There is nothing better than getting shot at and missed. It’s really great.

                    USMC General James “Mad Dog” Mattis

Annual Dogwood Vietnam Memorial Rededication

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This year’s Dogwood Vietnam Memorial Rededication was held on  Friday, 26 April.  As he has done in the past Commandant Jim O’Kelley recognized three more local servicemen lost in the Vietnam War with the dedication of plaques to their memory.  Member and American Legion Post 74 Commander also spoke at the event. 

Bruce Cryst (1941-2019)

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Bruce Cryst, a member of our detachment since March, 2008, passed on May 18, 2019.  Bruce had been an active member of the detachment since joining.  You could always count on him and his wife Connie to volunteer at fund raisers, to participate in meetings, and to show up at our social events with a smile and a great sense of humor.  He was a strong presence in our group and he will be missed by his friends and fellow Marines.  A photo album with pictures of Bruce and Connie over the last 10 years can be found on our Photos page.

Semper Fidelis.

March Meeting Guest Speaker Col Bill Adams, USAF (Ret)

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Col Bill Adams, USAF (Ret) delivered an insightful presentation on the nuclear threat posed by North Korea and Iran at our March 21 regular meeting. Col Adams has extensive background in Nuclear and Security issues. Following the presentation he was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation by the detachment.  Photos from the presentation can be found at

Detachment Officer Elections

Detachment officers for 2019 were elected or appointed at the 21 Feb, 2019 regular meeting.  The new officers were installed following the election by new member Tom Hazlett, a former Executive Director of the Marine Corps League.  The list of officers includes:


Commandant - Jim O’Kelley

Senior Vice Commandant - Maurie Roesch

Junior Vice Commandant - Craig Hartburg

Judge Advocate - Tom Hazlett

Junior Past Commandant - Carlton Crenshaw

Adjutant - Tom Campbell

Paymaster - Hank Trautmann

Chaplain - Craig Hartburg

Public Information Officer - Art Beltrone

Sgt At Arms - Tim Taylor


Web Sergeant - Mike & Nannette Hartman

Recruiting Officer - Nancy Carver

Special Project (Belk’s Charity Day) - Mike Monticello

Photos from the installation can be found at

MCL’s Distinguished Citizen Gold Medal Presented to Carlton Crenshaw

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On Friday, March 1, 2019, the Founder of the Marine Corps League (MCL), Cpl. Bradley T. Arms, USMC, Detachment was awarded the MCL Distnguished Citizen Gold Medal. In order of precedence, the Gold Medal, is the most senior MCL award. The award was presented by the National Commandant of the MCL, Wendell W. Webb, at the MCL Mid – Winter Conference in Fredericksburg, Virginia. When the representatives of the Detachment left Charlottesville, Virginia on the morning of March 1st, it was not clear when the award of the Gold Medal would be made. Fortunately, this issue was resolved and the Medal was awarded at the beginning of the afternoon session of the MCL Mid – Winter Conference. The first photograph shows {from the left}: Detachment Commandant Jim O’Kelley, Virginia Department Commandant Don Coons, National Commandant Wendell Webb and our own Carlton Crenshaw. In the second photograph Detachment Marines Hank Trautmann and Maurie Roesch join the group. Photos from both the 3/1/19 and the 3/21/19 presentation made during our monthkly detachment meeting can be found at

Award Presentation

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Captain Gantt of the Marine Liaison at the University of Texas at Austin presents the MCL’s Distinguished Service Medal to Phil Beard for his outstanding work as detachment Web Sergeant over the past 13 years.  

2018 Christmas Dinner & Dance

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What would the holidays be without our annual Christmas Dinner and Dance? Not nearly as much fun! So, as we have done in past years, we ate, drank and celebrated the holidays in grand fashion.  And this year we added a couple of awards (see article below). Photos can be found on our website’s photo page.

Member and Supporter Recognized

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Member Art Beltrone and long time supporter radio host Joe Thomas were both recognized at our Christmas gathering.  Art received the Distinguished Service Award for his service as the detachment Public Information Officer and the Marine Corps Birthday Celebration Project Officer from 2006-2018.  Joe Thomas received a Certificate of Appreciation for his public support of our detachment over the airways for the past eleven years.  From his on-air promotions of our events to his annual live broadcast from our Birthday celebration Joe has been a true friend to our group.

David Henry Steel (1926-2018)

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Dave Steel, one of our few remaining WWII veterans, passed on December 7, 2018 after a prolonged illness.  Graveside services were held on Thursday, December 13.  Like many members of the WWII generation Dave interrupted his college education and life to serve his country. He will be missed by all who knew him. Semper Fidelis.

2018 Veterans Day Activities

Our detachment was well represented in this year’s Ceterans Day Celebration at James Monroe Highland.  Comandant James O’Kelley was the featured speaker for the event and member Dave Free presented the wreath.

2018 Marine of the Year

Commandant Jim O’Kelley announced 2018’s Detachment Marine of the Year, Hank Trautmann.  Those of you who have worked with Hank on everything from the Belk’s fund raisers to the Spring Picnic and Christmas Dinner and Dance know how much he has contributed to our detachment.  And that doesn’t even start to touch all the responsibility and work of serving as Adjutant/Paymaster.  The award was well deserved - Congratulations, Hank!

