For more historical photos, see the Golf Tournament Page and the Scholarship Page.
Meeting minutes for 2017
Toys for Tots
Every year, our detachment supports the Marine Reserve in collecting donations for the Toys for Tots program. 2017 was a short year in terms of toy collection but that didn't keep us from participating. We helped collect 2600 toys and $322 in cash from generous shoppers at the Toys R Us in Columbia, Maryland.
On November 28, 2017, our newest member signed on...Greg Paulin. He is the son of Tim Paulin, our Senior Vice Commandant, shown on the left. He is also the older brother of our youngest member, Daniel Paulin. Sergeant Greg Paulin is currently on terminal leave from Camp Lejeune, where he served as a signals analyst. Semper Fi Greg!
Marine Corps Birthday and Veterans Day Gala
On November 12, 2017, our detachment hosted our second annual celebration of both the Marine Corps Birthday and Veterans Day. We ate a fine catered meal, sang our branch of service hymns, learned about the Howard County Veteran School Presenters (VSPs) program, and made toasts to Marines of years past.
Our guest of honor was retired Marine Master Sergeant Walter W. Taylor. He is the brother of our namesake and active member of Marine Corps League Detachment 924 in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Walter Taylor with his wife Elizabeth Jayne.
Emcee Ed Hall passed birthday cake to our oldest and youngest Marines, retired Colonel Lou Schott and Daniel Paulin. On November 10, the Corps turned 242 years old. The Fallen Comrade Table on the left stands as a reminder of those who are still missing in action and those who made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom.
Colonel Schott was presented with one of the two co-grand marshall banners from yesterday's parade.
Commandant Bill Swain gave our detachment guidon to retired Master Sergeant Walter W. Taylor.
Marines, former Marines, retired Marines, and Navy corpsmen that served with Marines in the Fleet Marine Force pose for a photo. From our detachment, Kevin Oliver, Mike Betts, Gordon MacPhee, Tim Paulin, Daniel Paulin, Stephen Kovalchik, Bill Swain, Mike Blum, Curt Atkins, Ed Hall, Lou Schott, Darwin Pitts, Jesus Tapia, and Saki were present. Also present was Montford Point Marine James Dixon shown seated in the tan suit.
Guidon proudly on display at the home of retired Walter and Elizabeth Jayne.
Veterans Day Parade
On November 11, 2017, Veterans Day, our detachment was well represented at the third annual Ellicott City Veterans Day Parade. Grand Marshals included our own retired Colonel Lou Schott and former First Lieutenant Vivian C. Bailey of the Women's Army Corps. Ed Hall was one of the organizers of this event. Other former/retired Marines present included Kevin Oliver, Mike Betts, Tim Paulin, Daniel Paulin, Stephen Kovalchik, Bill Swain, Mike Blum, Curt Atkins, and Saki.
Ed Hall double timing to the front to keep things in order.
Seated are our Grand Marshals who served their country during World War II.
Speakers for this event included American Legion Adams, Hanna, Moore Memorial Post 156 Commander Larry Killen, County Executive Allan Kittleman, County Councilperson John Weinstein, and Delegate Robert Flanagan.
After the parade, some of the guys got a ride back to their cars in an old military truck. Kevin made the Marine Corps League presence known.
For more information, see Howard County Times - Veterans Day Parade.
Blue Star Memorial Re-dedication
On November 11, 2017, Veterans Day, we were present for the Blue Star Memorial re-dedication by the Howard County Garden Club. This took place at the Howard County Welcome Center in the Ellicott City Historic District. Our own Ed Hall was one of the speakers for this event. Also present were Tim Paulin and Saki.
Representing Blue Star families was Lieutenant Colonel (U.S. Army) Win Adkins, his wife Tracy (Director of Blue Star Families of Fort Meade), and their son Mitch. Mitch read a poem he wrote called "Pride and Honor."
Blue Star Memorial Highways are highways in the United States that are marked to pay tribute to the U.S. armed forces. The National Council of State Garden Clubs, now known as National Garden Clubs, Inc., started the program in 1945 after World War II. The blue star was used on service flags to denote a service member fighting in the war.
