Within these pages, you’ll get to know the warriors, past and present, of the finest infantry battalion of the United States Marine Corps, and the courageous chaplains and corpsmen of the United States Navy who care, or have cared, for them.
We hope you’ll enjoy looking through the site, getting to know us and seeing what we’re all about. We’ve been going strong since 1988 and getting stronger every year. Our membership includes Marines from all corners of the United States having served from private to commandant, all of whom share the pride and privilege of having earned the title "United States Marine,” “Chaplain” and those few who earned another title, equally honored and deeply esteemed by Marines, the simple, three-letter title of "Doc."
Once you've navigated your way around the site, please feel free to make suggestions and let us know what you think. Those of you who have been either assigned or attached to the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines of all eras, please consider taking membership and letting your friends know about us.
First, we finally have PayPal up and running to allow members to pay dues and make donations online as an added convenience. Members may still submit their membership applications and pay via snail mail, but we recognize the need to become a bit more modern for the newer members coming aboard.
Second, the information for this year’s reunion is now on the web site to include a registration form. The reunion this year will be held in a tribal resort casino and hotel. I understand from Vice President Sean Schickel that the Ramadi era Marines are jazzed about this particular aspect. I know some of our older members are concerned about the smoking in the casino. Colleen and I were just in “Lost Wages” for a Scottish Games and stayed in a large 2500 room casino hotel. We personally dislike smoking, but could not really detect the smoke in most areas. Casinos are doing a great job of circulating and filtering the air in their establishments, so I think those of you who might be wavering due to this particular issue can be reassured that the reunion will be much more pleasant than initially anticipated. Please go to our REUNIONS link and get the scoop on this year’s reunion. Please note that initially the registration form was incorrectly labeled as the 2010 reunion in Pleasanton, CA. This has been fixed and hopefully we will see you at the correct location. Host Donald Greengrass has worked things out whereby all breakfasts, the banquet and tour transportation will be generously paid for by the Ho-Chunk Nation. This makes our event very affordable and I hope that will encourage you to attend. I also understand that “the Dells” is a beautiful area and a great water park adventure.
Third, I have a great concern about the future of our wonderful organization. Immediate Past President Steve Wilson was recently tasked to establish a Nominating Committee to find people to run for the offices of Treasurer and one Director. We stagger the election of officers to provide a bit of continuity to our Board of Directors. Steve tried very hard to come up with three persons to form this committee, but had no success. Luckily, the two incumbents agreed to run for another term. My concern is that, if no one participates in the process, our Association will ultimately wither and die. The people who are presently filling the various officer and staff billets have been the same ones doing it for years. At some point, new blood is necessary to continue the march. Marines, and our Navy brothers, have always been first to go in harm’s way. The old saw, “Once a Marine, Always a Marine,” applies to all of us. I would hope that you will remember this when asked to help out the 2/4 Association in the future.
On another, but related topic, I have had one or two comments made about this organization being run by “good old boys” and that things never change. We are good and we are certainly getting older, but we keep filling these billets because no one seems willing to step up and run for office. Those of you who have that opinion should re-read what I just wrote above. If no one volunteers to participate, then you must be willing to accept things the way they are. If not willing to accept things as they are, then I encourage you to reconsider your options and step up like a Marine should to lend a hand. If enough are unhappy with the present system, participate in the process and make your desired changes. This is no different than the national election cycle presently underway. My challenge to you is to make a difference by voting and volunteering, or hold your peace.
Lastly, in conjunction with the election of the two billets mentioned above, there will also be a vote on raising our dues. It takes money to run an organization. Most of our members are life members [approximately 85%], thus there is no annual income from these members. Annual non-active duty dues have been $20 since we were established. This is not enough for the necessary administrative requirements we incur each year. Our largest expense is a bit over $1,000 annually for awards to present to a number of well deserving Marines and corpsmen of the active Battalion. Yes, we presently have a large amount of money in our accounts, but most of this is earmarked for the memorial brick project whereby we are working to have a memorial brick for every Marine, corpsman and chaplain killed in the line of duty since the battalion’s inception in 1911. General Weise says we still need over $100,000 to finish the project. So, our actual operating budget is very slim. Therefor, your Board is asking you to vote to raise all categories of non-active duty dues. Active duty dues will remain the same. Details are shown on the ballot.
The ballots will be mailed out shortly to include the two board positions and the dues increase. In the past, we have offered electronic voting as well as by snail mail, but we didn’t get much response from the electronic side last year. This year, we will be doing the voting by snail mail only to see how that works out. This is, however, more expensive hence the proposed raise in dues. Please take a moment to vote and mail the ballots back. If response is low, it is of less benefit to the rest. Your participation is key to the success and future of the 2/4 Association.
My kind regards to you all and I look forward to seeing you in Wisconsin Dells 27-31 July.
Semper fi, Brooks