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Welcome to the home page of the Bradley T. Arms Detachment.  Our detachment, #1256, is headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia where we provide an opportunity for active and inactive Marines from all parts of central Virginia to meet, participate in community service projects, and have some fun in the process.  We are always ready to add more Marines to our detachment so check out our membership page, join us at a meeting and come on board.  

And while you are at it, take a look at a brief introduction video to meet some of our members and see some of our activities.  Or, just use the menu at the top to look around our site.

Semper Fi


Veterans Day Commemoration

November 12, 2018

Following are remarks delivered by Colonel James O’Kelly, USMC (Ret.), Commandant of this detachment, at the James Monroe Highland Veterans Day Commemoration Ceremony .


VETERAN’S DAY WAS ESTABLISHED AS “A CELEBRATION TO HONOR AMERICAN VETERANS FOR THEIR PATRIOTISM, LOVE OF COUNTRY, AND WILLINGNESS TO SERVE AND SACRIFICE FOR THE COMMON GOOD.”

ON MEMORIAL DAY IN MAY WE REMEMBER THOSE WHO DIED FOR US.

ON VETERAN’S DAY IN NOVEMBER WE HONOR THOSE WHO SURVIVED AND ARE WITH US.

MOST OF YOU PROBABLY KNOW THAT TODAY’S VETERAN’S DAY BEGAN AS ARMISTICE DAY OR REMEMBRANCE DAY AFTER THE FIRST WORLD WAR. THE ARMISTICE, ENDING HOSTILITIES, WAS SIGNED ON THE 11TH HOUR OF THE 11TH DAY OF THE 11TH MONTH OF THE YEAR 1918. IT BECAME A DAY OF COMMEMORATION OR CELEBRATION FOR ALL VETERANS OF THAT “WAR TO END ALL WARS.” BUT IT WAS NOT UNTIL 1954 THAT CONGRESS PASSED A LAW ESTABLISHING THE HOLIDAY.

THE FIRST WORLD WAR WAS SUPPOSED TO BE “THE WAR TO END ALL WARS “ BUT WE ALL KNOW THAT WAS NOT THE CASE AND IS NOT THE CASE TODAY AS WE CAN PLAINLY SEE FROM ITS NAME, THE FIRST WORLD WAR ! IN FACT THE OLD RUSSIAN PROVERB EXPRESSES OUR SITUATION BEST WHEN IT SAYS “ETERNAL PEACE LASTS UNTIL THE NEXT WAR! “

WE VETERANS KNOW THAT THAT “FOR THOSE WHO HAVE FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A SWEETNESS THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW.”  AND I BELIEVE THAT IS ONE OF OUR PRIMARY PROBLEMS TODAY.  WE HAVE BEEN BLESSED WITH PEACE INSIDE OUR BORDERS FOR OVER 150 YEARS AND MOST OF OUR YOUNG PEOPLE TAKE THIS TO BE NORMAL.  AS WE ALL KNOW THIS IS ANYTHING BUT NORMAL IN THE REST OF THE WORLD.

I RECENTLY READ AN ARTICLE THAT SAID THAT “HISTORY GIVES US A RECORD OF PERSPECTIVE, CONTEXT, AND CONSEQUENCES THAT CAN HELP US MAKE WISE CHOICES AS WE LEARN FROM BOTH THE SUCCESSES AND FAILURES OF THOSE WHO HAVE COME BEFORE US.”  PERHAPS ANOTHER WAY OF SAYING THE SAME THING IS THE OLD ADAGE THAT SAYS “GOOD JUDGMENT COMES FROM EXPERIENCE; EXPERIENCE COMES FROM BAD JUDGMENT!”

THE REAL QUESTION WE SHOULD FOCUS ON IS WHETHER WE WILL LEARN AND ACCEPT THE LESSONS OF THE PAST OR IN OUR ARROGANCE WILL WE REPEAT THE SAME MISTAKES OF THOSE WHO CAME BEFORE US—TO OUR OWN PERIL. I BELIEVE THOSE WHO DO NOT STUDY AND LEARN FROM HISTORY ARE DESTINED TO REPEAT IT AND I ALSO BELIEVE THAT THOSE WHO REVISE HISTORY FOR THEIR OWN POLITICAL GAIN OR POLITICALLY CORRECT PERSPECTIVE ARE ALSO DESTINED TO REPEAT IT.

