Fire Relief – Butte County/Paradise

Ray Valenzuela : November 13, 2018 11:00 : Commandant, DeptNews, Main

Please pass this on to your members and to the detachments.  Please notify me of information on MCL member losses in the Southern California fires.

The chaos has started to settle down. I am reading that many of the shelters and local charities are asking that no more used clothing and items be brought. They are asking for new items such as new shoes (even inexpensive ones).  Others are suggesting gift cards and cash to known charities.  We know of one of the Marine Corps League member (Tehama 1140) who has lost everything. He drove himself to the hospital in Chico to continue his current cancer treatment  (for a GoFundMe page set up by his grandson please read below).  Because Paradise/Magalia was a popular location for retirees – there are a number of veterans who have been impacted.  Most lost everything – home, belongings, vehicles, sometimes pets.  My wife Kathy and I will continue to search for more information and make a few phone calls to provide you with more contact locations. I have been working on a group email listing for all detachments to forward this info, but it has been a difficult experience due to lack of updated email information. Hope to complete soon. We will keep in touch.
The Hope Center in Oroville is still taking donations (asking for backpacks, new undergarments, non-perishable food, paper products, and bedding items.  Their warehouse is at 2850 Feather River Blvd., Oroville.

*****Here are good standard and well-known charities.***** 
If you have doubts about certain ones listed here – check them on or  
Veterans Resource Center
a cash donation to the VRC will help their staff in Chico, CA work with the local authorities with the Camp Fire relief effort.  Visit and click on “Donate” – specify it’s for Camp Fire relief.
United Way of Northern California (UWNC)
Established the NorCal Disaster Relief Fund to aid victims of the Camp Fire. To donated, text BUTTEFIRE to 91999 or visit
American Red Cross
Call 1-800-RED-CROSS or text REDCROSS to 90999  or visit the Red Cross website and select “I want to Support California Wildfires”.
The Salvation Army
Call 1-800-SAL-ARMY.  Designate your donation to Camp Fire aid. Mail-in donations can be made to The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 348000, Sacramento, CA  95834.  Specify it’s for Camp Fire relief.
The North Valley Community Foundation has two funds:  The Camp Fire Evacuation Relief Fund and the Butte County Schools Fire Relief Fund. Donors can make an open gift to the school fund, or designate a specific use, like textbooks or school supplies. Donations accepted through the foundation’s website Camp Fire Evacuation Relief Fund – North Valley Community Foundation
For “Gunny Milton” – here is the link
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Happy Birthday!

Ray Valenzuela : November 10, 2018 11:06 : Commandant, Main

It’s Saturday morning, 10 Nov. 18 and all Marines wake up to celebrate 243 years of our United States Marine Corps. We will check the uniform, polish the brass and make sure our shoes shine like diamonds.
I would like to wish all Members of the Marine Corps League a very Happy 243rd Birthday! May you, your family and friends take time to celebrate the birth of the greatest military organization in the world.
Take a moment to look at the EGA emblem and reflect back to the day it was presented to you and feel the pride that will be with you through life. OORAH

Semper Fi

Ray Valenzuela, Commandant
Department of California

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New Commandant Message

Ray Valenzuela : June 20, 2018 18:11 : Commandant, Main

Hello to Marines, FMF Corpsman, and Chaplains.

I think the dust may have settled in Clovis after the “landing” of those mentioned above for the 86th annual State Convention at the beautiful Clovis Veterans Memorial District building.

A big thank you to the host Detachments and their commandants – Mike Pelucca of Detachment 019 and William Cardinal of Detachment 014. Their members worked so hard to make it the premier event that it was. Thanks also to session presenters for their time; their programs were very informative and there was plenty of time for questions.

