United States Marines gather from near and far for the annual Marine Corps birthday dinner. The dinner has been hosted for several years by USMC Veteran, Mark Perry of New Ross, at the New Ross Steak House.
Perry tells us he is passionate about bringing his USMC brothers and sisters together because it is important to have that camaraderie. Perry gave an emotional recollection of his time in combat saying, "I lost twenty-seven of my men. . . this is my way to give back."
The Marines enjoy a nice dinner and then share stories of their time in service of their country. They enjoy visiting with old friends and making new ones. One of the oldest Marines honored that day was 93 year old, Layton Wilhite, who is a survivor of the battle of Iwo Jima, a major battle in which the United States Marine Corps landed on and eventually captured the island of Iwo Jima from the Imperial Japanese Army during WWII. Wilhite actually retrieved a small bit of black sand from the island while there and still has it today.
Fellow veterans were able to take a moment and see the black sand for themselves. Veteran, Rich Holt of New Ross took a moment to share a bit of Marine Corps history and why the United States Marine Corps was established on November 10, 1775. Perry says next year’s dinner will be on Nov. 10, 2019.