Contact Us

Jack Paxton
Executive Director, USMCCCA
110 Fox Court,
Wildwood, FL 34785
+1 352-748-4698

EMAIL:

usmccca@cfl.rr.com
SKYPE:
USMCCCA

Click here to contact a member (your request will be forwarded to maintain privacy for our members).

To send items for the website: USMCCCA Online


Boosters

Platinum
$5,000 up

Gold
$1,000-$4,999

Keith Oliver
Col. Sally Pritchett
Jack Paxton
Gene Smith

Silver
$100–$999

Sue Sousa
Dale Baird
George Chrisman
John Kloczkowski
Don Coleman
Tom Kerr
Manny Pacheco
Anonymous
Bob Bowen
Cal Openshaw
Betsy Judge
Kevin Doll
John McKay
Margarette Chavez
Don Parzaneze Sr.
James Carpenter
Mike Rhea
Robin Stavisky –
In loving memory of
Sam & Bernice Stavisky
Tony Parzaneze

Bronze
$50-$99

Hank Ehlbeck
Robert Brown
Joe Skymba


Dedicated Members

The 2017-18 Dedicated Member Campaign has begun. This year you can designate where your contribution goes. Your name and dedication will also appear in the Annual Conference Journal at the end of the year:

Walt Ford
Mal Barr
Cal Openshaw
Sally Pritchett
Joe Galloway
Sue Sousa
Dale Baird
George Chrisman
Jack Holsomback
Pat Coulter
Dan Bisher
Don Gee
Fred Tucker
Emil Dansker
Keith Oliver
Joe Skymba
Mike Rhea
Don Coleman
Dr. Re McClung
Ed Benevente
Tom Kerr
John Ames
Art Detman

Choose Option
Dedication


The “Red” Carpenter Invitational Golf Tournament Announced

The 14th annual USMC Combat Correspondents Association/Foundation (Florida Chapter) Golf Tournament, now renamed in honor of the tournament founder, James “Red” Carpenter, will again be played at the Sherman Hills Golf Club near Brooksville, FL on Friday afternoon April 27.

Carpenter, who has given up chairmanship due to health conditions of his wife, has been replaced by Gene Smith of Ocoee. Gene recently retired from the PGA Tour where he served as Tournament Director of the PGA Tour Champions for the past 24 years. Prior to that he served as a Director of Golf and Club Manager for 24 years at various Central Florida Golf Clubs.

The tournament is the primary fundraiser for the Marine Corps Combat Correspondents Association/Foundation. Since its inception the tournament has supported the Association/Foundation’s patriotic, charitable and educational programs for both active duty and retired Marines and their families. One of the primary beneficiaries of this tournament has been the Injured Marines Semper Fi Fund, Oceanside, CA which, since the tournament’s inception, has received more than $90,000 from the Foundation.

The tournament is open to all golfers, male and female and features a scramble format and will kickoff at 12:30 p.m. The entry fee is $50 and includes greens and cart fees, range balls and a meal following play. Sherman Hills is considered one of the best conditioned golf courses in Central Florida and features gently rolling hills and is a fairly wide-open venue.

If you cannot come to Florida and play but wish to support the tournament, Smith said that hole sponsorships are available for $150. All contributions should be made to the USMCCCA Foundation and sent to Gene Smith, USMCCCA Golf Tournament Chair, 1424 Century Oak Drive, Ocoee, FL 34761.

Should you wish to support the tournament by credit card, use the button below:


Choose:
Golfer 1 Name: Handicap
Golfer 2 Name: Handicap
Golfer 3 Name: Handicap
Golfer 4 Name: Handicap




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Interested in a Florida Golfing/Attractions Weekend?

Consider this a  trial feeler.  The USMCCCA Florida Chapter sponsors a golf tournament each April to benefit both the Injured Marines Semper Fi Fund as well as the USMCCCA Foundation Scholarship funds.  Each year we are joined by members, relatives and friends. 

With our setup for play on Friday afternoon, April 27 this would be a great way for families to come to Florida Thursday evening for a long weekend and enjoy the nearby attractions in both Orlando and Tampa.  The tournament site is less than 30 minutes from the major attractions that include Disney World, Universal Studios, Busch Gardens, etc. 

We also get a much-reduced motel price very near our tournament site and the attractions. 

As I said, this is only a feeler.  If this sounds like something you would be interested in contact CCHQ either by email  usmccca@cfl.rr.com or call Jack Paxton at 352-461-9699.

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Korean War Marine Made Famous in Kitten Photo Dies

By: Chas Henry and US Naval Institute Staff

Then Sgt. Frank Praytor in Korea with the kitten ‘Mis Hap’ in 1953.

