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Marines in Chicago

Marines from Recruiting Substation Schaumburg, Marine Corps Recruiting Station Chicago, present the colors at the Chicago Slaughter-Wisconsin Wolfpack Continental Indoor Football league game Saturday, at Hoffman Estates, Ill.

Marines from Recruiting Substation Schaumburg, Marine Corps Recruiting Station Chicago, present the colors at the Chicago Slaughter-Wisconsin Wolfpack Continental Indoor Football league game Saturday, at Hoffman Estates, Ill.

The week-long event was an opportunity for Chicagoans to meet the individuals who make up the Marine Corps, said Brig. Gen. Melvin G. Spiese, commanding general, Training and Education Command, in Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.

The idea of Marine Week is to get the major cities in America exposed to the Marine Corps, said Spiese, a Chicago native. We couldn’t find a better place to kick this thing off. We are America’s Marine Corps.

During the week and throughout the city of more than 2.8 million people, Marine Corps demonstrations included martial arts, boxing, band performances, weapons training for police departments, volunteer clean-up efforts and much more.

When you see them here in the community you get a better sense of hope that the Marines really are here for us, said Leon Metcalf, Habitat for Humanity volunteer supervisor. They’re out here to help us and to protect us. I love it.

From May 11 to May 17 there were 100 events supported by more than 600 Marines and attended by more than 200,000 people. The events started and closed with an MV-22 Osprey raid demonstration.

I got goosebumbs seeing the Marines come out of the helicopter, said Franky Leyva, 14, a raid demonstration spectator. I’ve never seen anything like it.
There have been eight Medal of Honor recipients and 27 general officers from Chicago in the history of the Corps.

This is a Marine Corps town. It is a very popular part of the military here, said Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. There is a great history of Marine Corps families in Chicago.

The Marine Corps is an institution of great character that wants the people of Chicago to have a sense of confidence that their sons and daughters will be well taken care of if they decide to join the Corps, said Spiese.

During the Marines stay in Chicago they reached out to everyone. Marines attended and provided the color guard and honorary first pass at a Chicago Slaughter Continental Indoor Football League game.

Even Sgt. Maj. Carlton Kent, the sergeant major of the Marine Corps, gets a kick out of a Marine in a ghillie suit - in this case the Marine is Lance Cpl. Cesar Esparza with 2nd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment.

Even Sgt. Maj. Carlton Kent, the sergeant major of the Marine Corps, gets a kick out of a Marine in a ghillie suit - in this case the Marine is Lance Cpl. Cesar Esparza with 2nd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment.

The kids loved visiting with the Marines who were at the game, said Gerry Clarke, team president of the Chicago Slaughter. What tremendous role models they are for the youngsters.

Marine Week left an impression on those who attended.

Lt. Col. Sidney McGraw receives a football from Chicago Slaughter wide receiver Dontre Jackson before the Chicago Slaughter-Wisconsin Wolfpack Continental Indoor Football league game at Hoffman Estates, Ill. McGraw is the executive officer for Marine Air Control Group 48, the Great Lakes, Ill.-based reserve unit which served as the command element of the inaugural Marine Week Chicago.

Lt. Col. Sidney McGraw receives a football from Chicago Slaughter wide receiver Dontre Jackson before the Chicago Slaughter-Wisconsin Wolfpack Continental Indoor Football league game at Hoffman Estates, Ill. McGraw is the executive officer for Marine Air Control Group 48, the Great Lakes, Ill.-based reserve unit which served as the command element of the inaugural Marine Week Chicago.

I encourage all Chicagoans to recognize the contributions the United States Marine Corps had made to our nation, Daley said.

Perhaps Bill Nolan, assistant chief of the courts and chief of the Daley center summed it up the best.

This week’s events have been fantastic, it’s great, said Nolan. The Marine Corps is a great tradition and it’s an honor to have them here, days like these makes everyone wish they were a Marine.


Marines storm Boston next. Find out more information at www.marines.mil/marineweek

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