I am very happy to report on the great dinner I attended at the Shriners' Kena Shrine Center in Fairfax, Virginia on Friday 03-25-05. The Shriners contacted me and requested that I invite as many of the wounded Marines and members of the Marine Liaison Staff and MCL to come to the 'Fish Fry' dinner. I contacted Walter Reed Army Hospital, CWO Andrews, OIC of the Liaison office, and he posted the invitation on the roll call board. As it turned out, most of the wounded went home for the Easter Holiday weekend, but one wounded Marine did attend, Cpl. Miguel Simental. He has a prosthetic leg and to see him get around you would never know it. He is due to go home to Texas within the week. The other Marines who attended were, Cpl Danpier, Pvt. Hopkins, L Cpl Manzanarei, Cpl. Illa, and EM2 David Bowers, USN (adopted Marine). Cpl Danpier brought his wife, his mom and is wife's' mom with him. His wife is due to have a baby TODAY. Cpl. Illa brought his wife and also their infant son.

The Shriners could not have been any more gracious to our Marines. They had a piper lead us into the hall to a standing ovation playing the Marine Corps Hymn. Just about everybody in the room, at sometime during the evening, came up and thanked Cpl. Simental and the other Marines for their service to our country and me for representing the Marine Corps League.

The Shriners are putting on another dinner around Mother's Day, it will be a prime rib dinner, and they are going to invite the wounded again. They would also like to include some other wounded from Walter Reed, (Army).

Most of us will be in Ocean City for our convention, but we will need to find someone to coordinate this dinner.

Semper Fi,

Lou Stavely
Department of Maryland, MCL