Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Former Marine: There's No Such Thing
John Andrews of Mendham is Commandant of the Lance Cpl. Robert J. Slattery Marine Corps League Detachment 206 in Whippany. He uses "ooh rah" in his e-mails. And when talks to people, he seems to command the respect that only a Marine could get.
That's because even though Andrews finished his active military service (1986-1993), he'll always be a Marine, and he joined the Slattery Detachment to continue helping his military brothers who are overseas or back home in New Jersey and around the country.
The Slattery Detachment is involved in a variety of activities, such as raising money with various charities or pairing up with other military-minded groups, all in an effort to help others in need.
He's been the group's commandant — the equivalent of a club president — for the past two years. The League Detachment formed after Slattery was killed in 1967 in Vietnam. He was from Whippany, so a Marine Corps League was formed in his name and honor.
"We unfortunately have added to our roles. It was as recent as 2006 that Lance Cpl. Christopher Cosgrove (of Hanover) was killed in Iraq, and his mother and father are very active members of our detachment," Andrews says.
"We partner with many different organizations," Andrews says, "and one of the organizations that we've been involved with for the last several years is Operation Jersey Cares, so I have many points of contact with them."
Operation Jersey Cares collects items such as foods and soaps to send overseas to servicement and women. A few weeks ago, volunteers with Operation Jersey Cares were in Mendham in front of the Kings supermarket, collecting donations and goods for soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. The goods will be shipped overseas to those in uniform and the donations will be used for postage and shipping costs.
Other organizations that the Robert J. Slattery Marine Corps League Detachment support are the Heart of a Marine Foundation, the Family and Friends for Freedom Fund, Inc., and the Picatinny Arsenal community.
"Because it's a military community, we partner with them," Andrews says about Picatinny.
Slattery Detachment members also make trips to deliver items such as watches, razors, and gift cards to places such as the Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., where they visit wounded warriors, some of whom who have suffered from IED explosions.
"We do a hospital trip report, every time we come back from Bethesda," Andrews says, adding that it gets written into the group's newsletter.
Andrews is proud of his group and acknowledges how much his League Detachment likes to give back to others.
"We are one of the most active Detachments in the state, if not the country," Andrews says.
"We get a great deal of satisfaction from helping out," Andrews says, "I've dedicated a lot of time to it and it's just a worthwhile organization."
The Lance Cpl. Robert J. Slattery Marine Corps. League Detachment 206 is always looking for new members. Its monthly meeting is held at 7:30 p.m. the first Wednesday of each month at the American Legion Hall on Legion Place, just off Mount Pleasant Avenue, in Whippany. To learn more about their organization, visit www.mclslatterydet.org or www.oohrah.net.