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Montford Point Association opens first Okinawa Chapter

Date Posted: 1998-06-27

Several months ago, military member who participated in the Battle of Okinawa returned to Okinawa to reflect and remember fallen comrades from the battle; among them was retired Marine, Sam Saxton.

The retired African-American Marine brought with him the dream of starting a Montford Point Marine Association in Okinawa. Montford Point was established in 1942 as the exclusive training ground for African-American Marines after their much fought against acceptance by the United States Marine Corps. Located twelve miles from civilization in the dense pine forest of Camp Lejune, North Carolina, the camp turned out Marines of the highest caliber. During the seven years of itís existence, the camp graduated over 21,000 recruits.

Sam Saxtonís dream will become a reality July 1 with the installation of a new Okinawa Association. Due to the persistence of Marines here on island, more than 30 Marines became members of the new organization. MGySgt H. Bethune, grandson of Mary McCloud Bethune, spearheaded the new organization along with assistance from MSgt E.J. Luke.

The new organization has plans to offer youth training in peer pressure, self- esteem, drug awareness and many other areas as well as providing scholarships to deserving youths. The organization is open to all active duty and retired Marines.

For more information or for tickets, contact MGySgt H. Bethune or MSgt E.J. Luke at 637-2442.

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