December 21, 2003
ROGER CARLSON With the holiday season upon us and the focus on giving, it seems appropriate to introduce you to someone who could easily qualify for many as one of the most unforgettable persons they've never met. A former Costa Mesa resident and Daily Pilot news editor, John Gunn has been ascending to legendary status around the United States Marine Corps, past and present, with his one-man endeavor to enlighten and...
November 11, 2003
Marisa O'Neil Newport Elementary started off Veterans Day celebrations with the bang of cannon fire from a tall ship bobbing in the waters just beyond the school's Proud to Be an American Day assembly on Monday. Students wearing military caps, parents and hundreds of others gathered on the school's beachfront playground to pay tribute to America and its military on a picture-perfect, sunny Southern California day. Members of the U.S. Marine Corps, local police and fire departments and a retired lieutenant general spoke to the students about freedom, flag etiquette and love of country at the third annual event.
August 23, 2003
The speaker at Wednesday night's meeting of the Rotary Club of Newport-Balboa needed no introduction. The speaker was 34-year member and retired Marine Corps Gen. Robert Owens, who with his wife, Fran, is moving to Boulder, Colo., this week to be closer to their children and grandchildren. Owens, 86, gave his final craft talk to an overflow audience. Many past club presidents, former members and spouses joined the Rotarians in honoring him. The Anchor Watch scribe for the evening, Terry Rousselot, said: "Owens started out describing graduating from college at 18 years old, then into the Marine Corps career at North Island, San Diego with legendary Pappy Boyington, serving as an honorary pall bearer for Dwight Eisenhower, trading golf tips with Arnold Palmer at a Newport Beach reception, commanding the Marine Corps air wing for the Western U.S., arriving with Fran at Scoffield Barracks, Hawaii on Dec. 7; greeting Spain's King Juan Carlos and his queen at El Toro and supplying the couple with a much-needed carton of Camel cigarettes upon their departure, briefing Robert McNamara in Vietnam about choosing the correct targets of supply barges on the river."
June 22, 2003
Deepa Bharath All Ian Voss can eat these days are bananas and cheese. The rich red meat that he loved to devour any time of day seems a little too heavy now. And he can't sleep on the sheets and pillows on his bed, because they suddenly seem too soft and cushiony. After six months in a hostile desert far away, where he ate tasteless, packaged meals, caught cat naps and sat all day and night in the iron belly of a tank not much bigger than the loveseat in his living room, the 20-year-old U.S. Marine lance corporal is easing back into the life of luxury he happily and willingly left behind.
June 8, 2003
U.S. Marine Staff Sgt. Charles "Cass" Spence returned to his Costa Mesa home last week from the war in Iraq, but it isn't business as usual yet. Spence hasn't returned to his job as a Newport Beach code enforcement officer and instead still has to drive down to Camp Pendleton as part of his tour of duty. But he does get to drive home every night to his wife Carrie, two young children and dog. He's proud of his Marines and what they were able to do in Iraq, but he's even happier to be back.
May 10, 2003
After the Newport Mesa Irvine Interfaith Council's National Day of Prayer breakfast on May 1, Margo Allen and I loaded some 22 file boxes and trash bags of goods donated by Daily Pilot readers, members of local churches, temples and synagogues, Interact clubs from Saddleback and Garden Grove High schools in my sport utility vehicle for delivery to the Marines and their families at the Twenty-nine Palms Marine Corps base....
April 9, 2003
Deepa Bharath A cake made with Meal Ready to Eat boxes may not seem too appealing to many. But that's just what Cpl. Bryan Bergey got from his fellow marines on his 23rd birthday bash in the Kuwaiti desert. The Corona del Mar reservist was deployed in February. He has since e-mailed home several photos, including one showing how his resourceful buddies made him a "cake" with pieces of bread slathered in chocolate sauce and decorated with M & Ms for his Feb. 28 birthday.
March 22, 2003
Deepa Bharath Police officer Glorioso Manigbas patrolled his heart out on the city's Westside. Supervisors say he is a "tough street cop." They don't forget to add that he is a "super, super nice guy." The 26-year-old officer is preparing to leave his wife and two kids on Monday to fight a war that's already begun. Manigbas trained to clear land mines for four years in the U.S. Marine Corps. That's what he is being sent to do in Iraq as part of the infantry.
December 22, 2002
Christine Carrillo The Marine Corps Marathon in Washington D.C. sparked a fire under four members of the Newport Beach Cal Coast Track Club late October, giving them a simultaneous chance to revisit the capital and achieve a 26.2-mile goal. Mary Fletcher of Newport Beach, John Kenney of Corona del Mar, Tom Boris of Newport Coast and Gloria LaCommare of West Covina started and ended their run near the Iwo Jima Monument and got the chance to hit a number of other monuments along their route before reaching an exhausting finish.
December 16, 2002
Richard Dunn Even though Bruce Gelker enjoyed excellent size for a tackle in his day at 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, he was mobile and quick enough on his feet to become a gridiron standout at USC in the 1944 Rose Bowl game and later in the Marine Corps with future NFL stars. Gelker was lucky more than once in football. As a player, there were moments, seemingly, when it helped to be a good athlete during World War II. Then, later, as a prominent businessman in Newport Beach, Gelker was awarded operation of the Portland Storm in the World Football League in 1974 -- and got out just in time.