243rd Marine Corps Birthday Celebration

As in year’s past we celebrated the Marine Corps Birthday, our 243rd, with a party, Toys-For-Tots kickoff and a silent auction to support the Dogwood Vietnam Memorial.  We had the traditional cake cutting ceremony, a few beverages, and a lot of Marine camaraderie.  Links to pictures from the event, some would say a rogue’s gallery, can be found on our Photos page

Fiscal Year 2019 Planning Budget Adopted

A fiscal year 2019 planning budget was presented by Hank Trautmann based on the work of the budget committee (Maurie Roesch-team leader, Hank Trautmann, Phil Beard & Jim O’Kelley-final approval).  This planning tool will help guide us through the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2018 and will be available to help us decide how and if we should fund discretionary projects and contributions “after” all mandatory expenses have been met.  The tool is a living document and changes can be made through out the year as actual revenue and expense numbers become available.

Dogwood Vietnam Memorial Kiosk To Be Funded

As part of the budget discussion it was decided that all proceeds from our Marine Corps Birthday silent auction will be used to help the Dogwood Vietnam Memorial build an instructional audio-video kiosk at the memorial site.  This change was made since the final two memorial plaques will be completed with our $1500 donation from last year’s auction.

2018 Dogwood Vietnam Memorial Rededication

The annual rededication of the Dogwood Vietnam Memorial took place on Friday, April 20 at 1100.  Member Bruce Eades, who also serves as American Legion Post 74 Commander, led the ceremony and Commandant Jim O’Kelley, one of the main speakers, told the personal stories of four soldiers whose names are included on the monument.  Member Jerry Pusey presented a wreath on behalf of the detachment.  

Many of our members came to honor the 28 local men who lost their lives in the Vietnam War as evidenced by the conspicuous red covers spread throughout the crowd of several hundred.  Photos of the event can be found here.

Detachment Officer Elections

Detachment officer elections were held at the April meeting.  The majority were formally installed during the May meeting.  A list of our detachment’s officers for 2018  is included below:

Commandant (COM) -                    Jim O'Kelley

Sr. Vice Commandant (SVC) -        Maurie Roesch

Jr. Vice Commandant (JVC) -         Bill Saunders

Jr. Past Commandant (JPC) -         Carlton Crenshaw

Chaplain (CPLN) -                           Craig Hartburg

Adjutant/Paymaster (APM) -            Hank Trautmann

Sgt At Arms (SA) -                           Tim Taylor 

Web Sergeant (WS) -                       J. Phil Beard

Public Information Officer (PIO) -     Art Beltrone

Special Projects NCO (SPN) -         Jim Farrell

Thanks to all who volunteered to serve and best wishes for a great year.

Marine War Dog Project Donation

Following Marie Taylor’s presentation on Marine War Dogs the detachment voted to make a $500 donation to the project.  An email was sent out on Friday, April 20 that provided more information on the project and information on how individuals can also donate.

OK, a lot of us are dog lovers; but, more importantly, these dogs save Marine lives every day.  So, we’re hopefully making their job a little easier.

Women Marines Celebrate Their 100th Anniversary

Our Women Marine members: Kim Johnson, Nancy Carver, and Marie Taylor

There are some major events that you just have to celebrate and the 100th Anniversary of Women Marines is certainly one of those.  To prove it we joined with the members of American Legion Post 74 on the evening of February 15 to host a Mission BBQ catered dinner. Dinner was followed by a program that featured guest speakers, a video showing a brief history of Women in the Marine Corps and, of course, a ceremonial cake cutting.

We hoped that the event would serve as a recruiting opportunity as well as a celebration and we were not disappointed.  Two local TV stations and the local daily newspaper covered the event and several non member attendees expressed interest in our detachment. You can find photos of the event on our Photos page and a copy of the video on our Videos page.

Vietnam Museum - Marine Pathway Dedication


On Saturday April 11, 2015 members of our detachment along with guests from the local American Legion Post 74 and staff from the Vietnam  Museum in Ruckersville joined to honor  Marines who have given their lives in combat from WWI to the present.  Commandant Bill Hughes talked about Marine sacrifices made in each war over the past 100 years then turned the ceremony over to Bruce Eades who outlined the Marine Corps' role in Vietnam with maps to show the key areas of combat ( a copy of Bruce’s remarks can be found here ).  Finally, Carlton Crenshaw, the organizer of this event, added a moving personal touch when he spoke of his experience as a young artillery officer during the siege of Khe Sanh. As the ceremony ended friends from the American Legion Post 74 provided a 21 gun salute and played taps as the group honored those who had fallen.  This memorial ceremony was organized to accompany the dedication of memorial bricks honoring fellow officers who served with Carlton Crenshaw and lost their lives in Vietnam. The memorial  brick pathway can be seen at the museum and in photos from this event on our photos page

Once A Marine, Always A Marine