Marine Corps League to set up on South End

A new Marine Corps League is coming to South Whidbey and organizers are on the hunt for members.

Ed Donery, co-founder of Major Megan McClung Detachment 1210, said he and around a half dozen others are parting ways from the Oak Harbor-based league to form a new detachment for South Whidbey and Coupeville Marines. The new league’s first meeting begins on Wednesday, March 8 at 7 p.m. at the Holmes Harbor Rod and Gun Club in Langley. A dinner will also be held prior to the meeting, starting at 6 p.m.

In order to become officially recognized as a detachment, 16 members must be signed up, Donery said. He is hopeful they will hit that mark on Wednesday night, but is extending the invitation so that the league can start on a good footing.

“Basically what we’re trying to do now is circle the wagons and get as many Marines that might be available on South Whidbey or that general location that can come down,” Donery said. “I have faith that we’re going to be well over the number that we need to start the detachment. If we don’t, we will continue soliciting for more Marines to complete that detachment. We have to have 20 within the first year.”

Any Marines or Navy corpsman who served alongside Marines are welcome to join, with the requirement being that they provide their DD 214 documentation showing they received either an honorable or general discharge.

Donery said he will propose at the meeting that the detachment be named after Richard “Buck” Francisco, who died in June 2016. Francisco was a longtime South Whidbey resident with a long list of achievements, from flying more than 4,000 hours in a Vought F4U Corsair in the Pacific Theater during World War II to founding M-Bar-C Ranch in Freeland. Francisco also co-founded Major Megan McClung Detachment 1210 with Donery in 2005.

“He was a war hero,” Donery said.

In the past, the Marine Corps League has served the community through ceremonial events, funerals and parades. The league also awards an annual scholarship to South Whidbey High School.

For more information, contact Donery at 360-331-3721.

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