During the Convention, elections were held. The results are posted on this website. Those “retiring” from their service to the Department were: Sgt at Arms, Gerald DeCarlo – thank you for the excellent job you have done. Riding herd on the budget was Tom Shine – who spent time trying to keep us all in line. Thanks for your hard work. Todd Rehfuss, Commandant, Det. 835 San Diego has stepped in as Tom’s replacement. Finally, the newest Jr. Past Commandant, Bob Villalobos – who gave us 2 years of his time as our Department Commandant - Thank you for everything.

The many of us that make up your Department including officers and appointed staff, look forward to serving you and your detachments.

Ray Valenzuela
Department Commandant

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Commandant’s Letter April 2018

Robert Villalobos : April 14, 2018 18:51 : Commandant, Main

Marines, FMF Corpmen/Chaplains, Associate Members and friends, greetings.

Once again the Department had a very successful Spring Conference.  Van Nuys was the venue ad the accommodations were great. The Conference was hosted by the San Fernando Detachment and I believe all who attended would agree that they did an outstanding job. The Devil Dog growl was also very successful, as evidenced by my almost empty bone locker. We are all looking forward to the Department Convention in Clovis in June. All the relevant information is on the website. Make your reservations early as we anticipate very good attendance. The staff and I will have a schedule published in the next couple of weeks. We plan to have break-out training sessions on Friday afternoon so please plan to attend both Friday and Saturday in order to get the most out of the Convention.

The new Detachment in San Francisco has been approved and the Charter will be presented as soon as possible. We are also working on two new Detachments in Southern California. On 26 April 2018 I will be in Redlands meeting with a very active former gunny who anticipates more than 20 interested Marines eager to participate. We will be ready! Just a reminder: we all know Marines & FMF Corpsmen/Chaplains and if each of us recruits just one, we will double our strength. We are all recruiters!

One other reminder: at our June Convention you will be electing new officers/trustees. There will be two additional trustees elected, one for Northern California and one for Southern California, giving the red hats two additional voices on the board. Plan to attend and participate in the process. Your voice is important and needs to be heard.

This is my sunset cruise as Commandant. It has been an education and an honor to serve you. I know the newly elected officers will also serve you and will certainly strive to improve the Department as the membership grows.

See you all in June in Clovis. Semper Fidelis!



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Commandant’s Message

Robert Villalobos : February 19, 2018 17:53 : Commandant, Main

At the Department Convention in Simi Valley, California in June of 2017 numerous by-law changes were adopted that will enhance our ability to involve our members in the League and it’s activities. All twelve Regions now have active and aggressive Coordinators. Three are now involved with helping establish new Detachments in their respective Regions. One of the by-law changes approved in 2017 will establish two additional elected Trustees as Area Vice Commandants primarily responsible to enable the Regional Coordinators in Northern and Southern California recruit Marines and eligible Navy personnel into the League.

In order to attain the ultimate goal of doubling our membership in California I have also appointed a new Public Information/Communications Officer, Marine Mario Blandini. He will have carte blanche authority to work with the Detachments, Coordinators and Area Vice Commandants to improve communications both within the membership and with the public. It’s about time everyone knows who we are and wants to join us! Just as important after they join us they should want to stay. We intend to reach both goals and we will!

Last November Past National Vice Commandant Gene Rivers and I were invited and had the opportunity to attend the dedication of the first Gold Star Memorial dedication on the west coast in Hayward, California. The coordinator of the event was Marine Michael Emerson, a MCL member. The guest speaker was Marine “Woody” Williams, MOH, also a member of the MCL from West Virginia who, I’m sure, we all know. Woody had recently participated in the naming & dedication ceremony of the USS Williams, an innovative amphibious support ship, in San Diego. OORAH, Woody, Bravo Zulu!

I’ll be attending the National Midwinter Conference in Fredericksburg, VA, 1-5 March 2018. Shortly after that, 23-25 March will be the Department Spring Conference in Van Nuys, hosted by the San Fernando Detachment. All the info is posted on this website, so plan to attend and make your reservations asap.

Semper Fi,

Bob Villalobos, Commandant.


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