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    Tampa Native Recognized as Honorary Marine

    MARCENT Commander presents 'Honorary Marine' Title

    Photo By Gunnery Sgt. Alisa Helin | U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Paul J. Rock Jr., the commander of U.S. Marine Corps...... read more read more



    Story by Lt. Col. Lyle Gilbert 

    U.S. Marine Corps Forces Central Command

    A longtime Florida native received the title ‘Honorary Marine’ during a ceremony here today for his many years of involvement with or support to the U.S. Marine Corps and the many Marine Corps-related units, activities, events, and causes, such as Support-the-Troops.

    Major General Paul J. Rock Jr., commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Central Command, presided over the ceremony in which Mr. Mark Van Trees, of Tampa, Fla., received the “Honorary Marine” designation, which was accompanied by a formal declaration citation and the much-coveted flat-black Eagle, Globe and Anchor emblem, characteristically worn on the Marine Corps Barracks Cover.

    Explaining the significance of the event, to both Van Trees and the broader audience, Rock stated “You are the 72nd honorary Marine in the whole world and you join the ranks of a distinguished group of individuals. It is really an honor and a privilege to be a part of this,” he continued “for almost everyone here, this is a once-in-a-lifetime event for us.”

    As for his part, Mr. Van Trees, as outlined in the nomination letter that led to his recognition, has for nearly two decades volunteered on behalf of, and otherwise supported, Marines and their families, both in the Tampa area and overseas. He has provided large quantities of items, such as X-Box video games, Play Station terminals, coffee, hygiene products, reading material, holiday party items, care packages and more. He has also supported events such as Marine Corps Birthday Balls and reunions.

    When asked about his recognition, Van Trees said, with characteristic humility, “I want to thank all those Marines who have served so honorably, both past and present,” he said, “and especially those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.” Van Trees added, “All of you Marines have touched my life in so many ways and it’s because of you that I stand here today in your honor. I’m extremely grateful and humbled to be presented with this honor today. It is indeed quite surreal,” he concluded.

    Marine Corps officials estimate that the Marine Corps honors fewer than five individuals with the Honorary Marine title annually.



    Date Taken: 07.17.2023
    Date Posted: 07.17.2023 15:45
    Story ID: 449378
    Hometown: BALTIMORE, MD, US
    Hometown: TAMPA, FL, US

    Web Views: 351
    Downloads: 0