Albany Marines celebrate Corps' birthday - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany Marines celebrate Corps' birthday

November 10, 2004

Dougherty County-- The United States Marines were commissioned by the Second Continental Congress November Tenth, 1775. Wednesday every Marine installation around the world celebrated their 229th birthday.

At the Albany Marine Base, the annual celebration was marked with a cake and a football game.

Marines with their warrior spirit, face off for their base intramural football championship. The game is part of the Marine Corps annual birthday celebration.

229 years of proud heritage the men and women stationed in Albany now carry on, while remembering Marines fighting in Iraq. Base Commander Colonel John Lopez said "What their fellow Marines are doing right now with the combat operations in Iraq. The support these Marines have provided to that, and some of the Marines that we know are involved over there, their personal ties to that."

Another tradition, the ceremonial birthday cake cutting. The oldest Marine on base, 47 year old Maintenance Center Commander Colonel Pete Underwood, hands the first piece to the bases' youngest Marine, 19 year old Private First Class Sergio Duarte.

Several Marines drank alcohol during the celebration, to show it's effect. Before the Albany Marines left for a long Veterans Day weekend, Base Commander Colonel John Lopez gave each a personal breathalyzer. Colonel Lopez said "there are enough people out there trying to kill Marines in combat, that we don't need to help them by killing Marines back here at home."

Last year 124 Marines were killed in off duty mishaps. So far this year 101 Marines have died.

Colonel Lopez wants to make sure no Albany Marines join that number.

posted at 3:53 PM byjimw@walb.com