MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
The Houston Chapter of the 1st Marine Division Association honored 120 2nd Marine Division Marines and sailors with an appreciation luncheon at the Ball Center, Feb. 27.
The chapter held the luncheon to honor and thank the Marines of the division for their hard work and sacrifices. It also gave Marines, young and old, the opportunity to trade tales of their experiences amongst each other.
Retired Sgt. Maj. George Meyers, one of the members of the association, coordinated the event. He said he was glad to see so many Marines in attendance.
“It’s great to have them here looking sharp in their uniforms,” Meyers said, sporting ribbons on his suit from his time in the Corps, while Marines came to the event in their service B uniform. “It was also great to be able to thank them for serving our country.”
Some of the retired Marines described their purpose in visiting the warriors of this generation.
“It’s about the camaraderie and the brotherhood, the present and the past,” said retired Master Gunnery Sgt. Robert Baldwin. He said that the event was important because it gave the Marines a chance to connect with those who came before them.
The attendees talked about how deployments were then and now, how travel was and even what types of food they ate. Baldwin talked to Cpl. John J. Ortega, a field wireman with 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, about then and now.
“It’s cool to get a perspective of how things were then,” Ortega said.
He added that he was happy to talk to the former Marines and was honored that they appreciated him.
“When someone who has gone through a lot more than you says they appreciate you, it makes what you’re doing seem that much more worth it,” said Ortega.
Although he said the food and discussion were great, Meyers said the main focus of the event was to thank the Marines.
“You guys have done so much for the Corps and so much for the American citizens,” Meyers said. “Most civilians don’t know you’re the reason they have a safe place to lay down every night when they go to sleep.”