Then Sgt. Frank Praytor in Korea with the kitten ‘Mis Hap’ in 1953.

Frank Praytor, the U.S. Marine who gained a level of fame after being photographed nursing a kitten during the Korean War, died on January 10, 2018 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He was 90 years old and had been in poor health for several years.

The widely distributed photo of Praytor with the kitten would prove to be more that just an endearing moment of humanity captured in the midst of a brutal war, it would later save him from being court martialed.

While serving as a combat correspondent with the 1st Marine Division in Korea 1952, Praytor took two orphaned newborn kittens under his care. An internationally syndicated photograph of him using a medicine dropper to gently feed one of the kittens he had named “Mis Hap” appeared in 1,700 newspapers.

The image of a handsome Marine helping a tiny animal struck a chord with the public. Praytor received hundreds of letters including many simply addressed to “Kitten Marine, Korea.”

“I got letters from girls all over the country who wanted to marry me,” Praytor told the U.S. Naval Institute in a 2009 interview. “I even got a few offers from men,” he laughed.

Although officially assigned to Korea as a writer, he also took photos with his own camera and entered one of his snapshots in a competition held by Photography magazine. His photo of a wounded Marine being treated by Navy corpsman won first place. Unfortunately, he had violated a regulation prohibiting the publication of photos not cleared by military censors.

Soon after returning to the United States to accept his prize, he was facing court-martial. He was relieved to learn that he would not be charged because the commandant of the Marine Corps had decided to rip up the documents.

“I assume the commandant realized I was a celebrity at the time and he let me off the hook, and for that I attribute to the cat,” Praytor said.
“That little kitten saved me from the brig.”

Born Franklin Denson Praytor on September 24, 1927, Praytor spent his early years in Birmingham, Alabama.

In 1947 he began work in journalism — as a police reporter for the Birmingham News. While attending Birmingham Southern College he wrote for the Birmingham Age-Herald. That led to a post as northern Alabama bureau manager for the news agency International News Service.

Joining the U. S. Marine Corps in 1950, he was assigned to report on the 1st Marine Division’s combat engagements on the Korean peninsula.

After accepting his prize for winning the contest and narrowly escaping court-martial, he returned to Korea as a writer for Stars and Stripes and covered the Korean War truce-signing at Panmunjom. He also had a reunion with “Mis Hap” who had become the spoiled mascot of the Division’s Public Information Office. For the next two years of his Stars and Stripes reporting, he was based in Tokyo.

Discharged from the Marines in 1954, Praytor took on corporate communications jobs with utility companies in Houston, Texas — then moved to Oklahoma where he served as spokesman for the astronautics division of General Dynamics Corporation. Returning to Houston in 1962, he worked as an account executive with the advertising agency Foote, Cone & Belding before launching his own advertising and public relations firm, which he ran for many years.

In late 1979, Praytor moved to Durango, Colorado. There he created highly successful tourism campaigns for the City of Durango and oversaw advertising and communications strategies for a number of political campaigns. While in Oklahoma, Texas and Colorado, he was active in Rotary Club activities, holding senior leadership posts.

In 1992, Praytor relocated to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he worked as a freelance writer, public relations consultant and Realtor.

Praytor was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers, a sister and his stepson Robert. He is survived by Katherine Praytor, his wife of more than 46 years; granddaughter Nicole; grandson Jacob; great-grandsons, Landon, Brantley and Brendyn; and great-granddaughter Preslie.

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1070s shooter Keith Mosier back on the USMCCCA rolls

1973 amphibious assault. (photo by Kieth Mosier)

1973 amphibious assault. (photo by Kieth Mosier)

Cpl Keith Mosier

Cpl Keith Mosier

Sgt. Keith Mosier has come back to the fold, renewing his CC dues last month after a long absence.

Keith, an award winning Marine photographer who snagged an Associated Press fellowship in New York City as a lance corporal, has been living in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky since his discharge from FMLant (Norfolk, Virginia) in 1976.

Among his active duty bosses and running mates “back in the day”(CC members, all)were Lt. Col. Bill Boone, 2nd Lt. Bob Jordan, Master Sgt. Norm Garrett and Sgts. Dick Bugda and Keith Oliver.

“Mosh” is perhaps best known for an iconic shot of an amphibious landing at Saros Bay, Turkey in the early fall of 1973.

Keith Mosier

Keith Mosier

That particular 6th Fleet task force with whom Mosier deployed, “hung around the Med for two months following their NATO exercise.” Their mission was to be that ubiquitous “force in readiness” – this time during the Yom Kippur War, when Israel was invaded simultaneously by Egypt and Syria in October 1973.

