Two Marines finally get their due

Staff photo by Mary Kemper U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy congratulates former Marine Gunnery Sgt. Calvin Floyd, left, and former Marine Staff Sgt. Nate Wells, at a ceremony recognizing their official retirement from the Marine Corps, which had been delayed for both of them due to bureaucratic delays.

Staff photo by Mary Kemper
U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy congratulates former Marine Gunnery Sgt. Calvin Floyd, left, and former Marine Staff Sgt. Nate Wells, at a ceremony recognizing their official retirement from the Marine Corps, which had been delayed for both of them due to bureaucratic delays.

Mary Kemper
Staff Writer
Combined, two Marines served a total of 40 years — but it wasn’t until Jan. 31 that they finally got their official retirement ceremony from the Corps.
U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-18, was the keynote guest at the ceremony held at his office in Stuart for former Staff Sgt. Nathaniel “Nate” Wells and former Gunnery Sgt. Calvin Floyd.
Members of both Marines’ families were on hand to watch as the two men received flags flown in their honor at the U.S. Capitol, along with official certificates.
The event represented the culmination of several years’ hard work by one of the Marines’ colleagues, retired Gunnery Sgt. Reid Hollander, who organized the ceremony and served as its presenter.
Hollander, on discovering that the two men never received their retirement due, had set about to remedy the situation.
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Blessing of the Fleet marks 45th year

File photo by  Patrick  McCallister Douglas Jewett, North Stuart Baptist Church, blesses boats at the 43rd annual St Lucie River Blessing of the Fleet and Marine Parade. Jewett will be back blessing boats at this year’s  Blessing of the Fleet and Marine Parade, on Saturday, Feb. 20, on the St. Lucie River.

File photo by
Patrick
McCallister
Douglas Jewett, North Stuart Baptist Church, blesses boats at the 43rd annual St Lucie River Blessing of the Fleet and Marine Parade. Jewett will be back blessing boats at this year’s
Blessing of the Fleet and Marine Parade, on Saturday, Feb. 20, on the St. Lucie River.

Patrick McCallister
For Veteran Voice
TREASURE COAST — All hands on deck for the 45th annual Blessing of the Fleet and Marine Parade. It’ll be on Saturday, Feb. 20, on the St. Lucie River.
“Last year, we set a record,” Darrell Brand, past commodore and co-organizer, said.
The annual blessing drew 156 decked out water craft last year. Organizers expect another record this year, thanks to growing word about the parade having new themes each year.
“We started these themes and we try to pick a theme that’ll generate some interest,” Brand said. “A few years ago, they were down to 20, 30 boats at the blessing of the fleet.”
The theme this year is “Save our River and Keep our Waterways Open,” unmistakable references to a couple issues rocking the Treasure Coast: Lake Okeechobee discharges and All Aboard Florida, the proposed high-speed train from Miami to Orlando that would close the rail bridge in Stuart 32 times a day.
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