ENNIS — With a rousing “Oorah,” the Fellowship Hall of the Refiners Fire Church was filled with spirits of Marines celebrating the announcement that the Ellis County detachment of the Texas Marine Corps Leagues Charter was officially approved.
The news was delivered by Commandant of the Department of Texas, Charles G. Ynman Jr., during a charter ceremony held Thursday, June 15.
“As of tonight, the Ellis County Detachment is the newest of 47 in the State of Texas,” Ynman said. “These guys gave their hearts and soul to our country. I am proud to call them my brothers. You will have many opportunities to make your presence known in this community. The detachment is the most important part of the Marine Corps League. Everybody is the same, there are no four-star generals and there are no PFC’s. We all are equal brothers to do a service and do everything to defend the Constitution of the United States of America.”
Following his comments to the members and guest, Ynman read a letter from the National Marine Corp League Commandant in Washington.
“Your application has been approved. By the direction of and by the approval of the National Commandant” Ynman read.
With the reading of the acceptance of the charter, Ynman gave the oath of office to Ellis County Detachment Commandant Robert Bell.
After his swearing in, Bell said, “This is not a social organization. We are a service organization to our fellow Marines, our community and our nation.”
Bell then issued the oath of office to the officers of the detachment.
Once the officers received their oath of office, Ynman stated, “Marines, as a department of Texas Commandant, I welcome you and declare that you now possess all the privileges, right, and duties as a member of the league.”
Many of the veterans represented conflicts and action ranging from Vietnam to Afghanistan. Recent Afghanistan Veteran Cody Jones was installed as the detachment paymaster.
“This is an honor to be a part of this group and be with my Marine brothers again. Through this group, I will be able to give back to the community and thank them for all the support my family and myself have received.”
Jones was a member of the 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines in Afghanistan until he was wounded.
“ I took a one hundred – ten pound IED (improvised explosive device) in my leg. I lost part of my left leg and a part of my foot on the right. I am here to serve,” Jones disclosed.
The ceremony concluded with the charter members signing to official detachment charter.
The Marine Corps League was founded in 1923. In 1937, then President of the United States Franklin Roosevelt approved an act of Congress that chartered the Marine Corps League.
“The Marine League is the only federally chartered veterans organization,” Ynman added.
Ynman explained eligibility for membership as being an active duty, reserve or inactive Marine who has a record of honorable discharge, as well as qualified Navy FMF Corpsmen.