Find the Men 4 Toys 4 Tots! They can Dance!

by admin

Dean Graves with U.S. Marine Corps Birthday Cake. Year confuses me, but I’m sure there is a reason.

I was talking to my parents last month and mom sent me this picture to show me the cake Dad was picking up for his gathering.  He was celebrating with fellow U.S. Marines in Tucson, Arizona that week on the 10th. So, I had to call. Here’s the story, that is, what I could write on my computer while listening to my father’s words, so take it with a grain of salt in translation:

Thurs. Nov. 10th, 2011 was the 236th Birthday of the US Marine Corps. The U.S. Marine Corps is one year older than the United States of America.

Paula’s inserts are bracketed.

[On November 10, 1775, the 1st Continental Congress commissioned Samuel Nicholas, a Quaker innkeeper, to raise two battalions of marines in Philadelphia. The tavern’s manager, Robert Mullan acted as marine recruiter.  Prospective volunteers came to Tun Tavern, most importantly, to serve the country by joining the corps, and secondly, for cold beer. The first Continental U.S. Marine unit was made up of one hundred Rhode Islanders commanded by Captain Nicholas. Thank you wikipedia, I made a donation and changed a few words.]

My father’s officer training class was #357.

[Now called the Officer’s Candidates Course, it is currently a ten-month program located then and now at Quantico, Virginia where my sister, Gina was born. By the way, she was a $6 baby. It includes the legendary Marine Corps Boot Camp from which the common term “boot camp” is borrowed, an umbrella term encompassing any kind of grueling physical test. I’m confident any other “boot camp” pales in comparison to the real thing.]

This class has had numerous reunions over the years because this class had four United States Generals. Everyone commissioned a second lieutenant has to go through Officer’s Basic School.

This is my mother pinning a bar or something on my Father after his graduation from Officer’s Training School in Quantico.

This picture is from the cookbook that my mother made for me with recipes of my family and friends when I was married. It is in a section entitled “Marine Corps Cooks.” I don’t have it with me to see her words exactly, but I am remembering that they included a few of the following points:

  • The Marine Corps told the men the first day that they were married first to the Marine Corps and second to their wives. [I’m sure this for some was reason enough to join]
  • My mom felt that as a Marine Corps Wife (at that time) that she had plenty of time on her hands. She said, one of the things that they did was cook. She includes at least two delicious recipes that I remember in this section. They are for a concoction called “Pooh Punch” and for “Quantico Clam Dip.” She would have to tell you the story(ies) but I’m recollecting that the two in excessive amounts could be quite deadly to this group.
  • She also noted that on the base, the competition among wives consisted of being the first one to get the laundry on the clothesline in the morning. And, the competition of who could get pregnant first. I don’t imagine that my mother won the first one, but I’m certain that she did the second; she has always been a high achiever.
  • I do remember her saying that upon graduating from KU and after her marriage June 6th, her parents drove her to Virginia to move her in.  I am not sure where my father was stationed or why her parents had this responsibility, but I am assuming it was as she said, the wedding with the USMC was held before hers.

From here on my notetaking and comprehension break down because it was getting too detailed to write. I should not talk about or relay things I don’t know about but this is what is written:

  • Candidate School
  • ROTC class
  • Basic school class (4 or more each year)
  • 3rd Basic School class for 1957. 600 (3 companies of 200), each company is 4 platoons, 45 in a platooon.
  • Carl Mundy-4 star General Commandant
  • Joe Hoar-4 star General, replaced Schwarzkopf (army officer) as Central Command (commanding officer for marines, air force and army for all forces on the eastern United States). All a chain of command thing. Chairman of the joint chiefs of staff rotates around between the three branches of service. The marine corps is part of the naval establishment, but has their own Commandant.
  • 40 people in a platoon. my dad, Joe Hoar and Jim Joy are all in the same platoon.  Hollis Davison is another 3 star general. Another 5th?

[Dad, please post corrections. I didn’t google for checking]

That’s really the end of my notes from dad’s story by phone on the Eve of the USMC Birthday. The marines I met at the Candle Club in Wichita confirmed what he must have said, which is that after Officer’s Training he was then sent to Camp LeJeune, “Home of Expeditionary Forces in Readiness.” That is, he was assigned to a mission which he would lead and Camp LeJeune was the base where he was prepared for this duty.

