DEPOT MARINES MARCH IN CORONADO ISLAND INDEPENDENCE DAY PARADE
By Lance Cpl. CHARLIE CHAVEZ
| | July 13, 2007
MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO --
The sounds of John Philip Sousa’s marches filled the air as Marine Band San Diego marched in the 58th Annual Independence Day Parade in downtown Coronado, Calif.
It wasn’t just the sights and sounds of freedom from the band that caught spectator’s eyes and ears, however. Other Marines from Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego also got into the act.
With loud yells and a charge up a ramp onto the back of a trailer, six Marines from the Basic Marine Platoon at the depot dressed in World War II combat regalia and reenacted the American flag raising on Mount Suribachi, Iwo Jima.
While the BMP Marines posted the flag on their float, which received first place for its creativity and energy from the Marines, the depot’s color guard carried the national ensign and the Marine Corps colors.
“It’s an absolute honor to represent the Marine Corps and the depot at events like these, especially on the Fourth of July,” said Sgt. Jorge Benitez, color guard Marine. “I really appreciated the warm welcome that we received from the crowd.”
Spectators became somber when a few more BMP Marines walked by with a second float they had created. This float, which won second place in the float competition, consisted of a large cage and represented the military’s prisoner’s of war and those who are missing in action.
Rodger Hebert, a spectator at the parade, remarked that he was impressed by the Marines.
He said that the reenactment of the flag raising and the band’s performance added a lot to the parade, which was titled “American Heritage.”
Two distinguished Marines from the depot and the Western Recruiting Region also followed the Marines’ procession.
Gunnery Sgt. Anthony Loftus, who was named the Drill Instructor of the Year, adorned his celebrated campaign cover and rode in the back of a convertible with Staff Sgt. David Ramos, the Recruiter of the Year, who wore his coveted dress blue uniform.
Near the end of the parade the Marines were reviewed by their enlisted boss Sgt. Maj. Bobby Woods, sergeant major for the depot and WRR.
Woods was chosen as the Marine Corps’ Grand Martial for this year’s parade and was stationed in the bleachers where he watched parade participants cross the finish line.
Private First Class Andrew Sincebaugh, BMP Marine, said he was glad he could be a part of the parade in Coronado and that the floats he and the other BMP Marines took time in creating won the competitions.
“It was a great way to spend the Fourth of July and show my patriotism,” said Sincebaugh.