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Remember When?

July 24, 2012
Daily Press

Courtesy photo

The Gladstone American Legion Post 71 Drill Team won first place in a state championship competition held in Lansing in 1962. Prior to winning the state championship, the team had won first-place honors in the Upper Peninsula in 1959-62 and placed second in the state in 1961. The members of the Drill Team champions are: kneeling from left, Bob Young, Bill Girard, Delbert Nelson, Thure Dahlgren and Gary Soderman; standing, drill instructor Ed "Mack" Davis, Charles Lundmark, Jack LaFond, Tony Marmalick, Doug Madden, Fed Breitzman, Charlie Camps, Rune Ostlund, John Schroeder, Ed Pyke, Bill Swenson and Pete Schram. In preparation for the competition, practice was held twice weekly and would begin in the late spring as soon as the Marble Athletic Field dried out. However, the practices increased as the competition date drew nearer and practices never stopped all summer. The Drill Team was responsible for many Fourth of July parades in Gladstone and, in the early years, the team performed free of charge for Music and Drill evenings in Ishpeming. In return, Ishpeming brought its Ishpeming Blue Notes to Gladstone for the Fourth of July Parade. After the group disbanded, the Drill Team was reorganized about 10 years ago under the leadership of former Post 71 commander, Wayne Berthaume. It continues the practice of marching in the Gladstone Fourth of July Parade as well as the Rock Labor Day Parade and the Rapid River Memorial Day Parade. It also takes part in funeral ceremonies for area veterans and performs at various veteran events and sporting events for local schools.

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