Jim G. Lucas Chapter: Headquartered in Northern Virginia, Washington, DC area.
Sylvia Gethicker, President
He’s 90 now, but still the feisty, alert, congenial, one-time Marine combat correspondent who everyone calls “Obie.” On Jan. 31, one day after his birthday, he avowed that, “I still feel the same today as I did yesterday, It’s no big deal.”
Cyril “Obie” O’Brien lives in Leisure World, a sprawling retirement community in Montgomery County, MD. The World War II vet, who went ashore with the 3rd Marine Division on Guam and Iwo Jima, attended the Lucas CC Chapter meeting in January, sipped a beer, then blew out a single candle on a surprise birthday cake (someone said the fire marshal would not allow a 90 candle blaze in the restaurant). Obie is believed to be the oldest active member of the USMCCCA following the passing of his good friend, Sam Stavisky, age 93, last November.
The Lucas Chapter meeting in Alexandria, VA, also featured two presentations by Marines from the Public Affairs Division, Headquarters Marine Corps.
Master Gunnery Sergeant Phil Mehringer, public affairs chief and the new active duty liaison to the USMCCCA, gave an upbeat summary, in rapid fire mode, on the work of combat correspondents across the globe. They have the right equipment, the right motivation, and the right support, he said. The locale of the new battleground is no secret, he said. “It’s Afghanistan.”
There are now 514 enlisted Marines as combat correspondents, and added: “Believe me, our people can get the job done.”
Gunnery Sergeant Ronna Weyland, media chief, discussed several priority items of concern to her small crew at the Pentagon: the Merit Awards program culminating with the award presentations at this year’s USMCCCA conference at Hampton, Va. in September; preparations for the eventual move to new quarters at Ft. Meade, Md., (near the Defense Information School) and the production of seven issues this year of Marines magazine.