Celebrating U.S. Marines birthday

Members of the Puryear Detachment, Marine Corps League, celebrate the Corps’ 244th birthday with a banquet Saturday night at the Palladium, Coosa Valley Fairgrounds. Former commandant Hal Gosnell (from left) holds the ceremonial sword as Tom Beavers, commandant, presents a slice of birthday cake to speaker Col. James Lenderman (ret), as Robert Rakestraw, 96, honored as the oldest Marine present, and Jonathan Cole, 31, youngest Marine attending, look on. Lenderman recounted his experiences as a helicopter pilot participating in the 1980 aborted mission to free the American hostages held in Iran, and his later assignment flying the Marine One helicopter during the presidency of Ronald Reagan.