In civilian life, Mosier retired after 39 years as a senior engineering technologist with DuPont. Keith now spends his time “chasing after my three grandchildren and taking photos of them.

“And my wife Bobbi and I follow our very busy grandkids in cheerleading, orchestra, band, tennis, softball and archery,” he said. “But we do manage to get to the Caribbean a couple times a year.”

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Jack Paxton, executive director with Dean Simmons, vice president and owner of USMCCCA publisher, Ford Press and Keith Oliver, national president on recent trip to pick up 2017 Journals.

President’s Visit – National President Keith Oliver, and Executive Director Jack Paxton (l) paid a visit to Dean Simmons, owner of Ford Press in Leesburg, FL following the mailing of the USMCCCA Annual Journal on January 31.  Simmons’ company, in addition to having printed both the Journal and the former newsletter, Now Hear This, since 2005 is a solid supporter of the Association.  During the visit Oliver presented Simmons with our updated history book, First to Go.

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“First to Go” Book is Ready to Go!

Pre-order your copy today!

Pre-order your copy today!

After more than a few setbacks, our updated history is now ready to go. The 295-page edition traces us from our beginnings in World War II through the Gulf Wars. In our first edition two years ago we only had a few of the original photos from “Last To Know, First To Go.” In this edition we have added more than 70 photos.

Our USMCCCA webmaster Kate Stark is again publishing the names of those named in the book. Even if your name is not listed in the index, you may be mentioned in a photo caption. We will also place this notice on Face Book.

The book will sell for $33 to members and $40 for non-members. You can use the button below or send a check or credit card info to CCHQ at 110 Fox Court, Wildwood, FL 34785. Make your payments to the USMCCCA not the USMCCCA Foundation. Through the largesse of our publishers, Dave and Diane Biesel, St. Johann Press, the Association will realize $10 for each book sold.

If you have pre-ordered, your names have been sent to St. Johann Press. All books will be mailed to you from their New Jersey headquarters


Book Prices (includes S&H)





Index of names included in the book
Abel, Jon, 116
Abizaid, John, 231
Abrams, Mike, 109
Acosta, Frank, 6
Adams, Arthur H., 61
Adreon, Franklin “Pete,” 255
Agostino, Luis, 215, 226
Aideed, Mouhamad Farrah,
185, 190
Aiken, LaDonna, 262–270

Click here to read more ›

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A Farewell to Mawk

Bob Bayer (l), Dale Dye and Tom Kerr.  All representing the USMCCCA.

Bob Bayer (l), Dale Dye and Tom Kerr. All representing the USMCCCA. (Photos by Sheila Kerr)

The card reads: To Mawk, Skipper, President & Chaplain. With Great Love And Respect, Your Fellow CC's

The card reads: To Mawk, Skipper, President & Chaplain. With Great Love And Respect, Your Fellow CC’s

A celebration of life was held for Mawk Arnold in the American Legion hall in Fairhope, AL on Saturday and, as Tom Kerr of our organization reported, “the hall was filled to its rafters. I swear more than half of the town was there!” Kerr reported that Dale Dye and Bob “Dink” Bayer, two of Mawk’s “snuffies” from the Vietnam war era were on hand. “Dale’s eulogy was simply magnificent!”

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Former DirPA Maj. Gen. Terry Murray died

Maj. Gen. Terry Murray

Maj. Gen. Terry Murray

A belated but sad note: Maj. Gen. Terry Murray, who served as the Corps’ Director of Public Affairs in the mid 1990s, died at home on June 17, 2017 and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery on Aug. 31, 2017.

Cause of death was coronary artery disease. He was 72.

The general was awarded two Bronze Stars with Combat “V” and a Purple Heart for combat in Vietnam and, later, commanded the 15th Marine Expeditionary Force. Besides his PAO turn, the former infantry battalion commander was posted stateside as a writer for the Marine Corps Historical Branch, as the Corps’ Senate Liaison Officer and as Director of the Marine Reserve.

He received a master’s degree in public communication from Fordham University.

The Allendale, N.J. native was an All-American honorable mention as a Navy tailback and was Honor Graduate of Army Ranger School prior to deploying to Southeast Asia.

(Obituary and photo courtesy U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association.)

