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a POWERful DRILL: Legion looking for volunteers to march with team

July 17, 2012
By Jenny Lancour - staff writer ( , Daily Press

GLADSTONE - The Gladstone American Legion Drill Team is looking for a few good men... and women who may be interested in marching on the squad during various community events.

Area residents are familiar with the precision drill team which has marched throughout the region at several parades, ceremonies, and sporting events. Wayne Berthaume, member of Gladstone Legion Post 71, organized the group 10 years ago.

"It's all about dedication. You're doing it for the community," explained Berthaume, of Escanaba, who had also organized a drill team while he was serving in the military.

Article Photos

The Gladstone American Legion Drill Team is known for marching in parades and conducting flag-folding ceremonies at area events. From left, Tony Sustarich, Wayne Berthaume and Don Couillard stand watch over the Traveling Vietnam Wall in Gladstone. (Daily Press photo by Jenny Lancour)

The group currently consists of eight members who are not always available for all the community events, he said. The squad is seeking more volunteers because of the growing number of events the group is being requested to march in, he added.

The drill team practices on the third Wednesday of the month. The group performs at several parades during the summer but also attends inside events throughout the year such as at local schools and the Jacobetti Veterans Center in Marquette, said Berthaume.

Other events the drill team participates in include the Rapid River Memorial Day Parade, the Rock Lions Labor Day Parade, the local Special Olympics Ceremony, and veterans conventions.

The drill team recently marched in the Gladstone Fourth of July Parade and performed a flag-folding ceremony at the Traveling Vietnam Wall in Gladstone.

Prior to each performance, Berthaume says he gives the drill team members a pep talk to keep them fired up to march.

"I tell them: 'We're doing this for the men and women that gave their lives for us. They'll be marching right along with us.'"

Anyone interested in joining the drill team can contact Berthaume at 786-4263.



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