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Public Statements

Congratulations To The United States Marine Corps

Floor Speech

Location: Washington D.C.

* Mr. WALDEN. Madam Speaker, I rise today to honor the more than 100 members of the Marine Corps League Rogue Valley Detachment 386 of southern Oregon on the occasion of the Marine Corps' 234th birthday. Since 1921, all Marines--past and present--have heeded the order issued by Major General John A. Lejeune to come together each November to remember the history, honor, and traditions of their Corps.

* Next week, on November 10, I will have the honor and the privilege of joining with the Rogue Valley detachment to celebrate and commemorate the founding of the United States Marine Corps when, in 1775, the Second Continental Congress resolved to raise two battalions of Continental Marines.

* For the 234 years that have followed, the United States Marine Corps has stood as the epitome of America's military strength. From the Battle of Belleau Wood to the Battle of Khe Sanh, from the sands of Iwo Jima to the streets of Fallujah, from Grenada to Beirut, the Marine Corps has never failed in answering the call to defend this Nation and its interests around the world. Marines truly have served in every clime and place in defense of freedom.

* It is this tradition of service and commitment to freedom that most impresses me whenever I meet a Marine or former Marine.

* Proving that ``Once a Marine, Always a Marine'' is more that just a slogan, the members of the Marine Corps League Rogue Valley detachment are dedicated to the purpose of preserving these traditions and promoting the interests of the United States Marine Corps. They do this by promoting the ideals of freedom and democracy throughout their community and by volunteering aid and assistance to all current and former Marines and Fleet Marine Force Corpsman and their families.

* In the past year, the Rogue Valley detachment, led by Commandant Loren Otto, organized its first annual ``Tee It Up for Local Heroes'' golf tournament and raised $2,100 to support Toys for Tots, the Marines Helping Marines Wounded Warrior program, and to provide care packages for deployed service members. A portion of these funds also went to support the three local Young Marine units that the detachment sponsors in southern Oregon.

* I am very pleased to note that the Rogue Valley detachment is the only Marine Corps League unit in the country that sponsors this many Young Marine units. The detachment's commitment to making a positive impact on America's future is without question and we are indeed fortunate to have members Dave Dotterrer and Anthony Guillory serve on the National Board of Directors for the Young Marines.

* Other detachment members have sent out nearly 100 comfort packages to deployed Marines and soldiers. The detachment also recently volunteered to support their local community when the Cycle Oregon tour came through the Rogue Valley and in return raised over $500 to put toward future fundraising efforts. In addition, the detachment regularly offers an Honor Guard detail to the Eagle Point National Cemetery to provide funeral honors for their fallen brethren. Finally, in probably their most fulfilling service to community, the Rogue Valley detachment collects and distributes toys for the yearly Marine Toys for Tots program throughout Jackson and Josephine counties.

* By their actions and deeds, the men and women of the Marine Corps League Rogue Valley Detachment 386 have demonstrated the honor, commitment, and values that Marines have been renowned for since their inception. While our gathering next Tuesday to mark this auspicious occasion in the Corps' 234-year history may be small compared to others, I am extremely honored to share this time with such a dedicated group of veterans, constituents, and friends.

* Madam Speaker, I encourage all Members of Congress seek out their local Marine Corps League detachments or active duty Marines on November 10 and raise a glass to celebrate the world's finest fighting force. Semper Fidelis, Marines, and Happy Birthday.

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