WE ARE ALL STILL HERE FOR A REASON. WE ARE ALL RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT HAPPENS OR DOES NOT HAPPEN IN OUR SOCIETY AND CULTURE.  WE ALL HAVE PARTICIPATED IN HISTORY AND WE ARE LIVING AND MAKING HISTORY EVERY DAY OF OUR LIVES.  WE ARE THE RESULTS OF OUR PAST DECISIONS AND OUR INDECISIONS.

SO MY FELLOW CITIZENS AND ESPECIALLY YOU VETERANS OUR WAR TO PROTECT OUR FREEDOMS IS NEVER ENDING AND WE MUST CONTINUE TO FIGHT FOR WHAT WE BELIEVE IS TRUE AND RIGHT AND FAIR FOR US ALL.  THAT IS WHAT WE SIGNED UP TO DO MANY YEARS AGO WHEN WE SWORE “TO SUPPORT AND DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AGAINST ALL ENEMIES, FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC” AND THAT WE WOULD “BEAR TRUE FAITH AND ALLEGIANCE TO THE SAME.”

LET ME SHARE WITH YOU AN EXAMPLE OF A MAN WHO FOUGHT FOR FREEDOM AND WAS SEVERLY WOUNDED AND WHO LATER USED THOSE EXPERIENCES AND LESSONS LEARNED TO SERVE OUR COUNTRY IN A MOST REMARKABLE WAY AS OUR FIFTH PRESIDENT:

JAMES MONROE WAS THE LAST PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TO HAVE SERVED IN THE AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY WAR.  HE WAS BORN 28 APRIL 1758 IN WESTMORLAND COUNTY, VIRGINIA—A COUNTY THAT ALSO WAS THE BIRTHPLACE OF TWO OTHER US PRESIDENTS—GEORGE WASHINGTON AND JAMES MADISON.  HE ENTERED THE COLLEGE OF WILLIAM AND MARY IN 1774 AT THE AGE OF 16.  ON 25 JUNE 1775 HE PARTICIPATED IN THE RAID ON THE GOVERNOR’S PALACE IN WILLIAMSBURG TO SEIZE ARMS STORED THERE AND DELIVERED THEM TO THE LOCAL MILITIA.  MONROE, HAVING FELT THE FERVOR FOR FREEDOM FROM OPPRESSION, RETURNED TO WESTMORLAND COUNTY AND JOINED THE 2nd VIRGINIA INFANTRY REGIMENT AS A SECOND LIEUTENANT.  

HAVING BEEN EXTENSIVELY TRAINED, YOUNG JAMES (18) THEN JOINED THE 3RD VIRGINIA INFANTRY REGIMENT AND MARCHED WITH THEM TO NEW YORK CITY DURING AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER 1776 AND PARTICIAPTED IN THE BATTLES OF HARLEM HEIGHTS AND WHITE PLAINS.

WITH THE WAR GOING BADLY FOR THE PATRIOTS, GENERAL WASHINGTON DECIDED TO LAUNCH A RISKY SURPRISE ATTACK ON THE BRITISH MERCENARIES, THE HESSIANS, IN THEIR WINTER ENCAMPMENT IN TRENTON, NEW JERSEY.  LIEUTENANT MONROE VOLUNTEERED TO SERVE AS CAPTAIN WILLIAM WASHINGTON’S SUBALTERN (EXECUTIVE OFFICER) IN THE ADVANCE PARTY WHICH WOULD BE THE POINT OF THE SPEAR IN THE ATTACK.  THEY LEFT WELL AHEAD OF THE MAIN FORCE AND CROSSED THE DELAWARE RIVER VERY EARLY CHRISTMAS MORNING TO SECURE THE ROUTE TO TRENTON. LIEUTENANT MONROE WAS ORDERED TO MOVE HIS MEN TO MOUNT GUARD FARTHER DOWN THE ROAD CLOSEST TO THE HESSIAN LINES.  

DURING THE BITTERLY COLD NIGHT PUNCTUATED WITH SLEET AND SNOW THE MEN’S MOVEMENTS INTO THEIR POSITIONS ARROUSED THE DOGS OF A LOCAL DOCTOR NAMED RIKER WHO CAME OUTSIDE TO INVESTIGATE.  HE GREETED THE TROOPS WITH VIOLENT AND PROFANE LANGUAGE UNTIL HE REALIZED THEY WERE PATRIOTS. AFTER LIEUTENANT MONROE HAD CALMED THE DOCTOR DOWN HE THEN INVITED THEM INTO HIS HOUSE TO GET WARM AND TO EAT AND DRINK.  WHEN THE TROOPS MOVED OUT LATER HE VOLUNTEERED TO GO ALONG AS THEIR SURGEON.  

