The Marine Corps League was founded in 1923 by Major General/Commandant John LeJeune and chartered by an Act of Congress in 1937.
The league is the only federally chartered, Marine Corps-related veterans organization in the country. Since its earliest days, the Marine Corps League has enjoyed the support and encouragement of the active duty and Reserve establishments of the U.S. Marine Corps.
Today, the league boasts a membership of more than 76,000 men and women, officer and enlisted, active duty, Reserve Marines, honorably discharged Marine veterans and qualified FMF corpsmen and FMF Navy chaplains and is one of the few veterans organizations that experiences increases in its membership each year.
The Marine Corps League of Riverview was formed in 2006, but renamed the Sgt. Walter P. Ryan Detachment in 2017 in honor of Walter P. Ryan, who was the serving commandant at that time and who died while in that office. “We also have the Marine Corps League Auxiliary, in which the spouses of Marine Veterans volunteer their time and talents,” said member and Valrico lawyer Peter Farren.
Farren is a Marine Veteran and the owner of Valrico Law Group, PLLC.
“I was introduced to the Marine Corps League by the current commandant, Ron Essick, in August of 2018,” Farren said. “I truly enjoy the camaraderie of continuing to serve the community with fellow Marines.”
Many members of the detachment served in the Vietnam War as well as other conflicts, including WWII, Korea, Desert Storm, Desert Shield, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
“They all have interesting histories while serving, as well as the other aspects of their lives,” Farren said. “We take pride in providing Honor Guard Services for deceased Marines and veterans from all branches of the military. The families appreciate the recognition and dignity of knowing that their loved ones’ brothers and sisters in arms have not and will not forget their service and sacrifice. It is also immensely rewarding to see first-hand the generosity and kindness of the people in the Tampa Bay area when we are doing a fundraiser.”
The detachment welcomes veterans from the community to join their group.
“We certainly welcome any honorably discharged Marine or Navy corpsman to join our ranks,” Farren said. “Other veterans or others are welcome to join as ‘associate members.’ There is a small annual membership fee and we only ask members to do what you can, when you can. As it turns out, Marines by nature want to help and serve, so there are many hands, which makes the work light.”
If you would like to learn more about the detachment or if you’d like to join its group, you can visit the detachment’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/mcl1226 or email Farren at firstname.lastname@example.org. The detachment meets on the first Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m. at the American Legion on 7240 U.S. Hwy. 301 at the intersection of Hannaway Dr. in Riverview.