March, 2015 Newsletter


Time for another long overdue update on your Coordinating Council’s activities.  Due to exceptional donations by both members and supporters of the Council,  we have reached a point where we have the resources to address many of the requirements of the Oklahoma Marine community that in the past we have been challenged in addressing.  We are deeply appreciative of this support to the Oklahoma Marine community.

Any update would have to begin with the continued success of our annual Birthday Luncheon.  The  luncheon remains a treasured opportunity for the Marine community to celebrate our Corps and to enjoy old friendships while making new ones.  The highlight of the “beer & cigars” follow-on event to the luncheon is listening to the many favorable comments that are received addressing the camaraderie that is enjoyed by all hands.

I’d like to recognize the Council coin donors whose contributions fund the continuation of our luncheon coins that are provided to luncheon attendees each year.   These themed coins remain an integral part of each luncheon’s memories.  The outstanding door prizes that are contributed each year are also an important part of the luncheon.  The contributions that make the “beer & cigars”  after luncheon gathering possible add a huge plus to each luncheon.  Finally, a well deserved thank you for the continued support the Council receives from Harold Copeland and the leaders at BancFirst.

We will be returning to The Tower Hotel (formerly Northwest Expressway Marriott) at 3233 Northwest Expressway, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73112.  While it is too early to have a committed Guest of Honor, we have scheduled the luncheon this year for Friday the 30th of October 2015.  This is a bit earlier than we have scheduled a luncheon in the past but the officer’s felt that it would benefit us in obtaining a notable Guest of Honor and avoiding possible conflicts with other Marine activity celebrations.  Once again, we will be incorporating the much anticipated “Traditions and Lore” segment that has become a much anticipated part of the event.  This year we will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of the war in the Pacific, with a particular remembrance of the bloody fighting in and around Sugarloaf Hill on Okinawa, which the Marines had to take and retake over 11 times, in a quagmire created by monsoon rains that lasted over 80 days.  We also, of course, will remember the 65th anniversary of “Frozen Chosin”!

This year the Council’s support of our Marine Units and Organizations includes:  

·         Perhaps one of the most poignant activities this past year was the mobilization of your Council, in coordination with the Marine Corps League, the Woman Marines, the OKC RS, the Wounded Warrior Project, the Semper Fi Fund and other members from the Oklahoma Marine support community, all to assist the Ft Sill MARDET in helping the family of 2nd Lt Anthony Kemp as he suffered through multiple leg amputations resulting from the bite of a 8 foot rattlesnake.  Lt. Kemp is now back at Walter Reed and doing well as he begins his recovery with updates from his family.  His “new to the Marine Corps’ family” reports that while those early days were some of the “worse of days”, there were also periods of some of the best of times as Oklahoma Marines continuously stopped by the hospital to provide moral support and ensure that the family’s needs were being addressed. 

·         We continue to provide Oklahoma City Thunder basketball tickets to Marines from the Recruiting Station, Anti-Tank Training Company, F/2/14, Fort Sill, , and OU’s NROTC.  These tickets are by far and away the most positively received program that we have created to recognize outstanding Marines.

·         Continued our program of providing a .45 caliber Ruger pistol to the Marine Corps League for presentation to their Marine of the Year.

·          Continued funding of the Community Service awards for both the AntiTank Training Unit in Broken Arrow and Fox Battery, 2d Battalion, 14th Marines in Oklahoma City, which are presented to both a reserve and active duty Marine in each unit.

·         Provided funding for a significant number of Marines from supported units to attend the luncheon.  We continue to believe this is one of most valuable programs we offer to allow as many active duty Marines as possible to attend the luncheons and enjoy the experience.   

·         As we have done for years, continued support of Fort Sill’s Devil Dog run in order to facilitate the Marine Detachment’s Birthday Ball celebration.  This support includes the funding of the numerous medals and ribbons presented to various age group winners and placers and we note with, with pleasure, the number of awards earned by a number of the large detachment of student runners from Grant High School in OKC, followed afterwards by MREs in the Wichita Mountains with LtCol Shane Rossow.

·         Assisted the Marine Detachment at Fort Sill in modifying their Birthday Ball from a buffet to a sit down dinner.  Greatly enhanced the most exciting social event of the year at Fort Sill.

·         Provided significant funding in support of the OKC Recruiting Station to allow 25 of its highest performing, hard charging Marines and their wives to attend their 2014 Birthday Ball.  Many of you will recall SgtMaj Bryan Zickefoose, current SgtMaj of II MEF, who was their Guest of Honor.   Provided funding to allow Tulsa Young Marines to attend the Young Marines National HQ – McDowell Unit Nations Summit.

·         Provided funding to the MCJROTC, Sapulpa HS, for a dog tag machine to support the three high school MCJROTC's in Oklahoma.

·         Provided several sets of camouflaged utilities to the Young Marines in Sallisaw

·         Provided funding for the GySgt Dan Daly USMC Award to a Marine enrolled at the NROTC Unit University of Oklahoma, including not only a significant cash award, but also a 2 foot trophy of a Marine in combat gear (the model for the back of our Fallujah Coin distributed at last year’s Birthday Lunch).

·         Provided funding for the support of the Recruiting Station holiday party, where in conjunction with Sgt Grit's, ensured that each young family member of each of these hard working Marines left with stuffed USMC logoed bulldog or toy

Since our inception, the Council has become the de facto point of contact for anybody wanting to contact Marines in Oklahoma.  Pete Sawin – our Secretary – remains a single point of contact for the Oklahoma Marine Community.

One of the Council’s goals is to grow our membership each year, so as to ensure that, as we and our membership age, there will be ongoing continuity of our Council..  If you know of someone who would like to join our ranks please get in touch with us or ask them to check out our website ( or  It’s important to our long term success that we continue to bring in new members. 

Since the last newsletter, the Council has added the following new members:     

Membership Date


First Name

Last Name



J. Carl




William P.












Howard C.
















Harold D.








James W.


We also had a number of individuals who indicated a desire to join but for one reason or another did not return the paperwork. We hope they will eventually decide to finish the process.

A reminder that the Albert E. Schwab Detachment 857 Marine Corps League’s 2015 Medal of Honor Day Ceremony in Tulsa will be Saturday, 25 April 2015 at 1300.  Location is the Veteran’s Park at 21st & Boulder in Tulsa.  The Guest of Honor this year will be Command Sergeant Major Bernie Adkins, USA (Ret), MOH Recipient.  

The financial support which allowed us to provide the assistance noted above is only possible because of your continued support of the Council.  I would encourage you to please make an effort to send your annual donation to the Council in whatever amount you feel comfortable.   Thanks again to all of you -- we deeply appreciate your trust and support.

The Council’s annual meeting is scheduled for Thursday 23 April 2015 at the Petroleum Club North – this is the same location we have had it the past.  Please put this date and event down on your calendars and plan on joining us for this great chance to enjoy your fellow Marines.    

The Council Board would like each of you to know that while we work very hard to accomplish the Council’s objectives, we never forget that whatever success we have is without question due to your generous and continued support.  Once a Marine, always a Marine.

Semper Fidelis,

Phil E. Hughes
Colonel   USMC (Ret)


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