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A Tribute to Major Mawk Arnold USMC (Ret) 1924-2018

Retired Major Mawk Arnold (center) is joined by lst Marine Division Snuffies, retired Captains Russ Thurman (left) and Dale Dye, during a visit to the Denig Memorial at the Marine Corps Museum during the 2016 annual conference. (Photo by former Captain Debbie Thurman)

Retired Major Mawk Arnold (center) is joined by lst Marine Division Snuffies, retired Captains Russ Thurman (left) and Dale Dye, during a visit to the Denig Memorial at the Marine Corps Museum during the 2016 annual conference. (Photo by former Captain Debbie Thurman)

(Editor’s note: An additional obit was published on http://www.gulfcoastnewstoday.com)

By Capt. Dale Dye USMC (Ret)

It’s indisputable that I would not have survived my service in Vietnam if it hadn’t been for a rugged, rawboned mustang officer who enlisted in the Marine Corps nearly a year before I was born. In fact, none of the seriously twisted bull-goose loonies that served as Combat Correspondents in the 1st Marine Division under Captain Mawk Arnold would have lived through their combat tours — much less avoided serious brig time — without the guidance, patience and protection of the man who was then and continues to be our Skipper. 

Mawk Arnold USMC (Ret) 1924-2018

Mawk Arnold USMC (Ret) 1924-2018 (Photo courtesy of Bob Bowen)

Mordecai R. Arnold, out of Texas via Alabama and practically all points east and west where Marines have planted boondockers, is my hero, but the noun fails to convey what he really means to those of us who served with The Skipper. There aren’t enough terms in a thesaurus to cover the depth of gratitude, emulation, admiration and devotion we feel for the gentle giant in whose shadow we spent the most seminal times of our lives. For the double handful of us Marine Corps combat correspondents who made it through the crucible of frenetic combat operations in northern I Corps circa 1967-69, only one term fits when we talk about The Skipper: love. We loved The Skipper unashamedly and unabashedly and we’ll gleefully rip the lungs right out of any macho sonofabitch that wants to challenge that emotion. We learned that from The Skipper who often threatened to do something similar — if less violently — to anyone who messed with his wayward boys in or out of combat. 

Click here to read more ›

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CC National Prez Keith Oliver checked in on several of our warrior-storytellers at Camp Lejeune the week before Christmas, including a stop at the vast training base's newly remodeled photo lab. Pictured are back row (l-r): Pfc. Isaiah Gomez, Lance Cpl. Delgado Adrian, Staff Sgt. Albert Hicks, Lance Cpl. Kaitlynn Hendricks and Pfc. Devin Sullivan. In front are (l-r) Pvt. Antonio Garcia, Oliver and Lance Cpl. Miranda Dekorte. The visit was hosted by Carls, a Perkins Award recipient (and “motivator in the extreme,” says Keith); and by 2018 USMCCCA Professional Training Symposium Chairman, Nat Fahy, who serves as Director of Communications Strategy and Operations for Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Installations East. (Pfc. Colton Brownlee photo)

CC National Prez Keith Oliver checked in on several of our warrior-storytellers at Camp Lejeune the week before Christmas, including a stop at the vast training base’s newly remodeled photo lab. Pictured are back row (l-r): Pfc. Isaiah Gomez, Lance Cpl. Delgado Adrian, Staff Sgt. Albert Carls  Lance Cpl. Kaitlynn Hendricks and Pfc. Devin Sullivan. In front are (l-r) Pvt. Antonio Garcia, Oliver and Lance Cpl. Miranda Dekorte. The visit was hosted by Carls, a Perkins Award recipient (and “motivator in the extreme,” says Keith); and by 2018 USMCCCA Professional Training Symposium Chairman, Nat Fahy, who serves as Director of Communications Strategy and Operations for Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Installations East. (Pfc. Colton Brownlee photo)

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Our National Chaplain, Mawk Arnold dies

Mawk Arnold will be sorely missed.

Mawk Arnold will be sorely missed.

It is with great sadness that CCHQ announces the passing of National USMCCCA Chaplain and retired Maj. Mordacai “Mawk” Arnold early evening, January 15, 2018.
National President Keith Oliver received a call from Mawk’s wife, Alice, that she was visiting with Mawk who was convalescing following a very recent stroke when he suddenly died of an apparent heart attack. Mawk was in his early 90s and had been in relatively poor health these past few weeks.
No further details are available at this time.

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Mawk Arnold (left) with Jason Fudge at the 2016 Awards Banquet.

Mawk Arnold (left) with Jason Fudge at the 2016 Awards Banquet.

USMCCCA National Chaplain Mordecai “Mawk” Arnold has suffered a stroke and is now in rehab. CCHQ spoke with his wife, Alice and she indicated the stroke affected his right side. While there is no paralysis, he cannot walk. His speech, while halting, is not slurred. Alice indicated the stroke occurred while Mawk was in the hospital for another situation. Obviously, prayers are needed. CCHQ will continue updates as we get them.

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