The West Hudson Department of the Marine Corps League played host to a group of 47 Marine recruits on May 12, the day before Mother's Day. This group of high school seniors from Bergen and Hudson Counties was organized by the local Marine recruiters as a family day which brought together their respective families for a cook out. What started out as a happy occasion generated into a rancorous shouting match between the recruits, each claiming that his mom was the best cook and bringing along samples of their mom's culinary art. I think the jury is still out, the judges had to request seconds with deliberations going on well into the night. One thing is for sure, the recruits will have to wait till after "boot camp" before they get food like this again. Some of the food presentations included Polish stuffed cabbage, Columbian chicken with rice, Philippine lumpia, Peruvian civiches, Portuguese roll of broccoli, Italian meatballs, espanadas and patelon from the Dominican Republic, pasties de bacalhau, pernil with orange and pasties de-north (the last three from Portugal). There were other entries but the names printed on the entry forms were seen blowing in the wind. Wind gusts are common to the heights of Kearny and that afternoon was no exception.
Gunnery Sergeant Juan Malfavon who arranged this get together for the recruits and their families is the NCOIC (NCO in Charge) for the Bergen/Hudson area. He, along with S.Sgt. Jimenez, Sgt. Matias and Sgt. Molit are one of the top Marine Corps recruiting teams in the state. That is saying a lot in that New Jersey is number one in the states sending recruits to Parris Island, the East Coast Recruit Training Depot of the U.S. Marine Corps. This number one figure is based on the number of recruits as a percentage of the population. These future Marines will go to Parris Island over the summer months on a staggered basis. No more than two or three from any one recruit district at a time. This was at the special request of the Marine drill instructors "union" who were unable to cope with 40 or more recruits from a single district at one time. Four drill instructors on one or two recruits is fair game, but 40 recruits on four drill instructors would leave them, the drill instructors, at a decided disadvantage.
Major Stephen J. Neary, the Commanding Officer for the New Jersey Recruit District, addressed the parents and complimented them on the job that they had done with their children. He indicated that they will soon enter a new phase of their learning process and that the Marine Corps had a proud history and many traditions which their children would become a part of and grow with their new relationships and commitments. He indicated that the Marine Corps would be their new family, not replacing but adding to their present family and traditions.
The recruits were each introduced, actually, they each introduced themselves, giving their hometown, high school and a little comment as to the future plans. After the introductions the West Hudson Marines conducted small tours of the Marine house which is full of Marine Corps memorabilia. All seemed to have enjoyed the afternoon and the variety of food with a general indication that the current families approved of the new family that their sons and daughters would soon become a part of. Incidently, the group of 47 recruits included five future female Marines. The recruits are from Jersey City, Bayonne, Kearny, Harrison, North Arlington, Rutherford, Lyndhurst, North Bergen, Emerson and Union City.
Richard Eagan, Public Relations Officer
Marine Corps League