View Full Version : "Marines: The Few The Proud" Motorcycle Club revs up Central Park

06-06-04, 07:02 AM
June 4, 2004
"Marines: The Few The Proud" Motorcycle Club revs up Central Park

by Cpl. Clinton Firstbrook
Contributing Writer

"NEW YORK - Over the endless procession of traffic and chatter during the 17th Annual Fleet Week, the distinct sound of revving engines roared through New York City heading for Marine Day in Central Park, where they proudly displayed the colors of the "Marines: The Few The Proud" motorcycle club.

Among martial arts, dog handling, and other Marine Corps demonstrations, seven Vietnam veterans dressed in camouflaged utilities set their motorcycles on display and talked to attendees about their organization and prior service.

"I thought all of the motorcycles really added to the event and were a great display," said Raychel Maguire, Marine Day attendee. "You could see how proud they are of their service in the Marine Corps. They were all extremely friendly and more than happy to answer any of our questions. They even let my friends and I pose for a picture on one of their motorcycles."

Throughout the year this 15-member group travels along the east coast performing at parades and ceremonies paying tribute to those who have and are currently serving their country.

"For a Marine to participate in an event like this one with the new recruits ... you see that the Marine Corps is in good hands," said Stew Rubin, "Marines: The Few The Proud" vice president. "They're upholding the very same Corps values when we were in the Corps. This is where we belong."

Formed by three members in June 2003, this club quickly distinguished themselves from other motorcycle groups by not charging an enrollment fee. Their only requirements to become a member are that interested parties are affiliated with the Marine Corps League or an active duty service member who is authorized to wear the Fleet Marine Force ribbon and that you uphold the traditions of the United States Marine Corps.

"We don't collect dues each month like other clubs," said Bob Heise, "Marines: The Few The Proud" sergeant at arms. "If you've earned the eagle, globe and anchor, we don't prospect you. If you've earned the right to wear that emblem, you've earned the right to be one of us."

But upholding the Corps' traditions involves more than just being courteous. Members must also keep themselves squared away and inspection ready.

"We're not bikers," Rubin said. "We don't want to look like bikers. We keep our hair short and our boots and bikes spit shined. We want to represent the Marine Corps how it should be. That's what we're about. We enjoy riding, but foremost we're Marines and we will always be Marines."

At least every other week you can catch these motorcyclists out on the road. The following morning after Marine Day in Central Park some of the members also rode down with Vietnam veteran motorcyclists to Washington D.C., for Rolling Thunder and to the Massapequa Memorial Day Parade in Long Island, NY.

"If we're not attending an event of our own, we're out doing somebody else's," said Heise. "One event that we're all going out on next month is a benefit run for a Marine who was injured in Iraq. Marines helping Marines; that's what we're all about."

"I hadn't ridden a motorcycle in 30 years," said John Lee, motorcycle member. "When I went out and bought another bike I wanted to ride it with Marines.

The camaraderie we have is the best part about being in the club. We all share the same bond because we are all brothers."

While members are proud of their accomplishments there is one goal they have yet to reach.

"Our dream is to one day have a "Marines: The Few The Proud" chapter in every state and at every base," said Rubin. "That would be incredible."


Cpl. Clinton Firstbrook
Members of the motorcyle club, "Marines: The Few. The Proud," display their bikes in Central Park in New York City. Anyone who is a Marine - active, reserve, former, or retired - is eligible to join.



06-06-04, 07:03 AM
Central Park gets greener: Marines land for 2nd Marine Corps Day
Submitted by: New York City Public Affairs
Story Identification #: 200464162753
Story by Cpl. Beth Zimmerman

NEW YORK(June 4, 2004) -- More than 200 feature movies containing scenes in New York's Central Park have been released since 1908, making it the most filmed public park in the world. On May 29, Marines and New Yorkers filled Central Park's Rumsey Playfield for the 2nd Marine Corps Day in Central Park during Fleet Week 2004.

Marines interacted with New York natives, veterans, and future Marines during the sunny day in Manhattan's 843-acre historic park. They also provided weapons displays and more insight into the Corps with job-related demonstrations.

"The dog demo really stood out in my mind," said 19-year-old Kate McGuire from the Bronx. "I saw the dog when we walked in, and I was a little intimidated by it."

Sergeant Joe Evans and his 5-year-old canine partner, Staff Sgt. Barro, make up a Patrol and Explosives Detector Dog Team from Camp Lejeune, N.C. The two of them performed Marine Corps canine demonstrations for audiences at Marine Day. Evans and Barro demonstrated the unique ways they have of communicating. They also demonstrated that, like any other Marine, Barro is disciplined, and he responds with immediate attention to Evans' orders.

"I felt a little less intimidated by the dog because I knew it was very under control by him," said Kate. Her twin sister agreed. "It's good to see that they train them well enough to do as much as they do," said Rachel McGuire. "I thought he did a really good job showing that it's not too intimidating all the time," said Kate. "But that if it needs to be intimidating (or aggressive), it can."

Evans wanted the audience to understand the unusual relationship the canine trainer and animal share.

"I love getting out there and letting people know what we do with our dogs," said Evans. "It's a safety thing. People don't know how to act around our dogs," said the Yonkers native. "The more people I can tell about it, the better."

"It gives a different view of the Marine Corps," Evans added. "It's definitely true professionalism. Our job is our job."

Another Marine Corps demonstration provided an aspect of the Corps many people may already associate with Marines-martial arts.

"We did a series of movements from the martial arts program, from tan to black belt, just to show the public what Marines are learning today," said Staff Sgt. Daniel Winnie, Martial Arts Trainer and 1st-degree Black Belt from Camp Lejeune. "It shows them we're continuously training, keeping vigilant, and we can handle anything that happens."

Kate McGuire was glad to see Marines perform martial arts up close. "At first, it was also pretty intimidating to see a bunch of Marines going at it," she said. "But it shows us this is what they do, and they're doing a good job defending us."

Other Marines participating in the day's events appreciated the value of the public demonstrations. Pfc. James McMahon, Camp Lejeune, said the martial arts demonstration motivated him. "People see that there are different levels of force," he said. "It shows (the public) the level of dedication to the overall mission Marines have."

Marines who spent the day at Central Park also met people they wouldn't normally encounter. "It was great interacting with the community," said Pfc. William McMonigle, barracks guard, Marine Barracks Washington. "It's definitely something we don't get to do in the barracks all the time."

Mingling Marines and New Yorkers realized they weren't too different from each other. "Most people that I talked to would stop for a quick conversation," said McMonigle, a Queens native. "Then I'd say I'm from New York, and they'd get happier, cause they see someone from their hometown who's actually out there representing."

"It's nice to see that the people (of New York) know you're there, and they're happy to see you," said McMahon. "It reaffirms our dedication to what we're doing."


Corporal Brandon Malkowsky (right), a radio operator from Camp Lejeune, explains the capabilities of the M240-G machine gun during Marine Corps Day in Central Park. Held in the park’s Rumsey Playfield, this is the second time Marine Corps Day in Central Park has taken place during the annual Fleet Week celebration in New York City. Photo by: Cpl. Clinton Firstbrook