The Marine Corps League hosted several top Marine Corps and government officials at a reception Saturday at the Navy Pier to sum up a combination of Marine Week Chicago’s events.
General James L. Jones, national security advisor, Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Carlton Kent, Lt. Gen. Ronald S. Coleman, deputy commander for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, and James Laskey, national commandant of the Marine Corps League were just a few of the V.I.P.s on the guest list.
Prior to the reception, the V.I.P’s walked throughout the reception room viewing numerous military equipment and technology displays, interacting and posing for photos with other guests, and even signed autographs.
“Tonight is a combination of a great week of events,” said Laskey, a 20-year Marine Corps veteran who retired as a first sergeant. “We have Gen. Jones here as well to address our supporters and friends of the Marine Corps.”
Jones, who served as the 32nd Commandant of the Marine Corps from July 1999 to January 2003, was the guest of honor for the night. Before the event, he gave his perception of Marine Week and what he thought it did for Chicago.
“Marine Week explained what it is Marines do,” said Jones. “It’s tremendously important for Marines to excel and do exciting things for families.”
Throughout this week, Marines have been seen throughout Chicago’s community volunteering, providing special demonstrations, and informing Chicago’s public of what the Marine Corps is about.
“Marine Week is a way for the Corps to interact with the community,” said Laskey. “It let them know what the Marine Corps does, and shows what the peoples’ tax dollars are paying for.”
Following the reception, were performances by the Battle Color Detachment which consists of the “Commandant’s Own” and the Silent Drill Platoon from Marine Barracks Washington D.C.
Laskey said he still has the greatest respect for Marines and he described what a Marine was to him.
“We (the Marine Corps) have some of the best warriors in the world today.” explained Laskey. “These guys are great.”
Like Laskey, Jones also had similar beliefs.
“It’s a good time to wear the uniform for our nation,” stated Jones.