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    Installing Officer Alex Azar, left, administers the oath of office Jan. 8 to officers for 2019 of the Marine Corps League, Longhorn Detachment 1069 in Crowley. The new officers are, from left, Jr Vice Commandmant Wallace Steelman, Sr Vice Commandmant Bill Hardisty, Commandant Jack Mattson, Judge Advocate/Chaplain Earl Kirkpatrick and Paymaster Tammy Griffith. BURLESON STAR/COURTESY PHOTO

Marine Corps League buys wheelchairs for kids

Once a Marine, always a Marine; and always ready to serve.

The Marine Corps League, Longhorn Detachment, 1069, of Crowley, is involved in numerous missions to help others, including its annual golf tournament that provides wheelchairs for children.

The 7th Annual Marine Corps League Charity Golf Tournament benefiting Wheelchairs 4 Kids, tees off at 8 a.m.  Friday, June 7, at Hidden Creek Golf Course in Burleson.

The $400 team entry fee will include 18 holes of golf, cart, and lunch immediately after the event. Sponsorships are available. You can sign up for the spring tournament at www.LonghornGolf.Eventbrite.com or email at LonghornGolf@MCLLonghorn.org. All major credit cards are accepted.

Wheelchairs 4 Kids provides wheelchairs, home and vehicle modifications as well as other assistive and therapeutic devices to children with physical disabilities at no charge to the families.

“Many children in the United States faced with living with physical disabilities are in wheelchairs that are too small, in disrepair, or do not fit the needs of the child,” said Longhorn Detachment Commandant Jack Mattson. “Children outgrow their wheelchairs before government or insurance programs will allow for a replacement, on average five years.”

Not only is it unsafe for a child to be in a chair that is inadequate for his or her needs, but it can negatively impact the child’s health in numerous ways including scoliosis, respiratory problems and pressure sores, Mattson said.

In addition, families are faced with trying to care for their special needs children in homes that have not been modified to meet their specific circumstances, he said.

“Imagine trying to lift your teenager in and out of bed or a bathtub without assistive devices or a modified bathroom,” Mattson said. “Imagine a child in a home where he or she can’t get upstairs. Wheelchairs 4 Kids is prepared to address this much neglected need.”

The Longhorn Detachment 1069 has raised more than $20,000 for Wheelchairs 4 Kids and has 45 children in Texas being supported by Wheelchairs 4 Kids.
The golf tournament is one of many events in which the Longhorn Detachment is involved.

It also:

• Participates in the DFW Toys 4 Tots collection of toys.

• Provides awards to honor graduates of the JROTC at Burleson and Joshua high schools

• Organizes the flag ceremony and provides guest speakers for the Memorial Day ceremony at Laurel Land Cemetery

• Provides escorts for the Battered Wives Banquet at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

• Participates in the Toys 4 Tots Classic Car Show organized by Steve Barnes of Turn Key Utility Construction

• Provides a float for the Independence Day parades in Burleson and Crowley

• Provides the Eagle Scout Award from the Marine Corps League

• Provides funeral support for fallen Marines and Navy Corpsmen

• Celebrates the Marine Corps Birthday Ball with the 8th Marine Corps District

• Supports the Young Marine program

Mattson has a response for those who ask why is a member of the Marine Corps League and others who wonder what difference does it make for someone to attend monthly meetings of the League and pay the $40 annual dues.

“The fact is, you can take the Marine out of the battle field, but can never take the battle out of the Marine,” Mattson said. “We are always faithful to God, country, the Corps and family.

“President Ronald Reagan made this famous quote about Marines, including me, ‘Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But Marines don’t have that problem.’

“That’s why we served and continue to serve.”

The mission of the Marine Corps League, Longhorn Detachment 1069 is to join together in camaraderie and fellowship for the purpose of preserving the traditions and promoting the interests of the United States Marine Corps. This is accomplished by banding together those who are now serving in the United States Marine Corps and those who have been honorably discharged from that service; voluntarily aiding and rendering assistance to all Marines and former Marines and to their widows and orphans, and by perpetuating the history of the United States Marine Corps through fitting acts to observe the anniversaries of historical occasions of particular interest to Marines.

The Longhorn Detachment 1069 meets at 6 p.m. for food and refreshments and 7 p.m. for business the first Tuesday of the month at 1401 W. Cleburne Rd. in Crowley. Meetings are alcohol and smoke free.

The detachment recently installed new officers for 2019. The new officers are Commandant Jack Mattson, Sr Vice Commandmant Bill Hardisty,  Jr Vice Commandant Wallace Steelman, Judge Advocate/Chaplain Earl Kirkpatrick and Paymaster Tammy Griffith.

To inquire further, visit the Detachment’s website at mcllonghorn.org.

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PO Box 909
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Phone: 817-295-0486
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