The W.M. Jones Marine Corps League Detachment #1431 installed the newly elected officers for the 2017-2018 program year at their April meeting in Oxford. The Oath of Office was delivered by the Commandant, Mississippi Department, Marine Corps League, Ron Polk.
The new officers are: Jerry Daum, Commandant; Gene Buglewicz, Senior Vice Commandant: Bob Brooks Jr., Vice Commandant, and Mike Browlee, Judge Advocate. Jerry Daum, Gene Buglewicz and Bob Brooks are residents of Water Valley.
The W.M. Jones Detachment of the Marine Corps League was Chartered in February, 2016 through the efforts of the former Detachment Commandant Gene Hays and Bobby Irvin, Commandant of the Pontotoc Detachment, Marine Corps League. The Oxford Detachment was named the Willie Morris Jones Detachment #1431 after Lance Corporal Willie M. Jones who was killed in Vietnam in 1969. Lance Corporal Jones was a resident of Denmark, Lafayette County.
The Detachment, now entering their second year, held their first meetings in 2015 with a membership of 21. Since that time, the Detachment has grown to 35 members.
With no local Marine Corps Reserve Unit near Oxford/Water Valley, the Detachment participated in its first Toys for Tots Campaign for the Marine Corps Reserve Christmas toy collection and distribution campaign in 2016. The Campaign, organized by Detachment Commandant Gene Hays, included Lafayette, Yalobusha, Pontotoc, Panola, and Union counties. Toys were distributed to 235 children ages newborn to 14 years old this first year.
Commandant Hays had previously served as the Assistant Coordinator for the 2015 Mid-South Toys for Tots Campaign and was appointed the Local Coordinator for the 2016 Campaign by the Toys for Tots Foundation and was instrumental in the success of this first year effort.
Beside Toys for Tots, the W.M. Jones Detachment is developing other programs designed to help and assist Marine Corps veterans, active duty Marines and their families.
The Marine Corps League meets once per month in Oxford. Marine veterans as well as FMF Navy Corpsmen and Chaplains are invited to join. Associate members without any Marine Corps affiliation can join as non-voting members providing they take the membership oath supporting the bylaws and mission of the Marine Corps League.
To find out more about the Marine Corps League, their activities and how active duty Marines and veterans can join and participate, you are asked to call Jerry Daum, 612-473-6382.
Anyone wishing to help with the 2017 Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Campaign may contact Gene Hays at 662-832-7977. The campaign begins 1 October of 2017.