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  • 23 Sep 2015 7:50 PM | Scott DuPree (Administrator)

    On September 22nd, the Gator Detachment met as usual.  We had a guest speaker, Stephen Dodd, who read a very touching piece about the American Flag.  Stephen also joined us as an Associate Member (served in the Army) and is active in the veteran community.  The recipient of three Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts, we welcome Stephen to our group.

    It was good to see our members doing business.  Commandant Jim Yakubsin ran the meeting with his officers - Senior Vice Vernon Kisling, Junior Vice Bob Gasche, Judge Advocate John Murdoch, Sergeant At Arms Bill Beck and Adjutant/Paymaster Martha Brown. Also attending was Junior Past Commandant Dick Lester, members Forest Hope, Sandy Golden, Paul Clendenning, Stephan Homewood, Ken Beasock, David Nettles, George Gibbs and yours truly, Scott DuPree.  

    These people were glad to be at the meeting.  Everyone chatted it up before the meeting while enjoying a potluck dinner.  During the meeting, the mood remained light and everyone seemed to have a good time discussing the items that Commandant Yakubsin was bringing up.  In discussion it came up that next month, Stephen Dodd is taking 90-year-old Iwo Jima Veteran Bob Gasche skydiving!!  Yes, I said skydiving.  OMG!  I mean, Ooh-Rah!  Go get 'em, Bob.  During the meeting we also voted in two other new members and spent a good bit of time talking about details of the upcoming birthday ball. 

    Well, if you have not been coming to the meetings, put it on your calendar and come join us.  You'll be glad you did. 

  • 19 Sep 2015 1:50 PM | Scott DuPree (Administrator)

    The Birthday Ball is bound to be a big event this year.  At a time when we would have only sold a couple of dozen tickets, we have already sold about 140 tickets. We can only sell so many (the number is being reviewed now) so don't be caught off guard - go ahead and get your tickets now.

    Our Guest of Honor, LtGen Bergman, is locked on.  Our DJ and photographer are locked on.  Our glassware table gifts are being ordered. Our USO show is still in development.  This will be a great event.  Don't miss it.

    We will have some hardcopy tickets at the general meeting.  But you can buy them online on this website.  Act now.

    Scott DuPree
    Chairman, GatorDet Birthday Ball Committee

  • 31 Aug 2015 10:03 PM | Scott DuPree (Administrator)

    Marines, we need some helpers.  Need to be able to lift 15 pounds.

    Marine Forest Hope is leading us as we partnered up with Hitchcock's to provide food for the Veterans Standdown.  On Thursday September 10th, at about 9:00am, he will be at the Martin Luther King Jr Recreation Center in NE Gainesville, near Citizen's Field off of 8th Avenue near Waldo Road.  He will need help moving about 200 bags - about 15 pounds each. 

    Time to show that your membership means something to you.  Contact Forest Hope to find out what you can do to help.  386-462-5400 or email to

  • 26 Aug 2015 8:49 PM | Scott DuPree (Administrator)

    As Junior Vice Mike Stewart has stepped down, Department Commandant Bill Cona made the necessary appointments to keep the house intact.

    George LaMont of Brooksville has moved from his position as Judge Advocate to serve as the Department Junior Vice Commandant.  Filling the position of Judge Advocate is Scott Westervelt of Middleburg.  Scott is an outstanding energetic Marine who currently serves as Commandant for his detachment and District 3 Vice Commandant.

    Also, Janis Beale of Palm Harbor has been appointed Paymaster.  I have met Janis is she is a spectacularly pleasant person.  The Department's financial records will be in great hands.

    As a detachment, we want to see our Department level staff managing the League with competence and confidence.  With these recent appointments, we have a good team in place going into the future.

    - Scott DuPree 

  • 13 Aug 2015 6:22 PM | Scott DuPree (Administrator)

    Thanks to a handful of GatorDet Marines, our color guard (and honor guard) is back in action.  With Marines David Nettles, Forest Hope, Bill Beck and Bob Wright carrying out the duties on July 4th in Micanopy, the American and Marine Corps Colors once again fly in a parade route.  

    Color Guard Commander Nettles says they are all proud to provide the service but they could sure use a few extra bodies for when one of them is not available.  These Marines also work as an honor guard, usually with Marine Dick Lester in the configuration.

    If you are interested in helping out with the Color Guard or Honor Guard, contact David Nettles 352-442-2551 or Jim Yakubsin 386-462-0493.

  • 25 Jul 2015 8:26 AM | Scott DuPree (Administrator)

    Despite a little rain, we had a good turnout at our gathering at Gators Dockside on Friday night, July 24th.  As always, the staff at the restaurant made sure we had adequate space for our group and provided great service.

