Friday, November 11, 2011

236th Marine Corps Birthday Dinner

Happy Birthday Devil Dogs.
10 NOV 1775 TUN Tavern in the city of Brotherly Love the Marine Corps was formed.
MARINES all over the Globe celebrated in high form on this night.
Places like Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa and in every place where an American Embassy sits the MARINES celebrated.
In Rhode Island one distinguished group of MARINES celebrated at the Alpine Country Club. The Task Force is headed by Ed Malloy and assisted by Carl Weston, James Smith, Dan Cunningham and that legendary Marine Infantryman and Providence Police Officer Steve Cileli.
Steve as you may recall is the MARINE who started taking Jerry to the Birthday Dinner and brought him on board for the first time. Few of Jerry's children and grandchildren understand the ROCK STAR status that Jerry has with his fellow MARINES. Saipan, Tinian and Iwo Jima.
Scenes of some of the fiercest close quarters combat that catapulted the US MARINES CORPS into history. Jerry came through although he lost some good friends. You have to watch as an observer the reverence that is shown to Jerry and guys like Placido " Pat" Femino of the 5th MARDIV.
Brianna Moody picked up Papa yesterday to run errands and then brought him to the residence to get ready. Brianna presented Jerry with a MARINE Corps tie adorned with the EGA's
in gold of course, on a blue background. ( Special thanks to the Marine Corps Museum Store for getting it here ASAP.)
Jerry tied it on and remarked" Oh Yes this makes it!" The requisite pictures were taken with Brianna and Jerry's daughter Joan. Then off to the Alpine Country Club.
Upon arrival, Jerry was greeted by MARINE Task Force Leader Ed Malloy. Ed was busy making last minute adjustments and greeting all MARINES.     Marine Steve Cileli got Jerry squared away immediately with admission details. Jerry is always excited to see Steve and counts him in his inner circle of MARINES.

MARINE Paul DiPalma let Jerry know that a fellow veteran of Iwo Jima would be
joining Jerry at the table of honor. Jerry was getting tickets for the raffle and ran into Paul Chalko, retired Providence Police Lieutenant. Paul is a veteran of the Chosin Resevoir and was with Jack Mainor where both were wounded.

A Navy Corpsman recovered them both and sent them south when the MARINES
turned around and advanced through the CHICOM Army and broke out. Both Paul and Jack were severely wounded but survived to lead successful lives and raise families.
We miss Jack Mainor to this day.
Paul DiPalma escorted Jerry to his table and then brought over Placido "Pat" Femino of the the 5th MARDIV. Pat and Jerry immediately fell in to animated conversation.
Several MARINES came over and said hello to Jerry and Pat. Jose Pineda and his brother along with Dave Perez, a new comer to the Dinner.   Jose and David are both Providence Police Officers.

Another Devil Dog Came over.  Eric Cuellar celebrates his own birthday today!  Eric is a Providence Police Officer and veteran of Iraq. Eric posed for a picture with Jerry and Pat. 

Marine James Smith stopped by and checked in on Jerry as well.  Jim kidded Jerry about his full head of hair. Jerry has quite a few of us beat.
Intelligence reports that Jerry passed on his salad but polished off his Scrod.
The cake was then cut by the oldest Marine 93 year young Colonel and the youngest Marine.
Dinner was followed by guest speaker Col. Theodore Gatchell USMC (RET.) two tours in the Republic of Viet Nam and Professor Emeritus at the Naval War College.

The Commandants Message was played.  Jerry and Pat were reported to be very excited.  The message linked the similarity in attacks on Pearl Harbor and the AQ attack on America on 9/11 and how motivated Marines responded.  Historical video from WWII and current MARINE COMBAT Operations in South West Asia kept everyone capitvated. 
The raffle took place, conducted by Carl Weston.
Ed Malloy called the roll of honor for MARINES who passed away over the year.
Then Marine Piper Manny Soares piped out the Colors with the MARINE CORPS Hymn.  Marine Bob Boehm was to play as well but fell ill and reported to sick bay.   (Bob had surgery and is up and well.  Jerry wanted to stop in and see him but it was alittle hectic. )
Once again Jerry had an outstanding time. His wry wit was on rapid fire according to Eric Cuellar.
 Jerry and his fellow MARINES sang the Marine Corps Hym at the end of the night.  It was a rousing chorus and a final OOORAAAAHHHH.   Check out the video link.
There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy.
Everyone else has a second-hand opinion.

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