The Edward L. Smith, Jr. Detachment 245 of the Marine Corps League has a proud heritage. Orignally chartered in the late 1940's in went through several evolutions and re-births. The detachment was dormant through most of the 1990's, and then was re-chartered in August 2008.
Edward L Smith, Jr., a Rome, New York native, recieved our nations second highest military decoration, the Navy Cross, on Gualdalcanal Island diring WWII in the Pacific. His citation reads as follows:
Since 2008 the E. L. Smith, Jr. Detachment of the Marine Corps League has watched its ranks grow steadily from sixteen members to over one-hundred and twenty members. The detachment is an active participant in our local community through programs like the Marine Corps Toys For Tots Program, Blood Platelet drives, donations to local school scholarships, and honoring our nations veterans on special days such as Memorial Day and Veteran's Day. The Rome Community has come to look forward to our chicken BBQ's held regularly during the summer months. Proceeds from our BBQ's fund our various programs.
Most importantly is our role in launching the Rome Marines Veteran's Center, Inc. located on Adams Street in Rome. This veteran's center is the only veteran's center between Syracuse and Utica, and is focused on serving veterans in the Rome and rural environs of the the city. Starting with a burned out shell of a building the Rome Marines were able to construct a state-of-the-art, high tech veteran's center to serve our veterans and the community. Our plans include becoming an emergency shelter for the local Red Cross as well as a mass feeding facility in the event of an emergency or natural disaster.
Our focus is to re-shape the role of a veteran's organization in our community. We expect to create a new paradigm for veteran's organizations based on community involvement and service to our veterans. Although the Rome Marine's Veteran's Center, Inc. is a separate not-for-profit organization, it was built on the backs of the Marine Corps League members, and is dedicated to all men and women in all branches of the military who saw fit to dawn the uniform of our nation when the war tocsin sounded.
In our short existence we have made our presence felt in our community and look forward to many more years of service to our community, our veterans and our great nation. Semper Fidelis.
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