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Cpl. Anthony Pen, training cadre, 7th Marine Regiment, native of Springfield, Mass., talks to a member of the 1st Marine Division Association, Desert Cities Mitchell Paige Medal of Honor Chapter, about the functionalities of different types of weapons Marines currently use during a tour aboard the Combat Center, April 8, 2015. (Official Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl. Medina Ayala-Lo/Released)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Medina Ayala-Lo

‘Magnificent 7th’ welcomes veterans to Combat Center

8 Apr 2015 | Lance Cpl. Medina Ayala-Lo Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

The 1st Marine Division Association is comprised of Marine Corps veterans. They have developed a strong relationship with 7th Marine Regiment through their coordination of support for Marines, sailors and their families when service members are deployed, during the holiday season, and during other events throughout the year.

“The tour today was a way for us to show our appreciation to the association, specifically the desert cities chapter,” said Lt. Col. Jared Spurlock, executive officer, 7th Marine Regiment. “They have been big supporters of the regiment and today was about giving them a chance to see what we are all about.”

The tour began at the rifle range with a demonstration of the M40-A5 sniper rifle and a presentation of 14 different weapons systems’ functions and uses. Afterward, they were taken to Range 800 where cadre from the Marine Corps Engineer School and Marines from 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment provided insight on how Marines and Sailors train to operate in an improvised explosive device environment.

“The visit up here is always very uplifting for our veteran Marines because we’ve all served at one time,” said James E. Sullivan, 1st Marine Division Association, Desert Cities Mitchell Paige MOH Chapter. “We come back and we all feel better when we leave, being able to see the Marine Corps in such good hands.”

Members of the 1st Marine Division Association include veterans who have served in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the post-Vietnam eras. The tour concluded with a luncheon in the 7th Marine Regiment’s Command Post where the veterans interacted with Marines and Sailors allowing all parties to express their mutual appreciation for each other.

According to Spurlock, a big part of the relationship 7th Marine Regiment has developed with the city of Palm Desert is largely due to the background work that the 1st Marine Division Association has done, such as organizing events for Marines and Sailors, and organizing dinner drives for service members and their families.

“These veterans are instrumental in keeping the esprit de corps alive,” Spurlock said. “Events like this give them a chance to interact with a new generation of Marines and get a feel for how the regiment is doing.”

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms