FALLEN MARINE PROGRAM
FOR THE GOOD OF THE ORDER
One of the primary objectives of the Marine Corps League
is to recognize and honor fallen Marines. This program is dedicated to that
goal. Many of our fellow Marines are passing without notice. Some receive
gravesite services from the U. S. Marine Corps, V.F.W. or other organizations
when formally requested. For most, however, the only notice received is a line
in the obituary column stating, “served in the U.S Marine Corps.” What better
program could we support than one that honors our fallen comrades.
Marine Corps League Detachment #668, Galveston County,
Texas, wrote this “Fallen Marine Program”. It was implemented on January 1st,
2002. The program was approved and adopted by the State Organization in May 2003
at the annual meeting in San Antonio. It is now fully operational and
successful. We now have uniform procedures,
unique to the Marine Corps League, which can be used throughout the
State. Recognizing a fallen Marine can be as simple as mailing a 75-cent MCL
sympathy card or as complete as full MCL honors during visitation.
The following is a guide for implementing and applying
the “Fallen Marine Program”. Let’s take the time to recognize our fallen
comrades. We hope in the future that the Marine Corps League will “LET NO
MARINE FALL UNNOTICED.”
With minimal funds, a little preparation and a “Few Good
Men,” this can be a most successful program. It is simple, easy to understand,
well received and rewarding.
GOD BLESS AMERICA and GOD BLESS HER VETERANS.
FALLEN MARINE PROGRAM INTERPRETATION
A list of merchandise needed is included in the program.
Some items may be deleted depending on what items the Detachment wishes to
furnish to the “Presenter” and his assistants (tie bar, globe and anchor, collar
emblem, Marine Corps League Pocket Crest). It is suggested that the Detachment
furnish these items. Three sets should be purchased. They may be kept by the
“Presenter” and issued to his assistants before the presentation at the
visitation site. Recruiting “Presenters” and assistants is easier when these
items are furnished.
Fallen Marine Presentation Guide
The guide is fairly self-explanatory. As you read, however
you will see that it encourages you to be flexible. This program is intended
to be different from most veterans’ honor services. It is important to
understand these differences in order to interpret the intent of these
- The family is not required to request our honor
services. Every fallen Marine within the Detachment’s area will be recognized
- Presentation is made at the funeral home or place of
visitation, during the visitation services, not at the
- Most honor services are preformed in uniform at the
gravesite. They are formal and regimented. This service is intended to be more
personal. Vet-to-Vet, Marine-to-Marine, Marine family to Marine family.
Numbers 1 and 2 in the Fallen Marine Presentation Guide
(below) pertain to the dress code. This is one area of flexibility. Uniforms
are not the preferred dress. However the “Presenter” may wear a uniform
(Marine Corps League) if desired. Suit color is also flexible. The only constant
should be the wearing of: a red tie, a gold Marine tie bar, a gold globe and
anchor collar emblem and a Marine Corps League Pocket Crest. These items will
identify the committee as Marines and members of the Marine Corps League.
The “Presenter” should carry a well-supplied briefcase with
blank certificates, forms and merchandise. He should also have a floppy disk or
CD with all printing programs. When the “Presenter” arrives at the funeral home,
he should check the certificate for correct spelling and its condition. The name
of the fallen Marine should be checked with funeral home records. If there is a
problem, a new certificate can be printed using funeral home equipment.
An updated list should be kept in the “Fallen Marine Program”
notebook of every MCL member willing to serve on the Presentation Committee. The
list should include: name, address, home, business, and cell phone, work hours,
and hours available. Sometimes the funeral homes give short notice. The above
information will help the “Presenter” locate and recruit assistants. Every
member of the committee should be given a copy of the “Fallen Marine Program,”
in a binder, and should be prepared to be the “Presenter” and lead
Fallen Marine Information Form
A blank copy of this form should be furnished to each
funeral home. They should make copies, so they will be available when needed.
They should be encouraged to fill out every line item except the area, “For MCL
use only.” The “Presenter” will pick up this form when he arrives at the funeral
home for the presentation. If the visitation is at a place other than the
funeral home, the form should be picked up early enough to check all pertinent
information: spelling of name, next of kin, etc. Every MCL member who may be
called by the funeral home should keep a blank copy. When a funeral home calls,
the receiver needs to know the name of the fallen Marine (to prepare
certificate), the location, address and time of visitation and the name and
address or the next of kin (to mail card). It is recommended however that there
be one contact person and one phone number for the funeral home to call. If the
contact person is going out of town or is other wise unavailable, an answering
machine should be employed with a message such as: “If this is in regards to a
Fallen Marine please call_______at _______. If not, please leave a message.” One
of the keys to a successful program is the cooperation of the funeral homes.
