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Local leathernecks mark a historic milestone

Posted: November 11, 2008 9:24 p.m.
Updated: November 12, 2008 4:59 a.m.

Approximately 30 Marines gathered at the American Legion Post 507 in Newhall Monday night as they celebrated the United States Marine Corps' 233rd birthday with a march, music and dinner. The oldest Marines fought in WWII and the youngest are set to deploy to the Middle East in a few months.

 
What the United States Marine Corps lacks in numbers it makes up for in pride, said former Marine Joe Furlong.

Monday was the Marines' 233rd birthday, and the occasion was celebrated at the American Legion Post 507 in Newhall.

Furlong and more than 30 servicemen representing the Marines and other branches of the military celebrated the birthday with a special meal and march.

"We had a chipped beef and spam," Furlong said. The meal replicated a notorious military dish, he said.

Furlong and his fellow celebrants shook off their dinners and lined up in formation on the corner of Spruce and 11th streets. The procession marched two blocks to Spruce as residents applauded and cheered, Furlong said.

A Marine Corps birthday is different, Furlong said. "We are the smallest branch, but we have the most pride," he said.

The Marines Corps is the only service that still recognizes its inception, he said. "There's something special that Marines have the other services can't match," Furlong said.

Furlong and fellow Marines shared the camaraderie with the other branches on Veterans Day Tuesday. Vets gathered at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6885 Tuesday to share stories and show their support for other members of the armed services, Furlong said.

"We came here to celebrate living in a free country," he said.

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