Local Marines present honors and receive information

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Veteran David Leos, left, and Piper Hill, right, were presented Detachment challenge coins for their presentation on Healing 4 Heroes by Commandant Jay Maxwell, center. Also present was service dog "Shakespeare," also known as "Shakey".

The November meeting of the Sgt Clyde Thomason Medal of Honor Detachment #1325, serving Fayette and Coweta counties saw several individuals honored. Jeff White, Peachtree City, was recognized as the 2022 Marine of the Year. White has been active in several aspects of the Detachment’s programs but has been instrumental in the success of the annual Toys for Tots which has placed toys in the hands of local children who might go without a Christmas. The program has provided toys for between 5,000 and 6,200 children every year for nearly a decade. White has seen community recruitment and involvement increase with many community groups and businesses being involved. This year the Toys for Tots local program will expand to five Georgia counties, including Coweta, Fayette, Heard, Meriwether, and Talbot. The Marine of the Year is chosen by a committee of previous members who have previously been named Marine of the Year.

For the first time, the Detachment recognized an Associate Member of the Year. Associate Members are individuals who believe in and support the goals, aims, and traditions of the United States Marine Corps and the Marine Corps League but never served in the Corps. Marion Sparks Ramey, Jr., Newnan, was a veteran of the United States Coast Guard and was very active in the Marine Corps League. Although an Associate, he was so active and so supportive that most detachment members believed he was a Marine. One of the most ardent supporters and dependable volunteers, Ramey was chosen as the 2022 Associate Member of the Year. The award was given posthumously to his wife, Linda Ramey. Mr. Ramey passed away on August 5, 2022.

A special presentation was given to the members present at the November meeting by Piper Hill, founder of Healing for Heroes, which provides service dogs to veterans with PTSD and catastrophic injuries. When the program was first founded, all of the applicants in 2008 and 2009 were U. S. Marines. The members learned that, “Since 2010, our whole focus has been to rescue dogs from local shelters and pair them up with veterans at no cost to the veteran and provide all the training to help them become ADA compliant. The dogs are trained to help the veteran through situations in their daily lives that are inhibitive.” Thousands of veterans have benefited from this unique program and is a non-profit entity. Additional information is available at www.healing4heroes.org.

The Sgt Clyde Thomason Medal of Honor Detachment is one of 1,100 detachments in all 50 states composed of Marine veterans, FMF Corpsmen and Chaplains, and Marines who continue to serve the community and the Marine Corps. The Marine Corps League, chartered by an act of Congress, offers funeral honors support, color guards, support for transitioning Marines and family support, rifle and pistol matches, college scholarships, and much more.

The detachment also has supported the Wounded Warrior Regiment, those suffering with traumatic brain injuries, and the East Coweta High School Marine Corps JROTC, to name a few.

 Membership is open to all honorably discharged Marines and Fleet Marine Force Chaplains and Corpsmen. A valid DD-214 is required. The local detachment meets each second Tuesday of the month, except for December, in the fellowship hall of Christ the King Church, 3881 Highway 34 East, Sharpsburg. A website is available at http://MCL1325.net/. There is also a Facebook page at Sgt. Clyde Thomason, MOH Marine Corps League Detachment #1325.