Make it easy as possible.
To assure a successful program, the cooperation of funeral
home directors is required. A letter should be sent to each funeral home
notifying them of the program and stating that a MCL member will visit and
explain the details. Funeral home directors should be encouraged to notify the
designated MCL member as soon as he is aware of a fallen Marine. The “Presenter”
needs as much time as possible to recruit assistants. The funeral home director
can help you in many ways. They can identify the next of kin, inform and prepare
the family for the presentation, and point out any unusual circumstances or
conditions. Remember we are entering his business. He can and will help if he
understands the program and feels he is part of it.
Every “Fallen Marine Program” binder should include a full
recommended example of certificate format and wording is on page 9. When you
receive the blank certificates (page 6), print signature space in the bottom
right corner (page 7). Have all certificates signed by Detachment officials
(page 8). Now you are prepared to print certificates when notified of a fallen
Marine. It is recommended you print on blank paper first and compare to blank
certificate. Be sure the signatures are in the proper place on the certificate.
Once the print program has been set up on your computer and a certificate
printed, it will be necessary, there after, to change the name and date only.
Place the computer mouse arrow on the fallen Marine’s name. Press the left
button and highlight name. Do not delete the highlighted name. Type fallen
Marine’s name in highlighted area. Do the same for date and type in date of
presentation. It is recommended that you print on blank paper and compare to
blank certificate. Be sure all printing is in proper place and the name and date
is correct before printing. If a diskette or compact disc is included, the
printing section of the program should be copied to your computer hard drive.
The new program requires initial startup funds for supplies
and equipment. Continuing income is needed to sustain the program. Cost of the
program depends on which services the Detachment wishes to offer (see section 1,
Presentation Guide,-- Every “Fallen Marine” Should Be Honored ). The cost may
vary from $0.00 to $13.00 (see Merchandise List-page 5). Program expenses can be
offset with regular fund raising projects, corporate sponsorship, or individual
contributions. A survey of funeral homes indicated they were willing to
contribute $13.00 to the Detachment each time honors were presented at their
funeral home. A $100 contribution can recognize, approximately, 96 fallen
Marines with a Marine Corps League sympathy card, 48 with a card and
certificate, or 7 with full honors.
Most funeral homes present an American Flag to the family
at the visitation or gravesite. If a flag is not to be presented, one can be
obtained from the U. S. Post Office, free of charge. VA form #21-2008 must be
completed and submitted to receive a flag (see page 11). The funeral director
can assist by requesting necessary military information from the family. Prior
approval should be obtained from the Post Master. It is recommended that a flag
be applied for, in advance, in the event of short notice from a funeral. Form
#21-2008 can be given to the Post Office after services and a new flag obtained.
Questions concerning this program should be directed to:
Marine Corps League
One Fort Point
Galveston, Texas 77550
MARINE CORPS LEAGUE
Fallen Marine Presentation
1. League member making the presentation (“Presenter”) should be in “Marine
Corps” or “Marine Corps League” uniform/dress suit with “Marine Corps League”
2. Accompanying League members should wear the same color suit. A dark color,
black or gray, with a red tie is recommended. A gold Marine Corps tie bar, a
gold Marine Corps globe and anchor emblem on the left collar and a Marine Corps
League Pocket Crest in the left top suit pocket will identify the committee and
present a neat and professional appearance. It is preferable that the Committee
consist of no less than 3 representatives: the “Presenter” and 2 league members.
If the “Presenter” cannot recruit assistants, he may present alone (See 3 below)
or he may choose to use methods listed below (4). There is no limit to the
number of League members who may attend and back up the presentation committee.
3. Upon entering the funeral home or place of visitation, the “Presenter” should
seek out the funeral director or person in charge. The director or person in
charge can identify the spouse or next of kin and give helpful information and
advice. The “Presenter” should introduce him/herself to the next of kin as a
member of the “Marine Corps League” and inform him/her of the pending
presentation. The funeral director may also perform this duty. After
introduction and after the family has been brought together, the “Presenter” and
assistants should begin the presentation. ---If there are two or more members,
they should line up at the back of the chapel. When “Church Call” begins, the
committee marches, in step, to the casket or place of honor and stands at
attention. If “Church Call” is not played, follow the same procedures. At the
start of the “Marine Corps Hymn” a hand salute will be presented and held until
completion of the hymn. Salutes should be slow and in unison. The presentation
to the next of kin and family should follow. Only the League member designated
as the “Presenter” should voice the presentation. The assistants can present the
certificate and pendant at the appropriate time.
