The Marines Corps spirit was alive and well at the Greenbo State Resort Park Lodge on Thursday at the charter night for the Marine Corps League Greenbo Detachment 1345.

Officers were installed, including Commandant Jim Archey, who presided over the meeting. Several state department officers were on hand to participate in establishing the charter.

Archey and Mike Hale have been spearheading the formation of a detachment for almost a year and the membership has grown to more than 30 during that time.

It is Archey’s goal to have that number doubled in a year. The key, he said, was for the group to be visible in public.

“I think that’s a goal we can reach,” he said. “I want something that’s purposeful, something that will make a difference in my community. I don’t want it to be just another meeting; I already have too many meetings to attend.”

The Marine Corps League is open to residents of Greenup County, Boyd County, Carter County, Lewis County and Lawrence County who served or are currently in the Marines. The detachment can also add associate members for every 10 members. They already have two associates.

“We want to make ourselves known by participating in parades and being involved in the national cemetery that’s going to be here,” Archey said. “We need to let people know that we’re out there.”

Archey said the group will help veterans or their families who need assistance in difficult times. “We want to be there for them,” he said.

The Toys for Tots program is another program where the group can participate, Archey said. They’ve already presented two Bibles at funerals, receiving heartfelt thanks from families for that gesture.

“There are so many different things we can do,” he said. “We will be active in letting our area know we’re standing for the principles of the Marine Corps.”

Allen Brossard, the state paymaster, said he’s seen the statewide MCL ranks swell to 365 members.

“You can take in six or seven a month,” he said. “The way to get them is you’ve got to be visible. Marines love Marines. We’re brothers. We always have something in common.”

Two of the group’s members, Hale and Carl Boggs, have sons currently serving in the Marines.

“I thank God for what the Marine Corps supports and represents,” Hale said. “There’s nothing like the Marine Corps.”

Marine veteran Curtis Puckett of Catlettsburg had only one phrase to say when called upon: Semper Fi. That’s a Marine Corps slogan that is short for Semper Fidelis, which in Latin is “always faithful.”

The Greenbo detachment is the 16th in Kentucky. It meets the second Tuesday of the month.

Those interested in becoming members can call Archey at (606) 473-5568.

MARK MAYNARD can be reached at mmaynard@dailyindependent.com.

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