Hometown Heroes: Marine Corps League helps local veterans, children

CANFIELD, Ohio (WYTV) – The people who wear a military uniform and who are prepared to defend American freedoms are called heroes. Once out of uniform and retired, veterans can still be relied on by many. The members of the local Marine Corps League are this week’s Hometown Heroes.

The cap reminds the members: once a Marine, always a Marine. The men and women of the Marine Corps League take that to heart.

“I enjoy the camaraderie, the friendship, not only our Marine Corps League but all other veterans groups,” said Bruce Kirkland, Commandant of the Tri-State Detachment 494 of the Marine Corps League.

Corporal Kirkland showed a photo of himself from the 1960s, a handsome man. He has a whole family with a military tradition, including a flag that flew in Afghanistan.

Another aspect of the Marines is Toys for Tots.

“They get a toy, two toys, three toys, whichever the case might be. We realy enjoy that. It’s people helping people,” Kirkland said.

Kirkland said no matter what service someone may have been in, all are a band of brothers. Every band needs a chaplain.

“We owe a debt to all those that paid the sacrifice for our freedom,” said Dale Barringer, Chaplain of the Marine Corps League for 15 years and Chaplain of the D.A.V. for two years.

In addition to the Toys for Tots program and helping at military funerals conducting the 21 gun salute, the Marines have given themselves another assignment: to remember the veterans now living in local nursing homes.

The services provided vary depending on the nursing homes and why the Marine Corps League is contacted.

The motto at the detachment is: We educate, communicate, participate. Family comes first.

Do you need a hometown hero? See a Marine.

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