Marine Corps League looking for vets

If you are a Marine Corps veteran, the Marine Corps League is looking for you.

Zeddie Harmon, Commandant of the Department of Kentucky of the league, said area Marine veterans are wanted to start a new detachment in the Knox/ Whitley County area.

“I got to looking and there is nothing past Richmond,” Harmon said, noting there is an ongoing effort to expand the number of detachments and the membership.

Currently, there are 16 detachments and 846 members in Kentucky.

Harmon said a minimum of 20 Marine veterans is needed to start a new detachment.

To qualify, an individual must be honorably discharged from the active duty or the Marine Corps reserve.

In addition to offering the camaraderie that only those who have graduated from Marine Corps recruit training can understand, Harmon said the Marine Corps League offers the opportunity to give back to the community.

Harmon stressed that the Marine Corps League is not attempting to compete with other veterans’ organizations such as the American Legion or Veterans of Foreign Wars.

“We are not trying to take away anybody’s territory,” Harmon said, noting the Lexington area detachments have good working relationships with other veterans’ organizations.

The 501c3 non-profit organization lobbies Congress and state legislatures on veteran-related legislation.

Other programs the league hosts includes:

• Marines Helping Marines, which provides medical assistance and raises funds to help injured Marines.

• Young Marines for children ages 7-17, which works to teach Marine Corps values in an effort to help them develop into responsible citizens who enjoy and promote a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.

Harmon said annual dues for the Marine Corps League is $30.

Anyone interested in joining or assisting in the startup of the new detachment is asked to contact Harmon at (859) 224-2649 or (859) 361-1823.

The Marine Corps League was founded in 1923 by then Commandant of the Marine Corps, Major General John A. Lejeune, with the goal of giving Marine Corps veterans the opportunity to join together for the purpose of preserving the traditions and promoting the interests of the U.S. Marine Corps.

In addition to rendering service to all Marines and Fleet Marine Force Corpsmen, the Marine Corps League offers its assistance to their widows and orphans.

The Marine Corps League works to preserve the traditions of the Marine Corps by fitting acts to observe the anniversaries and historical occasions of particular interest to Marines.

The Marine Corps League is the only federally chartered organization dedicated exclusively to Marine Corps veterans.

The Marine Corps League has more than 76,000 members across the United States and its territories in more than 1,000 community-based detachments.