Music should not be played if only one MCL member is to make the presentation.
The MCL member should first introduce him/herself to the wife or next of kin as
a representative of the MCL. Also inform them of his/her intent to honor the
“Fallen Marine” and family. Then proceed to casket or place of honor, salute,
and return to the family to make the presentation. (See Section 1, “Wording of
Presentation” paragraph 4).
Do not linger at the funeral home or visitation site. You are there to honor and
present. Keep the visitation and presentation short and professional. Leave upon
completion. Remember you are representing the Marine Corps League.
4. Presentation also may be made at the home of the spouse or next of kin
several days after the funeral. The certificate and pendant may also be mailed.
Circumstances may dictate or the League may choose to use one of these alternate
5. When the funeral director first interviews the family of the fallen Marine,
he will inform them of our services. He will know if there are any potential
problems or complications. Example: Man married twice, children from both
wives--- problems within the family etc. Presenters should be prepared for an
unwelcome or unexpected reception. The fallen Marine and/or their family may
have had disagreements with the V.A., the government, or the Marine Corps. Some
families may not welcome League Honors. Presenters must use their own good
judgment on how to handle an unwelcome reception. If the family is not receptive
and/or if circumstances permit, the “Presenter” may explain that the honor is
from the “Marine Corps League” which is an organization of Marines and former
Marines. If circumstances do not permit, make your apologies and leave.
6. The funeral home or the family may request the MCL make a flag presentation
at the visitation service. This may occur when there will not be a flag folding
service at the grave site or when a grave site is not required, such as
cremation services. The flag presentation will commence after completion of the
“Fallen Marine“ service. After this service is completed, the committee turns
and proceeds to the place where the flag is displayed. Only two members are
required for this service; the remaining members should proceed to the rear of
the chapel and stand at attention. When “Taps” is played, all members will give
a slow hand salute and hold until end of “Taps.” One of the two members then
steps up to the flag and gives a slow hand salute. He picks up the flag, turns,
and stops in front of the Presenter. The Presenter salutes the flag and takes it
from the first member. The first member then salutes the flag, turns and
proceeds to the rear of the chapel to join the other members. The Presenter
turns and stops in front of the wife or next of kin and makes the presentation.
(See Section 1, “Wording of Presentation” paragraph 5). After presentation, he
will salute the recipient (slowly) then turn and leave. If Ceremonial Bugle is
used, the bugler should follow instructions included with purchase of bugle. (www.ceremonialbugle.com)
7. Fill out “Fallen Marine Information Form” and turn in to the League
Wording of Presentation
MRS./MR.______, WE REPRESENT THE MARINE CORPS LEAGUE.
MAY WE EXPRESS OUR SINCERE CONDOLENCES FOR YOUR LOSS.
ON BEHALF OF THE MARINE CORPS LEAGUE, PLEASE ACCEPT THIS CERTIFICATE AND PENDANT
(or Globe & Anchor) AS SYMBOLS OF OUR APPRECIATION FOR YOUR LOVED ONE’S SERVICE
TO HIS/HER COUNTRY AND THE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS.
MRS./MR. ________, WE REPRESENT THE MARINE CORPS LEAGUE.
MAY WE EXPRESS OUR SINCERE CONDOLENCES FOR YOUR LOSS.
ON BEHALF OF THE MARINE CORPS LEAGUE, MAY WE PRESENT THIS CERTIFICATE AND
PENDANT TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY AS A SYMBOL OF APPRECIATION FOR YOUR LOVED ONE’S
SERVICE TO HIS/HER COUNTRY AND THE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS.
MRS./MR._________, WE REPRESENT THE MARINE CORPS LEAGUE.
MAY WE EXPRESS OUR SINCERE CONDOLENCES FOR YOUR LOSS.
ON BEHALF OF THE MARINE CORPS LEAGUE, MAY WE PRESENT TO YOU, THIS CERTIFICATE
AND PENDANT (or Globe & Anchor). YOUR FATHER/HUSBAND IS ONE OF THE FEW WHO HAS
EARNED THE RIGHT AND PRIVILEGE TO WEAR THE MARINE CORPS “GLOBE & ANCHOR.”
