join the Committee and we are looking forward to working with him.  This group has provided a lot of assistance/great ideas and I deeply appreciate their contributions. 

The induction ceremony for Donald Dickey into the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame went well and we were delighted with the recognition that he received.  We are looking forward to adding more of our deserving Marine Corps community into the Hall of Fame in the future. 

Before I close I want to mention the Marine For Life program again as an endeavor that needs our support.  Intended to ease the transition of deserving Marines from active duty back into the civilian world, the Oklahoma program is coordinated by Major Drew Salkeld.  Among other efforts he has been working with the Oklahoma City reserve unit (F/2/14) since practically all of the reserves work for companies that could be a source of employment for additional Marines moving into town.  Still, if any of you know of businesses or have contacts in companies that would be interested in hiring Marines coming off active duty, please contact the Council and we will provide that information to Drew.  You can email us directly at 

As you know one of our Council goals is to grow our membership by ten new members a year.  If you know of someone who would like to join our ranks please get in touch with us.  It is important to our long term goals to continue to bring in new members.  

So far this year we are delighted to add the following new members to the Council:

     *  Michael Davis     *  Bruce Service     *  Dave Karp     *  Jerry King     *  Bill Gillespie

     *  Don Payne         *  Michael Dean      *  Kelly Mullins  *  Tom Goldsworthy      

The Council’s annual meeting is tentatively scheduled for May 19, 2005 .  We are not yet sure where we will have it, but for now please set aside that evening so you can join us.  More information when we have it. 

We have also tentatively scheduled next year’s Marine Corps Birthday luncheon for Friday – 4 November 2005 .  It will again be held at the Oklahoma City Homebuilder’s Association building.  Be sure to put this date down on your calendar and invite your friends to join us at this great annual event.   See you there.

We would like each of you to know that while your Council Board works very hard to accomplish the Council’s objectives, we never forget that whatever success we have is absolutely due to your generous and continued support.  Once a Marine, always a Marine

Semper Fidelis,

Phil E. Hughes


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