August, 2015 Newsletter


Summer is wrapping up and time to update you on Coordinating Council’s activities.  As many of you know, we had the Council’s Annual Meeting last Spring at Petroleum Club North and celebrated the fact that we have enjoyed the Council’s existence for over fourteen years.  The purpose of these annual meetings is to slow down the pace and allow Council members and their guests to enjoy the time to visit with other members and hear about the updates and plans of the Council.  This year we were honored to have Medal of Honor recipient, Command Sergeant Major Bennie Adkins USA attend and share his description of fierce combat in Vietnam’s A Shau valley.  CSM Adkins was in town for the 14th annual Oklahoma Medal of Honor Day celebration hosted by our Council members in the Tulsa Marine Corps League Alfred E. Schwab Detachment.  If you have not attended one of these meetings, or Tulsa’s Medal of Honor Day, I would encourage you to plan on coming to one in the future.  

As you know, we rotate members of the Board during the Spring and this year we added Billy Coyle to the Board and he joins Pam Bloustine and me in new three years terms.  Rusty Johnson was asked to accept one more year on the Board and to slide into next year’s cycle in order to fill a slot that opened up with Phil Norton’s resignation.  We sincerely appreciate all of the support provided by Phil during his time on the Board.  All of the Board members are honored to serve you and look forward to working with you as we continue to grow the Council.  

We also recognized A.J. Johnson, Howard McKinnis, Anthony Fuller, Val Peterson, and James Martin as regular members of the Council and Major General James Hartsell, Hank Bradley, and Harold Copeland as Honorary members of the Council.

We have, over the years, established a significant number of activities with the Oklahoma Marine units and organizations where we provide sustained support, and of course we always address the individual requests from units / organizations for support as they occur.  For example, this past year we were able to mobilize support efforts when one of the Marines of the Fort Sill Marine Detachment was bitten by a large rattlesnake which resulted in the amputation of his leg.  In a matter of hours the Oklahoma Marine community mobilized in support of the Marine and his family until the Marine stabilized and was ultimately airlifted to Walter Reed hospital.  In many respects your Council helped “coordinate” the tremendous support by other Marine units in the area, along with immediate reaction support from Council members in the Marine Corps League and Woman Marines.  With respect to sustained support, we also continue to support the Oklahoma City & Broken Arrow Reserve Unit Community Service Awards; Marine Corps League “Marine of the Year” Ruger pistol award; Fort Sill’s Devil Dog Run trophies and medallions; season tickets for Thunder games for each Marine unit to distribute to its high performers; continuing support of the OU Semper Fidelis Society’s annual award of the GySgt Dan Daly scholarship to a NROTC Marine or Midshipman; and the annual Marine Corps Birthday Luncheon.  This past year, we additionally provided strong support to allow 30 Marine Recruiters and their wives to attend the Oklahoma Recruiting Station’s Birthday Ball, as well as furnishing a requested pistol award for a high performing Marine Recruiter in the OKC RS’ “Operation Hot Potato”.  Also, this year we were pleased to be able to support the Fort Sill Marine Detachment’s Birthday Ball in such a fashion so as to allow the MARDET to host a seated and served food service for the first time in years.  For those of you who don’t know, the MARDET’s Birthday Ball is a high visibility Marine event at Fort Sill and we were pleased to help the MARDET return the event to its historic standards.  These are just a sample of some of the activities of your Council and we have been blessed with the continued and increasing support from our sponsors that allow for these types of activities.

We have scheduled this year’s annual Marine Corps Birthday luncheon for Friday – 30 October 2015.  We will be having the luncheon at the Tower Hotel, 3233 Northwest Expressway, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73112, the same location as last year.

Our Guest of Honor for this year’s Luncheon will be Lieutenant General Ronald L. Bailey – the Deputy Commandant Plans, Policies, and Operations for the Marine Corps and we are expecting a large crowd, as we hear directly from the Marine who “Fights the Corps”.  Also, our Tradition & Lore segment this year will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of the War in the Pacific, with a description of all of the Pacific campaigns and with particular focus on its concluding campaign, the “Typhoon of Steel” on Okinawa.  Rumor has it, there may also be a surprise for our Korea Marines.  Join with us as we celebrate their valor and make each of you prouder than ever to ”claim the title of United States Marine.”  Be sure to put this date on your calendar and invite your friends to join us at this great annual event.  We will have another custom designed coin for this year.  Be looking for your invitation – hope to see you there.

We would like each of you to know that while your Council Board works very hard to accomplish our Council’s objectives, we never forget that whatever success we have is absolutely dependent upon your generous and continued support.

Once a Marine, always a Marine.

Semper Fidelis,

Phil E. Hughes
Colonel   USMC (Ret)



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