WE PRESENT THIS CERTIFICATE AND PENDANT (or Globe & Anchor) TO HONOR AND SALUTE
HIM/HER AND AS A SYMBOL OF APPRECIATION FOR SERVICE TO HIS/HER COUNTRY AND THE
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS. “SEMPER FI”
MRS./MR. ____________, I REPRESENT THE MARINE CORPS LEAGUE. MAY I EXPRESS OUR
SINCERE CONDOLENCES FOR YOUR LOSS. ON BEHALF OF THE MARINE CORPS LEAGUE, MAY I*
( PRESENT TO YOU THIS CERTIFICATE AND PENDANT (or Globe & Anchor) AS A SYMBOL
OF) APPRECIATION FOR YOUR LOVED ONE’S (Father, son, daughter) SERVICE TO HIS/HER
COUNTRY AND THE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS.
*(FUTHER EXPRESS OUR) to be used if certificate and pendant are not presented.
MRS./MR. ____________, ON BEHALF OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES AND THE
COMMANDANT OF THE UNTIES STATES MARINE CORPS MAY I PRESENT YOU THIS FLAG, FROM A
GRATEFUL NATION, FOR YOUR LOVED ONE’S (husband, wife, son, daughter etc.)
SERVICE TO HIS/HER COUNTRY.
The “Fallen Marine” presentation is preformed during visitation hours only,
not at the funeral or gravesite. If visitation is between 1700 to1900 hours, the
presentation should be made between 1700 and 1715 so as not to interfere with
any planned services. Check with the funeral director and family. The
presentation committee should arrive at the presentation site 15 to 20 minutes
early to prepare for services.
To view presentation honor service go to ( www.mclgalveston.com ) “Fallen Marine
Program” ”Presentation videos.”
“Fallen Marine” presentation
1. Marine Corps League sympathy card. (To be mailed to next of kin as soon as
address is obtained from funeral home)
2. Marine Corps League Certificate with Marine Corps League emblem on front.
3. Red certificate holder with Marine Corps League emblem on front.
4. Gold pendant with ribbon, globe and anchor (for ladies)
5. Gold globe and anchor Marine Corps collar emblem. (for men)
It takes 10 days to two weeks to receive supplies after ordering. A 15 to 30
day, on hand supply, is recommended.
If circumstances dictate, the League may choose to present a pendant or globe
and anchor to more than one member of the family. If the surviving spouse is
very young and the Fallen Marine’s mother is present, you may wish to present a
pendant to the mother also-- or if the Marine was on active duty at the time of
his/her death or a member of the Marine Corps League, you may wish to make more
than one presentation.
EVERY “FALLEN MARINE” SHOULD BE HONORED.
This program can be implemented in different steps and degrees depending on the
budget restraint and volunteer manpower of the Detachment. Any single or
combination of the following steps can be used to honor a fallen Marine.
Step 1. A Marine Corps League sympathy card can be mailed.
Step 2. A Marine Corps League Certificate can be mailed.
Step 3. A Marine Corps League Certificate can be delivered to the funeral home
Step 4. A Marine Corps Certificate holder with a certificate can be mailed.
Step 5. A Marine Corps Certificate holder with Certificate, pendant and/or globe
anchor can be mailed.
Step 6. A Marine Corps Certificate holder with Certificate and a pendant or
can be presented during visitation hours or at the home of the spouse or next
of kin by a “Fallen Marine Presentation Committee.”
Step 7 A Marine Corps League Presenter or Presentation Committee can honor a
“Fallen Marine “ during visitation hours, or at the home of the spouse
or next of kin, without presentation of a certificate, pendant or emblem.
MARINE CORPS LEAGUE
FALLEN MARINE INFORMATION FORM
Name of fallen Marine ________________________ Date of death ____ /____ /____
Funeral Home__________________________________ Phone ____ /____ /______
Address of F.H. __________________________________________________
Will there be visitation Yes ___ No ___ Will visitation be local Yes ___No ____
Date of visitation ____ /____ /_____ Time _____________-- to _____________hrs
Location of visitation (if other than F.H.)
Address of visitation (if other than F.H.)
Name of spouse _____________________________ Phone _____ /_____ / _________
Next of Kin (if other that spouse)______________________ Phone _____ /_____
Mailing Address of Spouse (or next of kin)
Address __________________________________________________Apt. _______
City ______________________________ State ______________ Zip____________
(For M.C.L. use only)
Person receiving honors _________________________________________________
Presented: Certificate __________Pendant _________ Globe and Anchor _________
Presented by __________________________________________________________
Accompanied by _______________________________________________________
Time of presentation: Date ______/_______/______ Time _______ hrs.
Mailed: Certificate ________Pendant _______Globe & Anchor________ Card_______
Comments : Use back of page if needed. *Memorial service only