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Marines mark 242 years of the US Marine Corps

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Commandant Alan Hartwell (far left) of Roswell’s Marine Corps League, Sgt. Moses D Rocha Detachment No. 1287, is witnessing the time-honored tradition of the oldest Marine and the youngest Marine present receiving the first two pieces of the Marine Corps birthday cake. Celebrating the founding of the Marine Corps connects Marines, retired or active, around the world and is celebrated on Nov. 10.

Cutting the cake is Fernando Carreon. “I served from 1970 to 2000 and my rank is Master Gunnery Sergeant,” he said. Waiting behind Carreon is Joshua Montemayor. He said that he served in the Marines from 2010 to 2015 and has the rank of Sergeant.

The league had invited all Marines and their friends and families to celebrate at the Elks Lodge.

This year the turnout surprised many league members.

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“This is one of the largest crowds that we have had in a long time,” Hartwell said. “It is so good to see so many Marines get together and celebrate our birth. Two hundred and forty-two years is a long time and from the looks of the future, I don’t see the Marines going anywhere anytime soon.”

The public will see many Marines out and about during the coming weeks.

“Our Toys for Tots is underway currently,” Hartwell said. “Be looking for donation boxes anywhere around town, at many of the shops and banks. Find us in front of Walmart and Kmart and donate a toy or pocket change if you can. We’ll make Christmas happen for the kids in Chaves County.”

After the ceremony, retired Marine and former Exalted Ruler of the Elks Lodge, Scott Montgomery, invited the Marines to stay and join the lodge members during karaoke.