HELENA — The Fort Harrison VFW Post held a 246th birthday ceremony for the United States Marine Corps as well as a fundraiser for Toys for Tots.
The ceremony was held at the Fort Harrison Service Club, where the Marine Corps Order from 1921 and the current order were presented and read.
Lonnie Cook is the Commander of the VFW Post 12177 and says his staff consists of Marine Corps veterans.
“I have a lot of former Marines that work on the facilities here, so we're kind of catering them today right now,” said Cook.
Cook says celebrating the Marine Corps is important as well as giving back through the Toys for Tots fundraiser where veterans and event-goers can donate toys as well as donations to the organization.
"About 35 years ago I started out in Marine Corps and I end up messing up my knee and got booted out but got it repaired a little bit and came back in and got the Army. Made it up to 85 and so now it's kind of just recently retired, so I'm kind of giving back to the community now,” said Cook.
Event goer Jim Smith says he is gracious for what the Marine Corps has done for the nation and what the VFW Post has done for the community.
“I have always admired what the VFW it does for veterans in Helena, and we've got a lot of veterans in Helena and in Montana,” said Smith.
The event concluded with a cake-cutting ceremony with the eldest Marine Corps veteran and the youngest beginning to cut the cake.
“It's very, very much of a camaraderie that is instituted over the times,”
The fundraiser raised 481 dollars and 9 TOYS for Toys for Tots.