On Nov. 19, we celebrated the 239th birthday of the Marine Corps with an outstanding gathering at Bird Key Yacht Club. Major General Miller the Chief of Staff at US Special Operations Command was our guest speaker. We had several WWII participants in the group including Ralph Franklin who was with the 3rd Marine Division at Guadalcanal. Captain Bob O'neill who joined the Navy in 1941 was in attendance as was Cliff Bermann who is also a WWII veteran. Dick Bonelli who was a... participant in the heroic battle near the Chosin Reservoir fought by Fox Company of the Seventh Marine Regiment, First Division Marines during the Korean Conflict was also present and seated at the General's table. He is prominently mentioned in the book "The Last Stand of Fox Company" including a picture. Honored as Sailors of the quarter from Coast Guard station Cortez were: SN Decker and BM2 Pierantoni. They were accompanied by their Officer in Charge BMC Dan Benoit. US Coast Guard Cutter Crocodile's SOQ was MK3 Kornoski. He was accompanied by the Officer in Charge of the Cutter, BMCS Buddy Gilbert. We also heard from a young MCJROTC Cadet--Alex Vischulis who received our scholarship to attend the National Flight Academy Summer Camp. He reported on his experiences there. Major General Miller gave an inspiring talk about the marines and the Marine Legend. A great time was had by all.

BMC Dan Benoit, Officer in Charge at US Coast Guard Station Cortez meets Sgt. Dick Bonelli, participant in the battle of Chosin Reservoir in the Korean Conflict.

John Osterweil, Beverly Koach, MG Miller USMC, Leslie Osterweil, Lt. Col.Tom Siebold USA, Sgt, Dick Bonelli USMC (ret) and Mary Bonelli.

MG Miller presenting the SOQ award to BM2 Pierantoni from USCG Station Cortez

MG Miller presenting the SOQ award to SN Decker of USCG Station Cortez

MG MIller presenting the SOQ award to MK3 Kornoski of USCG Cutter Crocodile

Cadet Alex Vischulis, Sgt Bonelli and MG Miller participating in the ceremonial cutting of the Marine Corps birthday cake

Attendees who served in the US Marine Corps

Venice MCJROTC Cadet Alex Vischulis describing his experience at the National Flight Academy

Major General Miller, USMC delivering his remarks marking the 239th Birthday of the Marine Corps

MG Miller, Ralph C. Franklin member of the 3rd Marine Division at Guadalcanal and our President Tim Rocklein