Big Bear, Ca, November 15, 2010, 4:00pm - The United States Marine Corps is celebrating its 235th Anniversary this year. Local Marines celebrated Saturday night at the Big Bear Best Western with a telling of Marine history, Marine brotherhood, and even a Marine proposal. Guest of Honor, retired Master Gunnery Sergeant of the USMC Kenneth Merrell spoke about the Marine Corps values including honor, courage, and commitment. Retired Gunnery Sergeant Gary Whiteman followed Merrell, and spoke about the support he and many other Marines received from their wives. His wife, of many years, had passed a few years back, and he told the room how he found love again in Robin Simone. He asked a fellow Marine to escort Ms. Simone to the front of the room, where he then proposed to her. Ms. Simone said yes, and they shared a dance. The event was filled with Marine tradition, including the cutting of the cake with a sword by Commandant Steve Shindler. The youngest and oldest Marine took part in the cake cutting along with Master Gunnery Sergeant Merrel. Big Bear local Lance Corporal Michael Douglass, a graduate of Big Bear High School in 2008 was the youngest Marine at the age of 20, and Katie Dokter was the oldest Marine at the age of 92 years. Douglass was home on leave from Afghanistan where he was wounded in battle. Another highlight of the evening was when Katie Dokter was presented with WWII Victory Medal, which she had lost over the years. Dokter was surprised and happy to receive the medal, that she had originally lost years ago.
- Veterans Day Ceremony at Veterans Park on 11/11; Marine Corps Detachment Honors USMC’s 234th Birthday on Saturday
- Local Marine Corps League Detachment and American Legion Post Host Memorial Day Ceremony at Veterans Park on Monday
- Big Bear’s Chief Master Sergeant Furniss Honored for 34-Year Career in Three Branches of the Military; Local Ceremony on April 11