- from "Wikipedia - Blue Star Memorial Highway"
For more information, see Howard County Times - Howard County Garden Club rebuilds Blue Star Memorial in Ellicott City.
On October 24, 2017, we celebrated three new members joining our detachment: Myron (Mike) Fowler, Mike Smith, and Bob Lappi. That means we now have six Mikes: Bechetti, Betts, Blum, Siemasko, Smith, and Fowler. Below on the right is undoubtedly our most photographed Mike...Mr. Betts, our six time commandant and "Grand Old Man" of the Detachment.
On October 14, 2017, Ed and Lynsie Hall opened up their home to host our detachment's Oktoberfest celebration. We enjoyed German food and homemade beer while we hung our by the fire, sung the Marines Hymn, and got our socks knocked off when Ed shot off his cannon at the end of the National Anthem.
66 Years Ago
In the below photo on the right is our 2011 Commandant, Bill Brooks Sr. This picture was taken in Korea, back in 1951. He was quite the handsome Marine.
On Saturday, September 23, 2017, our detachment joined forces with American Legion Post 156 and the Boy Scouts to retire 497 flags, taking our 12 month total to well over 2000.
The red and white and starry blue
Is freedom's shield and hope.
~John Philip Sousa
Shown below are Gordon MacPhee and Daniel Paulin, the latter hard at work preparing flags for their final farewell.
Second Annual Flea Market Extravaganza
On September 17, 2017, we teamed up with the American Legion post 156 for their Flea Market Extravaganza at the Howard County Medical Pavilion parking lot to help raise money for our detachment. We sold coffee, donuts, bottled water, and stuff we wanted to get rid of. Participants included Ed Hall, Bill Swain, Mike Betts, Gordon MacPhee, Michael Bechetti, Bill Pastino, and Saki.
It was a clear, sunny day...great for rummaging through other people's stuff.
Mike Betts says, "Pull my finger!"
18th Annual River Hill Independence Day Parade
On the Fourth of July, our detachment participated in the 18th Annual River Hill Independence Day Parade which ran from Pointers Run Elementary School to the River Hill Village Center. Participants included Jesus Tapia, Curt Atkins, Tim Paulin, Daniel Paulin, Mike Blum, and Bill Swain.
2016 Detachment Marine of the Year
On June 27, 2017, members previously chosen to hold the coveted title of Detachment Marine of the Year gathered to vote for the newest awardee. Gordon MacPhee was selected based on his hard work and dedication exhibited during the previous year. We can always count on him to lead, participate, and take on responsibility when duty calls. Great job Gordon!
Gordon appears below on the right.
Department of Pennsylvania Pistol Match
On June 9-11, 2017, our detachment participated in and took second place in the pistol match. Deadly AND good looking...what a combination! From left to right below are Mike Betts, DJ, Kevin Oliver, Doug Putt, and Frank "Kip" Kippenbrock.
Howard County Veterans Monument Site Dedication
On June 3, 2017, our detachment color guard attended the Howard County Veterans Monument Site Dedication at Lake Kittamaqundi, Columbia, Maryland.
30th Annual Savage Fest
On June 3, 2017, our detachment participated in the annual Savage Fest town festival in Savage, Howard County, Maryland.
This event was preceded by a parade down Savage Guilford Road. Our detachment color guard led the way. From left to right are Mike Betts, Curt Atkins, Tim Paulin, Stephen Kovalchik, and Daniel Paulin.
Right behind us in the parade was John McCleaf of the American Legion who drove his Willy Jeep, mounted with a bad driver deterrent.
Our color guard with beauty contest winners, posing for a photo in front of a Marine recruiting inflatable.
Our color guard helped perform the opening ceremony for Savage Fest.
Manning the grill in the morning for our big fundraiser was (from left to right), Jesus Tapia, Gordon MacPhee, Nicholas Tapia (Jesus' son), Bill Swain, Dennis Graham, Kevin Oliver, and Michael Bechetti.
Promoting the Detachment
On May 27, 2017 (the Saturday before Memorial Day), out detachment passed out Marine Corps League roses and flags to increase awareness about the League. Many people gave out donations to support us. Special thanks to our host, Giant Grocery Store at Chatham Mall, 9200 Baltimore National Pike (route 40), Ellicott City, Maryland 21042.
