News: 2nd MLG Commander, staff serve lunch for Marine Corps’ birthday
Story by Lance Cpl. Sullivan Laramie
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Marines and sailors who stopped for lunch at the French Creek messhall here were in for a treat Nov. 7.
Brig. Gen. Edward D. Banta, the commanding general of 2nd Marine Logistics Group, served food with several other members of 2nd MLG’s senior leadership in honor of the Marine Corps’ birthday.
“On the Marine Corps’ birthday, we take time to reflect on our traditions, our heritage and our legacy – a legacy that has been passed down to us,” said Banta, a West Hartford, Conn., native. “We think a lot about leadership and taking care of Marines and sailors, and being able to serve chow to Marines on and around the birthday is a good way to take care of Marines and serve them the way they serve us.”
During a period of two hours, the officers and senior enlisted leaders worked at the messhall, serving a steak, shrimp or lobster meal to more than 1,100 Marines, sailors and civilians.
“We rarely have the opportunity to spend as much time with Marines as we would like to and, unfortunately, that time is less and less the higher in rank you go,” said Banta. “When we do have an opportunity to go someplace and see a lot of Marines at once, we usually try to take that.”
Banta said he is no stranger to serving his Marines in this manner, and has done so since his time as a platoon commander. However, his familiarity with this side of the serving line did not mean service members were used to seeing him there, and it didn’t make the hectic work any easier.
“A few [service members] seemed a little surprised, but most seemed to enjoy seeing us there, and it was certainly enjoyable for us,” said Banta. “I gained a tremendous amount of respect for how hard our food service Marines work, because that was tough. I was serving right next to [Sgt. Maj. Ricky W. Stroud], and he and I both commented on how worn out we were after two hours there. It’s a great way to give back to the Marines who give so much to us and the Marine Corps on a daily basis.”