THE TROOPS GOT TO WITHIN A HALF MILE OF THE TOWN BEFORE THE HESSIAN PICKETS GAVE THE ALARM.  CAPTAIN WASHINGTON LEAD A FRONTAL ASSAULT DIRECTLY INTO THE HESSIANS.  AT A V-SHAPED ROAD JUNCTION THE HESSIANS WERE ATTEMPTING TO SET UP TWO CANNONS WHICH WOULD HAVE DEVASTED THE AMERICAN ATTACK.  CAPTAIN WASHINGTON AND LIEUTENANT MONROE LED THE COMPANY IN A CHARGE DIRECTLY INTO THE HESSIANS, DRIVING THEM BACK AND  CAPTURING THE TWO CANNONS AND NUMEROUS TROOPS.  CAPTAIN WASHINGTON WAS SEVERLY WOUNDED AND LIEUTENANT MONROE GATHERED THE TROOPS AND CONTINUED THE ATTACK IN LIKE MANNER UNTIL HE WAS SHOT IN THE LEFT SHOULDER BY A MUSKET BALL WHICH SEVERED AN ARTERY.  FORTUNATELY FOR MONROE DR RIKER WAS CLOSE BY AND WAS ABLE TO STOP THE ARTERIAL BLEEDING AND SAVED HIS LIFE.  WASHINGTON AND MONROE WERE REWARDED FOR THEIR CONSPICUOUS GALLANTRY BY BEING PROMOTED TO MAJOR AND CAPTAIN RESPECTIVELY.  MONROE’S CONVALESENCE WAS SLOW BUT HE RETURNED TO DUTY IN AUGUST 1777 AS AN AIDE-DE-CAMP FOR GENERAL STIRLING AND PARTICIPATED IN FOUR MORE CAMPAIGNS –BRANDYWINE, GERMANTOWN, VALLEY FORGE, AND MONMOUTH.  HE RESIGNED FROM THE CONTINENTAL ARMY IN 1778 AS A 20 YEAR OLD MAJOR AND THE NEXT YEAR RESIGNED FROM THE WILLIAMSBURG MILITIA AS A 21 YEAR OLD LIEUTENANT COLONEL.

JAMES MONROE WENT ON TO BECOME THE GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA, THE MINISTER TO FRANCE, SPAIN, AND ENGLAND, THE SECRETARY OF STATE, AND THEN THE SECRETARY OF STATE AND THE SECRETARY OF WAR CONCURRENTLY DURING THE WAR OF 1812, AND THE FIFTH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES FROM 1817 TO 1825. HE DIED ON THE FOURTH OF JULY 1831 (ONE OF THREE OF OUR PRESIDENTS TO DIE ON INDEPENDENCE DAY-THE OTHER TWO WERE JEFFERSON AND ADAMS)

SO A VETERAN VOLUNTEERED TO SERVE HIS COUNTRY AND IS SEVERLY WOUNDED. IN SPITE OF THAT WOUND WHICH CAUSED HIM MUCH DIFFICULTY THROUGHOUT HIS LIFE, HE RETURNS TO CIVILIAN LIFE AND ACHIEVES A GREATNESS THAT IS STILL NOT FULLY APPRECIATED TO THIS DAY.  I SUGGEST TO YOU THAT THERE ARE MANY VETERANS TODAY WHO ARE EMULATING JAMES MONROE’S EXAMPLE OF PATRIOTISM AND SELFLESS  SERVICE.  

LET ME CLOSE BY CHALLENGING EACH ONE OF YOU TO FIGHT TO PRESERVE THAT WHICH WE VETERANS HAVE FOUGHT FOR AND SACRICED FOR AND DIED FOR OVER THE LAST 243 + YEARS—OUR FREEDOM IN OUR CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC!  LIBERTY REQUIRES ETERNAL VIGILENCE !

THE FOLLOWING WAS FOUND CARVED ON A SENTRY BOX DOOR AT PRINCE EDWARD’S GATE ON GIBRALTAR IN 1919:

GOD AND THE SOLDIER

ALL MEN ADORE,

IN TIMES OF TROUBLE 

AND THEN NO MORE.

FOR WHEN THE WAR IS OVER

AND ALL THINGS ARE RIGHTED,

GOD IS FORGOTTEN

AND THE OLD SOLDIER IS SLIGHTED.


SEMPER FIDELIS AND THANK YOU!  OOHRAH!


Once A Marine, Always A Marine