On April 30, 2017, Jacob L. Witlin was presented his Eagle Scout Good Citizenship Award by Marine Corps League members Mike Betts and Tim Paulin at the Yingling-Ridgely VFW and Auxiliary Post 7472 in Ellicott City, Maryland. Great job Jacob!
The Corps Runs in their Family
On April 3, 2017, Tim Paulin pinned sergeant chevrons on his oldest son, Greg, at Camp Lejeune. Semper Fi to the Paulins!
On March 28, 2017, we had our annual officer elections and installation. District 4 Vice Commandant Marc Fisher swore in the following, shown below from left to right:
- Judge Advocate: Saki
- Senior Vice Commandant: Tim Paulin
- Junior Vice Commandant: Stephen Kovalchik
- Commandant: Bill Swain
After serving six non-consecutive terms as Commandant, our Grand Old Man, Mike Betts passed the gavel onto his successor. We wish our new staff all the best!
Flag Retirement Ceremony
At this March 25, 2017 quarterly event, 1067 worn, unserviceable American flags collected in Howard County were given their last respects in accordance with proper protocol. Our detachment participated in this ceremony with the VFW, American Legion, and Boy Scouts. Volunteers included Ed Hall, Kevin Oliver, Bill Brooks, Gordon MacPhee, Bill Swain, Curtis Atkins, Jon Heckendorf, Stephen Kovalchik, Tim Paulin, and Daniel Paulin.
Ed Hall explains the plan of action to attentive volunteers.
Last rites were performed at the Yingling-Ridgely VFW and Auxiliary Post 7472.
From left to right: Tim Paulin, Kevin Oliver, Curtis Atkins (in front), American Legion members in dark hats, and Jon Heckendorf on right.
James Dixon, Montford Point Marine
In 1942, President Roosevelt established a presidential directive giving African Americans an opportunity to be recruited into the Marine Corps. These African Americans, from all states, were not sent to the traditional boot camps of Parris Island, South Carolina and San Diego, California. Instead, African American Marines were segregated - experiencing basic training at Montford Point - a facility at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Approximately twenty thousand (20,000) African American Marines received basic training at Montford Point between 1942 and 1949.
- from Montford Point Marines (a broken link as of 2020)
On February 3, 2017, our detachment and a few guests had the opportunity to Mr. James Dixon, a Montford Point Marine who resides in Howard County.
Mr. Dixon grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and then enlisted in the Marines in 1944. After graduating from boot camp from Montford Point, he served as a drill instructor. Then he was stationed in China where he worked on disarming the Japanese and getting them out of China. He left the Marines in two years as a Corporal in 1946.
After the Marines, Mr. Dixon attended Lincoln University where he earned a degree in sociology. Lincoln Univesity is our country's first degree-granting historically black university.
Mr. Dixon then returned to Maryland where he served 40 years in the Baltimore City Police Department.
In 2012, Mr. Dixon was presented the Congressional Gold Medal.
...the Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom are the highest civilian awards in the United States. It is awarded to persons "who have performed an achievement that has an impact on American history and culture that is likely to be recognized as a major achievement in the recipient's field long after the achievement."
- from Wikipedia - Congressional Gold Medal
When asked what advice the 91 year old Mr. Dixon would give to a young person today, he replied, "scientia potentia est" which is Latin for "knowledge is power."
You can read more about Mr. Dixon at
Military.com - Congress Honors Montford Point Marines With MedalCongress Honors Montford Point Marines With Medal
WBalTV - Baltimore police honor retiree who received Congressional Gold Medal
From left to right standing are Jesus Tapia, Curtis Atkins, Mike Betts, Captain Lorenzo Ireland, Gordon MacPhee, Tim Paulin, and Daniel Paulin. In the front on the left is Saki and seated in the center is Mr. Dixon.
Mr. Dixon's Congressional Gold Medal.
Mr. Dixon shares old memories and words of wisdom.
Like Father, Like Son
On January 20, 2017, Danny Rotondo, Jr. graduated from Marine Corps Boot Camp as a Private First Class. Here he is shown with his father, Danny Rotondo, Sr., at Parris Island, South Carolina.