In the late fall of 2013, two Marines and a FMF Corpsman started talking about putting together a detachment which would be closer to their homes in Asheville. The more they talked, the better it sounded. So...they contacted the North Carolina Department of the Marine Corps League.
Within days the nearest District Vice Commandant of the Marine Corps League came to Asheville and explained what had to be done.
The first hurdle was to find a minimum of twenty Marines and Corpsmen who were interested in joining. By January 2014, we had our twenty. In fact, we had twenty-four. At the winter MCL quarterly in Salisbury, NC, we presented our documents to the NC MCL. The chartering process had begun. Recruitment of more members continued.
The charter ceremony was in May 2014. The word had spread and Marines from the area showed up to attend and to join up. One Vietnam vet showed up to join. He, and many others from that era, had not been received well upon his return home. He stopped telling people he was a Marine. He joined the detachment at the chartering ceremony. He stated, "I am so happy to be back with my brothers!" One week later to the day, he was mowing his lawn and dropped dead from a heart attack. Members of the detachment stood guard over his remains and conducted his funeral ceremony. Steve Davis...Semper Fi from your brothers.
The Marine Corps League of Buncombe County, Asheville Detachment #1417 was off and running. Recruitment of new members was, and continues to be, an important part of the detachment. In addition to the required monthly business meeting, 1417 strives to have fun activities.
We meet once a month at various restaurants in the area to eat together and talk about how big and bad we used to be. It is always a fun time. We have also attended Asheville Tourists games together. We are always looking for things we can do together. Esprit de Corps is important. In addition to having good times together, it has always been important to help our fellow veterans. We have had various find raisers to raise money to accomplish this.
We have had two Marine Runs, participated in the Belks Charity Sales, had coffee sales at the rest areas on I-26, and have participated in the Asheville Outlet Mall Community Days. The detachment's Honor Guard was at the ribbon cutting for the opening of the Asheville Outlet Mall. We are an active detachment.
The Marine Corps Birthday is obviously and important event. The Birthday we celebrated after becoming a detachment was in 2014 at the Asheville Country Club. Our second, in 2015, was at the Asheville Events Center and we invited several other MCL detachments to join us. Working with other detachments is important to 1417.
We have also invited other detachments to join us at our annual picnic. So, even though 1417 is a young detachment, we are still growing and staying active!service.