Marine Corps veterans join East Texas VFW in flag retirement ceremony
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Marines! Just the mention of the word conjures up an image of honor and courage. Some Texas men came to Longview on Saturday to remember their time as marines and to celebrate the anniversary of a storied marine division.
Members of Longview’s VFW 2002 came to Teague Park for the solemn ceremony of retiring an American flag.
“The last one of these I went to, I got a grommet from the retired flag and kept it all my life,” said Marine Corps Veteran Bob North from Pasadena.
Joining the VFW were over a dozen Marine Corps veterans of the storied 3rd Marine Division.
“We get together; we’re the Texas chapter of the 3rd Marine Division Association, and we gather together twice a year,” North said.
“For us who have gone through the boot camp and became a marine, this is family,” said Marine Corps Veteran Jimmy Pitts of Mesquite.
They combined the ceremony with their own, celebrating the 80th anniversary of the 3rd Marine Division.
“Our 3rd Marine Division logo says valor, fidelity, honor. And, that’s who we are,” said North.
All of the men are Texans. All came to honor fellow marines who came before them, and those who will come after.
They also spent the time remembering what the marines did for them.
“You learn courage, you learn honesty, you learn loyalty, and integrity,” Pitts said.
Besides this, they got to tour the veterans park, remembering that freedom often has a cost in lives.
“Whenever you see a marine and say ‘semper fi,’ that’s a brotherhood,” said Pitts.
And, you’re never an ex-marine.
“You’re a marine!” Pitts said.
The marines rounded out the ceremony by all singing the Marine Corps hymn.
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