San Joaquin celebrates the Marine Corps Birthday and paid tribute to all veterans

By Annette Silva DLA Distribution Public Affairs

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Defense Logistics Agency Distribution San Joaquin, Calif. celebrated the 240th Birthday of the United States Marine Corps Nov. 9 during an afternoon ceremony. Distribution center employees and tenants attended the time-honored tradition and witnessed the tradi­tional cake cutting ceremony. 

DLA Distribution San Joaquin Commander Marine Col. Keith Reventlow served as the guest speaker during the celebration. He not only paid tribute to the U.S. Marine Corps, but paid tribute to all the veterans at the installation by thanking them for their service to our country as we embarked into the Veteran’s Day holiday.

“As we recognize the anniversaries of Parris Island, Iwo Jima and Operation Starlite, let’s also remember the smaller fire fights, skirmishes and battles that did not make the history books and all those that did as we celebrate our veterans,” said Reventlow. “On this day and every day, let us be thankful for our veterans.”

He went on to say that while we have a lot of work to do to address the challenges facing the generation of tomorrow, we can be proud that the men and women in uniform today are the very brightest in America, and are the finest military the United States has ever produced.

Upon conclusion of Reventlow’s remarks, retired Marine Thomas Perez of Stock Positioning read Lt. Gen. John A. Lejeune’s Marine Corps Order 47, the first birthday message dated Nov. 1. 1921. Lejeune was the 13th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps. Immediately after the message, the audience watched the 2015 Marine Corps Birthday Message video from the current Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Robert B. Neller.

The Marine Corp’s birthday cake-cutting ceremony is important to all Marines, as it is an annual renewal of each Marine’s commitment to the Corps. The first piece of cake was cut by Reventlow and was given to the oldest Marine and then passed to the youngest Marine. The oldest Marine symbolizes the experience and the youthful spirit that is the hallmark of the Marine Corps and the youngest symbolizes the passing of history and traditions to the next generation.

The oldest Marine honored at the celebration was Randel Beck of DLA Installation Support San Joaquin. Born in 1952, he enlisted in the Marine Corps in June of 1971. The youngest Marine was Antonio Salazar of the Materiel Management Group. He was born in May of 1988 and enlisted in August of 2006.  

Retired Marine Master Sgt. Eugene “JR” Holiday, deputy chief of Program Support, served as the master of ceremonies and the Ma­rine Transportation Service Company Combat Logistics Battalion 23 provided the color guard.

Additionally, cake es­corts were police Lt. John DeSilva and John Vieira of the Security Branch; the invocation was led by Darrell Smith of Transportation Divi­sion and the National Anthem sung by Gerold Abrea of the Unitized Group Rations mission.