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By Utah Dixie Detachment #1270

The Utah Dixie Detachment #1270 of the Marine Corps League held its 5th annual Marine Corps Birthday Ball November 10, 2011 to celebrate the 236th anniversary of the birth of the United States Marine Corps.  The event was held at the Sun River Community Center ballroom, there were 145 people in attendance.

The birthday ball included a social hour followed by dinner, then the official cutting of the birthday cake.  The evening was topped off with dancing to the Jim Sevy Orchestra.

One of the highlights of the evening was when Lance Corporal Bryce Lewis, a native of Saint George, Utah was presented as the Guest of Honor.  Bryce joined the Marine Corps in 2009 from St. George, went to boot camp and won the award for being the best recruit in the ‘series’ of 500 recruit Marines.  He was then deployed to Afghanistan.  A few months into his tour Bryce was seriously wounded when the ‘Hummer’ he was driving rolled over an IED planted in the road.  His best friend who was riding on the outside of the vehicle was killed.  Bryce is stationed at Camp Pendleton waiting to see what the Marine Corps decides about his future.

Cutting the official birthday cake and distributing the first piece to the oldest Marine and the youngest Marine present, is a time-honored tradition that is perpetuated at every Marine birthday ball.  The elder Marines (former) at the Saint George event was Dave Estrovitz who joined the Corps in 1942 and retired from the Corps in 1980.  Dave shared this honor with Ken Brown who is only 4 days Dave’s junior.  The youngest Marine on deck was Bryce Lewis who is still on active duty as of this writing.

The evening ended around 10 PM and folks went home with fond memories of yet another celebration in honor of our beloved Marine Corps.  There were folks present from all other branches of the service, too, and they were recognized from the podium and thanked for their service to this country.  All of us left the building with the spirit of brotherhood and comrades in arms.  Next year will be even better.

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