    Joining Commandant and his wife Linda, a variety of members and guests attended. A Marine Corps League member named George was there.  He is a member in Michigan but moved here and is looking forward to being part of our group.  He is quite a character and was able to meet a number of our members.  Officers Vernon Kisling, Bob Gasche and John Murdoch were there.  Social Director Sandy Golden had arranged the event and she was there as well talking with everyone.

    Others attending included Chaplain Bob Wright and his wife Bonnie, Honor Guard Commander Dave Nettles, Willie Pintos and Sandra Torres-Pintos.

    These get-togethers are fun.  I encourage all to try to make it to these when they are scheduled.  

  • 25 Jun 2015 3:20 PM | Scott DuPree (Administrator)

    The 2015 Department of Florida Convention was held on June 18-21 in Altamonte Springs.  Marines John Murdoch and Scott DuPree attended, representing Gator 990.  

    National Judge Advocate Dennis Tobin attended, as did SE Division Vice Commandant-elect James Hackbarth.  Highlights of the convention included detachments donating money to the Injured Warriors Fund of Florida (run by the Marine Corps League) and the Scholarship Fund (which will award 53 applicants more than $200 each.) 

    Elections were held and all incumbent officers were re-elected and installed into office for their second terms.

    Marine Murdoch, who is now serving as the District 2 Vice Commandant, was awarded an Individual Meritorious Citation. 

    Other highlights include the awarding of the Commandant of the Year to Scott Westervelt in the Jacksonville area, and Marine of the Year to Manuel Moreno from the West Palm Beach area.  

    Want to see more about our Marine Corps League?  Go to and go through all the information.  A great resource for staff and members alike.

  • 16 Apr 2015 5:28 PM | Scott DuPree (Administrator)

    On Friday, April 10, John Murdoch attended and graduated from the Department of Florida's Leadership School.  Murdoch, who serves as both the detachment Judge Advocate and the District 2 Vice Commandant, has attended the course previously but was on hand to hear theJohn Murdoch with Commandant Bill Cona and Leadership Director Mike Stewart latest in a variety of topics.  The class lasts for about six hours and provides insight into most areas of the League.

  • 22 Mar 2015 7:14 AM | Scott DuPree (Administrator)

    When Gator 990 was chartered, an energetic former Navy chaplain was the ideal choice as detachment Chaplain.  Ben Kinard attended all meetings and most events.  He used to sell watermelons on his own outside of Publix and donate the money to the detachment back when our budget was still coming out of our wallets. 

    Our friend Ben passed away on March 16th at 90 years old.  Ben is affectionately remembered for his recital of patriot and inspirational poems.  He was sometimes a little long-winded because he was so passionate and we enjoyed his constantly positive outlook on everything.

    Ben was very proud of his brother who, as a Navy dive-bomber pilot, was awarded the Navy Cross at 21 years old in 1944 for bravery in the Pacific. His brother was killed in a training accident one year later.  

    Having grown up in Lake City, Ben was proud to attend the dedication of the Veteran Domiciliary in Lake City, to Cpl Robert H. Jenkins Jr., USMC, Medal of Honor recipient, in 1999.

    Chester 'Ben' Bennett Kinard age 90, passed away on Monday, March 16, 2015. 

    He was born in Moultrie, Georgia on March 12, 1925, and grew up in Lake City, Florida. Ben attended Columbia High School before joining the U.S. Navy and proudly served our country during World War II. Ben continued his education at Gordon Military College in Barnesville, Georgia and also attended UF and FSU. Ben was an independent contractor involved in various aspects of the produce industry. He is survived by his wife of fifty nine years, Dorothy Bailey Kinard, daughters Lori (Richard) Thawley, Marcia Hall and son Monte Kinard. Ben is also survived by seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Ben enjoyed volunteering with the Marine Corp League where he served as Chaplain for many years. 
    He enjoyed spending time with family and friends and was an avid Gator fan. Ben will always be remembered for his captivating smile, energetic personality and zest for life.

    Funeral services were held on Thursday, March 19th at Milam Funeral Home where Commandant Jim Yakubsin and other members attended.

  • 22 Mar 2015 6:30 AM | Scott DuPree (Administrator)

    Join us on Tuesday March 24th at the general meeting.  The 2015-2016 Officers will be installed.  The Installing Officer will be Past Commandant Dick Lester.

    The incumbent officers are returning for another term.  This includes Commandant Jim Yakubsin, Senior Vice Commandant Vernon Kisling, Junior Vice Commandant Bob Gasche and Judge Advocate John Murdoch.  Junior Past Commandant Dick Lester retains his position on the Board of Trustees.

    We are looking to increase our participation in community events and show the support our group has in this area.  What are your talents? What can you do?  How can you help?  Come to our meetings and find out how you can make a difference.

Phone: (352) 727-1961


Mailing Address:  
Gator 990 MCL
PO Box 14
High Springs FL 32655 

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