I was pretty little, but I do remember this outfit when my dad was in the Reserves. There is somewhere that I with him one time in Kansas City but I cannot remember why I would have gone. He would also be able to get us toys at the PA. He was no longer in Reserve Duty after his architectural practice began to require more time.

I do remember asking my father what he thought at that time when he was on the boat to the Phillippines.  With the humor and self-deprecating smile that anyone who knows my father can imagine, he said something to the effect of,

Man! I might just die over here!” 

And, I’m sure that is what any or at least many honest Marines say to themselves so often when they go to work each day and serve our Country when on a mission.  But they go to work anyway, because they have taken it on as their duty to serve and protect our country.

Honored to be in picture with Two Marines at the Candle Club in Wichita, Dec. 3, 2011. Another noble mission, Toys for Tots night. And they were in the line of danger with all the women that wanted to dance with them. And by the way, they hit the Aircraft Industry Events but by far cleaned up at my new club. The band was great and I didn’t dance, I took pictures. The Marine Corps also appears to have introduced a fabulous dance camp to their training regimen. Kudos.


So with whatever you choose

to be your mission in life

and from the child of a marine,

born at Camp LeJeune

Semper Fidelis.


3 comments on “Find the Men 4 Toys 4 Tots! They can Dance!

  • Hi Paula, This caught my eye on FB…I completed OCS and The Basic School in Quantico, VA after graduating from KU, and spent 13 years in the Marines as an Infantry Officer. In that picture, your Mom is either pinning on your Dad’s 2nd Lt. “butter bar”, or his 1st. Lt promotion. Either way it is a picture you should treasure. By the way, I remember you Dad as if it were yesterday. I met him for the first time after I rear ended him after a football game while I was a Jr. at SME. He was so nice about it that night, and the next day when my Dad and I came over to your house to survey the damage and set up repairs. I was pretty nervous, not only about the accident, but because I had such a crush on your sister Gina! Anyway, small world, please tell your Dad, Mom (and Gina) hello and Semper Fi.

    – John

  • Paula :
    Thought this was just great ! A few minor errors but not important to make any corrections other than “Shipping Out” was not to Phillipines but to Lebanon, but hostilities subsided and entire ship convoy that had been sailing East turned South and made practice landing at Vieques Island just South of Puerto Rico , Then stayed there for more training for a month;then back to Camp Lejuene…The 234 on the cake was from same group getting together two years before for same Nov 10th USMC Birthday when Corps was only 234 yrs old instead of 236 yrs now .GG and I drove back to Quantico with a loaded car as our Honeymoon Adventure immediately after our June 6 wedding in Hays City .. Took us several days and we went to Washington DC for a couple of days before moving into our aptmt. But, that’s another whole story .(.Paul and Great did not drive GG to Quantico)
    Thanks . Love, DAD

    • Dad,
      Thank you for perusing and for all of the extra details and corrections about the destinations, etc.. John Omick posted in FB and just re-posted same stuff here which I think you will find of interest.

      There is some story mom tells about Great and Grandamolie either wanting to move her in, or maybe moving her into some housing off the base, or something that is in the back of my head so I will ask GG sometime. I’m thinking you had the on-base housing, off-base housing, then Johnny Walker, then Roe Village, then building the house in PV so I could have it muddled or maybe it was just something they wanted to do? Don’t remember, just know there’s some thread of it that has been told and re-told that I’d love to remember, I’ll ask mom, she’ll track.

      John Omick was a marine and it’s about rear-ending your car and how nice you were. I said you also had fond memories but that they didn’t re-surface in Lawrence when you were with your grandchildren and had a similar happenstance if the story they remember about that incident and your mood is correct in their memories :). I certainly don’t have any fond memories of being rear-ended in that hippie green volkswagen that was your first second car and I inherited at SMEast with all of the coke bottle returns in the bank which totalled my only means of transportation for duration of high school.

      Thanks again, Dad. Will call soon. P.

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