Monday, August 31, 2015

Commandant's Corner for August 2015

I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the accomplishment of so many in making the month of August go by smoothly, even though it was one of the busiest months.  We started off with a meeting with Fire Team Leaders.  These are dedicated Marines who take on the added responsibilities of ensuring that all members are contacted at least monthly.  Now this assignment may not sound like a difficult task and time wise it may not be – but the completion of the task means a lot to the Detachment.  It is reassuring to know that ALL Marines are aware of the activities and even though they could not participate (for whatever reason) they were thought of and missed.  The Marine and his family need to be assured that our desire to be of assistance does not mean we are trying to be invasive into any private matters.  However, we do want to express our concern that our Marine is MIA (Missing In Attendance) and we want to encourage him/her to return to us. There are times when a member may be sick or incapacitated (or a member of his family) and just to know that there is someone concerned means a lot.  TO ALL FIRE TEAM LEADERS – THANKS FOR DOING YOUR MONTHLY JOB IN SUCH A COMMENDABLE MANNER.

We completed the Fire Team Leaders meeting and went right into the Marine Corps Ball meeting.  Pat Lisi is our Chairman for the 2015 Ball, and his recommended Program will be a challenge for future Balls to surpass. 

A few days later the Detachment Monthly meeting was conducted.  We were fortunate to have Julie Duckett, Volunteer Manager for SWITCH-POINT, The Community Resource Center.  (SWITCH-POINT has replaced the old Share and Care facility)  Her presentation was an eye opener for many in attendance.  There were those who were unaware of the great work SWITCH-POINT was doing for the community in helping the homeless and needy individuals located throughout Southern Utah.  She mentioned many ways that those who would desire to volunteer (whether as an individual or as an organization) could undertake.  A few Marines (who desire to remain anonymous) immediately went to work by donating paper products.  The Detachment is currently coordinating with SWITCH-POINT to obtain a permanent assignment.  (Since that meeting the St George Mayor's Veterans Council has organized a STAND *DOWN which will be conducted at SWITCH-POINT on Saturday October 17th 0800 -1600, This will be a special day for veterans needing assistance.)

At the Detachment meeting we also presented Tuffy Ruth with a commendation for his assistance in obtaining the trailer (and installing seats for Marines to ride on during parades), as well as providing a source for procuring the bronze USMC plaques.  Tuffy was so impressed with the members and the way the meeting was conducted that after he went home, he sent in an application to become an Associate Member of the Detachment.  Tuffy lives in Mesquite, NV which will make him the most southern member in the Detachment.

On the 12th of August the Washington County Fair started.  The Utah Dixie Detachment was called upon, once again, to raise the colors which signals the start of the Fair.  Our Sergeant at Arms (Larry Mineer) and Chaplain (Steve Handy) made arrangements for the Utah Dixie Detachment Booth.  The Booth was manned by Marines standing two hour shifts for three days from 1100 till 2200.  A total of 23 Marines were involved.  (It doesn't take a mathematical genius to know that some Marines took additional shifts, with one Marine standing five watches).  Of course, the main reason for attending the Fair was to show “The Colors.”  Next year we are planning on a bigger booth and to have an item to raffle off.  Since the Vietnam Veterans have been raffling off “weapons” and “motorcycles” we should come up with something besides those two items.  At this time, we will accept any “good” ideas.

On the 18th of August we had a funeral to attend to.  We were informed about Marine McDonald who was to be cremated within two days and very few people would be in attendance at his funeral. Larry Mineer did what he normally does – he immediately sent emails and got on the telephone. There were 15 Marines in attendance; 10 were involved in the Firing Squad.  We made one Marine widow happy beyond words and we know that Marine Mc Donald was looking down and saying “Well done Marines – Semper Fi.”

A couple of Marines were in attendance at the monthly Veterans Coalition of Southern Utah meeting, one being Bill Toole (Chairman).  We ended August with a Detachment Staff meeting (held on the fourth Thursday of every month).  The meetings are held at the Town and Country Bank, who graciously permits the Detachment to conduct our meetings in their Board Room.  A recent change to those normally attending the Staff meeting now permits the FTC to select a Fire Team Leader to accompany him to the Staff meeting.


An upcoming Community Family Event/Program For Veterans and surrounding area, entitled “LOOKING UPWARD” is scheduled for Saturday 26 Sep (1200 - 2100).  It will be located at Vernon Worthen Park.  Again, another opportunity to “Show the Colors.” 

Honor Flight: The next “Honor Flight” will depart at 1500 from Las Vegas.  (No official send-off will be conducted for the departure.)  The “Honor Flight” will return approximately 2100 to the Dixie Community Center where they will be met by City officials, Marines and friends.  The Honor Flight Program is now searching for Korean Veterans to participate in the Program.  So far I have only received three names of Detachment members who are eligible: Warren Cook; Gene Gregory and myself.  I know there are additional members who served during the Korean War.  Notify either Gene or myself and provide a copy of your DD 214.

Bill Fortune has agreed to become the Informational /Public Affairs Officer for the Dixie Detachment.  He will need the assistance from all members to ensure that Utah Dixie Detachment #1270 is properly recognized for their contribution to local communities. Please send any recommendations for news items directly to Bill.

Marines, be informed of the Elks Charities Benefit Shoot, scheduled for 0900, Saturday, 7 November, at the Purgatory Clay Shoot site in Hurricane, Utah.  You do not have to be an Elk to participate. 

Two Programs of great importance to the Dixie Detachment #1270 are fast approaching namely, the Marine Corps Ball and Toys for Tots.  Be prepared to participate when called upon.

Semper Fi!
D'Arcy E. Grisier, Commandant