COLUMBUS, Ohio –
The Marine Corps celebrated 243 years of service to the nation during a birthday celebration at the Defense Supply Center Columbus Nov. 7.
“The U.S. Marine Corps has a long, proud history of service defending America’s liberties and ideals dating back to the foundation of our country,” said Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime Deputy Commander Steve Alsup opening the program. “Through multiple conflicts, the valor and courage of the Corps has been battle-tested and proven.”
The event began with the presentation of the colors by the Columbus-based Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division – a unit devastated by loss 13 years ago when it suffered a rash of deaths in Iraq in separate incidents.
The deaths of nearly two dozen Marines in the unit had a great impact on the Columbus area, as many were reservists living locally prior to being called to active duty and deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The day’s keynote speaker, retired Marine Lt. Col. Todd Jenkins, director of DLA Land and Maritime’s Executive Programs Office, used the Corps’ annual anniversary to call attention to the Marines and families who’ve given the ultimate sacrifice. He noted that these families may find the festivities surrounding annual military anniversaries especially difficult, and encouraged veterans in the audience to reach out to Marine families and thank them for their service.
“Today is a time for remembering not just the Corps’ traditions but also a time to honor those who are no longer with us,” Jenkins said.
The day’s program also highlighted the legacy of military service. Jenkins was joined onstage by his father-in-law, former Whitehall mayor John Wolfe, and his son, Marine Lance Cpl. John Jenkins. Each represented three separate generations of Marine Corps service – past, present and future. Wolfe served a tour in the Marine Corps from 1954-1958. John Jenkins, a Gahanna Lincoln High School Graduate, enlisted in 2017 and is currently assigned to an engineer battalion in West Virginia.
The presentation ended on a bright note, with Jenkins recognizing Marines and veterans in the audience for their efforts. He spoke of the contributions of his father-in-law, who launched into public service after he completed his military tour. Wolfe has been a longtime supporter of DSCC’s mission and was inducted into DLA Land and Maritime’s Hall of Fame.
Mistress of Ceremony and Marine veteran Nicole Banks was honored for her work assisting a homeless Marine veteran over the summer and fall.
“Our days of serving in the Corps may have passed, however the title of Marine has no time limit once you’ve served,” Jenkins concluded.
Earlier in the program, Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime’s Lisa Griffin sang the National Anthem and Nicole Brown delivered the Marines’ Prayer, followed by a birthday video featuring Marine Corps Commandant General Robert Neller.
The traditional cake-cutting commenced following Jenkins remarks, with DLA Land and Maritime’s senior Marine Lt. Col. Kirk Greiner doing the honors and bestowing pieces to the three generations of Marines represented by the Jenkins family.
The program concluded with the playing of Anchors Aweigh and the Marines’ Hymn.