MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- Former, reserve or active Marines of any rank or gender are welcomed into the Marine Corps League, an association that aims to carry on the traditions of the Marine Corps through continuous association with Marines who served honorably.
Since the closest Marine Corps League detachment is in the low desert, a group of former and retired Marines have set out to establish a league in Twentynine Palms.
"Hundreds of Marines--current, retired and former Marines--live in the area," said Ray Schum, retired sergeant major. "Yet there is no local Marine Corps League activity. Marines have much to offer any community, and together we can contribute greatly to the surrounding communities. There are people out there who need our help."
Schum and his friend Hal Lowry, another Marine veteran, founded the nearest detachment in the low desert in February 2004--Marine Corps League Detachment Desert Cities. They felt a more convenient detachment would benefit Marines living in or near Twentynine Palms.
Before a detachment is chartered, Lowry and Schum must find members who are interested in promoting the purposes of the Marine Corps League. Schum homes a new detachment will form to expand programs, enlist the participation of all members, remain a dynamic and meaningful organization, and enjoy the fellowship of Marines and eligible Fleet Marine Force corpsmen.
Founded by Maj. Gen. John A. Lejeune in 1923, the league was chartered as a military service, not-for-profit organization by an Act of Congress on August 4, 1937. Today, it boasts a membership of more than 60,000 honorable Marines.
Once a member, Marines continue to serve the community through offering scholarships, running youth programs or supporting active duty Marines and their families.
League members also participate in the Veterans Administration Voluntary Service Program, an assistance program for hospitalized veterans that provides assistance to veterans in a wide area of matters relating to their military service.
The league also participates in Toys for Tots, provides membership incentives, participates in patriotic functions and provides representation to Congress in legislative matters affecting the Marine Corps.
“Remember the esprit de corps you experienced while on active duty?” asked Lowry. “Membership in the Marine Corps League offers those same feelings. The camaraderie never ends.”