Marine Corps League

Lt. Col. C.F. DePreker (Ret.) of the Marine Corps provides the keynote address at the Marine Corps Birthday Ball celebration of the Julian D. Dusenbury chapter of the Marine Corps League Saturday evening.

FLORENCE, S.C. — The Julian D. Dusenbury detachment of the Marine Corps League celebrated the Corps’ 244th birthday by learning about the detachment’s effect on the next generation of Marines.

The birthday ball celebration was held Saturday evening at Elks Lodge 1020 on West Jody Road just off Hoffmeyer Road.

Nov. 10 is considered the birthday of the Marine Corps. The Marine Corps was founded on Nov. 10, 1775, when the Continental Congress ordered the raising of two battalions of Marines. The birthday of the Corps has been celebrated since 1921.

Lt. Col. C.F. DePreker (Ret.) served as the keynote speaker of the celebration. DePreker currently serves as the senior instructor of the Mullins High School Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps.

DePreker used his time to talk about the connection between the department and the Mullins High School Marine Corps JROTC.

He outlined the relationship between the two.

“This relationship has stood the test of time and has made an impression on a lot of important people,” DePreker said.

Among the benefits of the relationship, DePreker said, was the opportunity for potential Marines to develop relationships with veterans of the Corps.

He said the Mullins program was the first Marine Corps JROTC program in the state. DePreker gave credit to the detachment for getting the program at Mullins off the ground.

The celebration included the reading of an excerpt from the Marine Corps Manual, the reading of birthday messages from the commandant of the Corps — one from the current commandant and one from the commandant of the Marine Corps League — and the presentation of two pieces of cake to the oldest and youngest Marines present to symbolize the handing down of experience and tradition to the younger Marines.

Although the Marine Corps Birthday is celebrated each year on Nov. 10, the day before Veterans Day, Nov. 11, the two holidays are unrelated.

Veterans Day arose from Armistice Day, which celebrated the end of World War I when the German Empire surrendered at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, 1918. After World War II, the holiday was expanded to include all veterans and became known as Veterans Day in 1954.

The Julian D. Dusenbury Detachmen is the 410th detachment of the Marine Corps League.

Dusenbury was awarded both the Navy Cross and Silver Star for service in World War II. His daughter, Roxanne, married Joe Wilson after her first husband died. Wilson currently serves as the representative from South Carolina’s Second Congressional District. Through Roxanne, Dusenbury is also the grandfather of South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson.

The Marine Corps League is the only congressionally chartered veterans organization for the Marine Corps. The league was chartered on Aug. 4, 1937, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the act chartering the league. The league was founded in 1923.

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Government and Poltics Reporter

I cover the city of Florence, the county of Florence, the state legislative delegation of Florence County and surrounding areas, and the federal delegation representing the Pee Dee for the Morning News.

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