As your newly elected President of the Third Marine Division Association I would like to thank everyone for their support at our 57th Annual Third Marine Division Association Reunion in Louisville, KY. Our reunion was held at The Galt House on the banks of the Ohio River in the historic city center.
Louisville is known for its fast horses and smooth bourbon. It is better known for its southern hospitality and that's just what we received from the Kentucky Marines and the Kentuckiana Marine Corps League Detachment. They worked diligently with our reunion committee volunteers to help manage our weeklong activities.
Our busy schedule included our Welcome Reception, hospitality rooms, local sightseeing, the Ladies Breakfast, the Saturday Evening Banquet and the Memorial Service. I was most impressed by the situation report given by our Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr. I think everyone in the room sat a little taller knowing he is second in command of our precious Marine Corps.
He spoke specifically about several of our Marines. You will remember one of these Marines for years to come. Dakota Meyer, a former Marine Corporal, now a Sergeant in the Reserves, will be receiving the Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama at a White House Ceremony on Sept. 15. Sgt. Meyer will receive the Medal of Honor for actions in Afghanistan on Sept. 8, 2009, while serving with the First Marines.
We honored our fallen members at the Sunday morning Memorial Breakfast. We rang the bell 117 times--once for each Marine, Third Marine Division Association Member or Spouse lost during the year. Many of those were from WWII, veterans of our Greatest Generation, the generation that helped save our American way of life.
I want to acknowledge Warren Wiedhahn for his efforts in bringing the Marines and Corpsmen together whom were involved in Operation Dewey Canyon. This operation was the last major offensive by the Marine Corps in Viet Nam. Their mini-reunion took place on Friday during their organizational dinner.
This years elections ushered in many new officers and Board Members. Our outgoing officers and board members have done an outstanding job for our Association. I want to extend a special thank you to our outgoing President, General Gordon C. Nash and our outgoing Board Chairman, Col. Warren H. Wiedhahn. They have set the bar high for all of us but that's what Marines do best. Thank you for everything.
I ask for your support as we continue planning for the upcoming year and our next reunion. We will be returning to San Diego, CA, from Aug. 22-26! Mark your calendar now and plan to attend our 2012 reunion. We will be celebrating the 70th year since our Division was formed during our California visit.
I look forward to the coming year and encourage each and every Marine family to reach out to fellow Marines and Navy Corpsmen and invite them to join the ranks of the Third Marine Division Association.
Jeffrey A. Dement
President, 3rd Marine Division Association