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03-28-10, 11:57 AM #1
MCL National Northeast Div. Conf. - Scranton, PA - Guest speaker~~Gen Gray
For the past 6 months, I have been looking forward to this past Friday & Saturday with the MCL National Northeast Division Conference right here in Scranton, PA (about 10 minutes away from where I live) on having the opportunity in meeting our Marine Corps 29th Commandant - Gen Al Gray on Saturday evening at the banquet.
He's now 82 years young and doesn't even look it. I guess it's the busy life that he has doing events like this and still being involved in on what's going on in our Marine Corps of today and the Marine Corps League.
When I first saw him walk into the Radisson Hotel lobby, I had to do a double take. For some odd reason, I thought Gen Gray was much taller than he was. I'm only 5' 3", and he wasn't much taller than me...lol!
Now since I still had on my MCL cover on, and saw Gen Gray walk back towards the area I was in, I came to attention and gave him a nice crisp salute, whether it was appropriate or not, I did it out of respect. He just smiled and went on his way.
Anyway, the evening at the banquet was great. Gen Gray spoke of his time in the Marine Corps, going from private to General, and being Commandant. I was truly amazed at how well Gen Gray looks for his age. He made the 6 hour trip up from Virginia by himself (got a bit lost---those darn GPS's...lol) and was returning to Virginia first thing this morning. On his way back to Virginia, was making a stop a Bethesda to visit our troops.
Along with having the HONOR and PRIVILEDGE of meeting Gen Gray, I also met a lot of great Marines from all over the country. When talking to some of these Marines, it was like I knew them for years. The brotherhood of the Marine Corps continues even when your long done from doing your enlistment. It DOES NOT go away.....Once a Marine, Always a Marine!!!
I do have to say this...when your enlistment is done in the Marine Corps, or even if you're an active duty or reservist Marine, get involved in a local MCL Detachment. We are always looking for new members. They do a lot a great things for our Marines, their families, children, the VA, the community, and so on. I'm so grateful to my brother for getting me involved in the MCL a year and a half ago. We have 3 local Detachments in our area, and my brother is Commandant and I'm his Sr Vice Commandant of our Detachment. Another great organization to get involved in is the Military Order Of The Devil Dogs. I was initiated as a Devil Pup last weekend at a MCL Dept meeting at Ft Indiantown Gap, PA.....and was a great time it was. So far, it's a lot of fun attending the Growls, and money raised from the Devil Dog Growls, goes to the Children's Hospital. This is an organization that is for Marines Only, as to where the MCL is open to Associate and Social members.
Marines, get involved in one of your local MCL detachments. It's a great way to continue on with the brotherhood and meet a lot of great Marines out there.
03-28-10, 12:00 PM #2
Here are some pics of Gen Al Gray from the banquet on Saturday evening, 3/27/10.
03-28-10, 12:02 PM #3
03-28-10, 12:04 PM #4
03-28-10, 12:07 PM #5
This pic of my brother and I with Gen Gray is a pic that I will treasure for the rest of my life!
03-28-10, 12:09 PM #6
These pics are from the Devil Dog Growl Friday evening. Ahhhhh...the fun you can have...lol!
03-28-10, 12:13 PM #7
We all got together in the hospitality room on Friday evening before the Devil Dog Growl...
Marines doing what we do best.....drink...lol!
03-28-10, 12:17 PM #8
Marine Color Guard practicing right before the memorial service to honor those Marines on active duty, and MCL members, who have passed on in 2009-2010.......
03-28-10, 12:23 PM #9
Lisa!!! What a Great Picture .
That's so Wonderful that you got to experience that and Feel that Great Feeling of Pride of being one of " The Few and The Proud ".
That's Great that you are involved in the MCL to that level and all that you do.
Congrats and I'm Glad you had a Great time and to Have that picture is PRICELESS !!!!!!!!!!!!
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03-28-10, 12:30 PM #10
Thanks Rocky. You're right...that picture is PRICELESS!
I did want Gen Gray to be in the middle, but he insisted that I be in the middle...lol!
I'm very thankful and grateful that Gen Gray took the time not only for my brother and myself, but for others who wanted their pics taken with him. He was very gracious to do so.
03-28-10, 03:49 PM #11
03-28-10, 04:13 PM #12
03-28-10, 06:42 PM #13
Great photos of a great man.I'm sure you and your brother enjoyed yourselves.
Thanks for sharing Lisa
03-28-10, 08:25 PM #14
We sure did Dan.
It would've been nice if I was able to get one of the General's challenge coins, too....but he doesn't carry that many on him anymore. The ones he had on him, he gave to the 4 Marines, which they deserved more than I do.
03-28-10, 09:05 PM #15
As Rocky said, great smile!!! Good to see you without your cover LOL Thank your brother for his service please. It seems a dying art as 9/11 fades away!!
Glad you got a chance to meet the General
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