LIMA — It was Nov. 10, 1775, The Marine Corps was formed.
The military branch marked 242 years of existence Friday.
In Lima, a group of veterans gathered at the Westgate Entertainment Center for fellowship and a special dinner topped with a birthday cake. There’s actually a longtime tradition where the Marine with the most seniority cuts the cake with a sword. The two youngest Marines get the first pieces of cake, according to the tradition.
“It’s just a bunch of guys getting together. That camaraderie with them — they’re all brothers in the service. We treat each other that way. We got each other’s back and we just try to get together and enjoy ourselves,” said Tom Martin, commandant of the Marine Corps League in Lima.
According to its website, The Marine Corps League has been around since 1923. Major General Commandant John A Lejeune, a hero in World War I started the organization. Congress granted the organization a federal charter on Aug. 4, 1937 and it’s the only Federally Chartered Marine Corps related veterans organization in the country.
The local chapter of the Marine Corps League has been around since 2000.
The bond between members of the Marine Corps remains strong.
“I think it’s the way we were taught in boot camp. We’re probably one of the strongest boot camps in the country. Once you’re in there you’re part of the Marine Corps. You become a Marine. There’s no doubt about it when you get the eagle globe and the anchor on your hat. It’s over with. You’re one of the brothers no matter where you’re at and what you’re doing,” he said.
Martin says the Marines are a proud group with a rich history.
“The Marine Corps seems to be the only ones that’s got the pride. That’s one thing the Marine Corps did to me was give pride. I have a lot of pride in what I do and who I am and what I stand for. I don’t think the other services have that,” Martin added.
“I just like the camaraderie. We try to get together once a year and meet people.”
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409