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 died while in that office. “Our mission is veterans helping veterans,” said Vice Commandant Ron Essick Sr. “If you were a Marine, FMF corpsman or Navy chaplain and miss the fellowship that you enjoyed while on active duty, this may be the place for you.” It is currently looking for new members.
The Riverview detachment consists of more than 100 members. “There are male and female members,” Essick said. “There are officers and enlisted within our ranks. There are combat veterans from Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Desert Shield and the current conflicts among us. There are those who have only served during peacetime, we have members that are still serving and there is also limited number of associate members who live up to our standards and adhere to our principles.”
The Marine Corps League was founded in 1923 by Maj. Gen./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.
The detachment meets on the first Tuesday of every month at American
Legion Alafia Post 148, located at 7240 U.S. 301 in Riverview. “Meetings start promptly at 7 p.m. and usually last about one hour,” Essick said. “Prior to the meetings there is a social hour with pizza provided that begins at 6 p.m.”
The detachment also supports the JROTCs in the area. “We provide scholarships grants to qualified applicants who are pursuing an undergraduate degree,” Essick said “Children and grandchildren of eligible members can receive national, department and detachment-level scholarships yearly.”
It also offers support for the local honor guard. “The mission of a Marine Corps League honor guard is to provide military honors for funerals, memorial services, dedication ceremonies and other civic occasions as may be requested,” Essick said. “As a member of the Marine Corps League, you can once again enjoy the camaraderie you had while serving. We have in our ranks members of several generations and theatres of operation. We would be honored to have new members to help us continue our missions.”