Welcome to the ‘Gunnery Sergeant Alan P. Loper USMC, Wisconsin Chapter, Third Marine Division Association, Inc.’
We are the “Gunnery Sergeant Alan P. Loper USMC, Wisconsin Chapter, Third Marine Division Association, Inc.” Our Chapter is part of the Third Marine Division Association. www.caltrap.com
Our organization was started in 1994, by the late Alan P. Loper and other members.
Our Chapter is committed to, promote fellowship, to all veterans, family members, and associate members.
We are a statewide organization; we hold meetings four times a year, the location of which is voted on by the members.
Our membership dues are $10 per year, plus membership to the Association. The dues cover the Chapters cost and promotes many Veteran activities. i.e. Toys-For-Tots, Honor Flights to WW2 Memorial, gathering books for the Division Library on Okinawa.
Membership forms can be found and printed, from this website. Under “Membership Forms“. Interested Veterans can also contact us, for any questions via email or telephone, email addresses and telephone numbers can be found on this website, under “Contact Us“.
GYSGT ALAN P LOPER, USMC
THIRD MARINE DIVISION ASSOCIATION
Wisconsin Chapter Formation
In March of 1990, Max Collins from Rhinelander wrote to Al Loper asking if he would be interested in forming a Wisconsin Chapter of the Third Marine Division Association. Discussions pursued on the national level as to the procedure to start organizing the Chapter. After numerous telephone calls and correspondence and organization, three years later the first news release was sent to newspapers throughout Wisconsin by Sgt Major Bill Krueger, USMC, Retired, Association Membership Committee. The news release read:
Would you please publish this announcement in your newspaper and/or magazine.
“The Third Marine Division Association is developing a Wisconsin Chapter and therefore, is actively seeking the whereabouts of former division members, attached personnel, and units for membership. Camaraderie, plus a unique educational scholarship program, are the elements which link our members together. Eligible persons are encouraged to contact GySgt Al Loper USMC Retired at ………………. PS: As a matter of information –the actual Third Marine Division is in it’s 52nd. year and is currently based in Okinawa , Japan and beyond the seas. We estimate that over the years, approximately four million men and women served with the division.”
Following this new release, seed money was sent by national to help defray start-up cost and get the ball rolling. The first letter to come in was from LtCol Thomas Jones, USMC, Retired from Green Bay Wisconsin who stated he was ready to join the state chapter. LtCol Jones became a charter member and is now deceased. The next letter to arrive was from Earl Chloupek, who gave his military history and stated his desire to join. He also became a charter member and continues his membership even though he currently lives in Florida.
So as responses grew from the press releases it was time to hold a meeting. The first meeting was held December 4, 1994 at the Knights of Columbus in South Milwaukee, WI. Twelve proud Marines gathered and the chapter was established. The first officers included the following: Al Loper, President, Ted Levenhagan, Vice-President, Pat Hoyt Jr. Secretary, Jim Pelkey Treasurer. Directors representing different areas of Wisconsin were: Max Collins, northern WI, LtCol Tom Jones, Central WI and Russ Severson, western WI.
Besides the above mentioned Marines the following also attended that first meeting: Robert Gumm, Gordon Gillis, Hank Rominsky. At the end of the initial formation, a total of 32 were noted as charter members.
Loper, the new president attended the national association board meeting the first of April, 1995 where the Wisconsin Chapter was recognized with great excitement. Also, it was noted that Loper requested consideration from national to host the reunion in 1997. Three weeks following this meeting, Loper, at age 59 passed-away unexpectantly leaving a tremendous void. The chapter then elected Max Collins as it’s second president.
The Chapter continued to grow and was renamed after Gunny Loper in late 1995. Then tragedy hit again. Collins died suddenly of a heart attack battling a fire on his property in Rhinelander May, 1996. He was 70 years old.
So, again the chapter rallied and elected the third president, Gordon Gillis, and fortunately all has gone well since then.
With a great deal of enthusiasm the members worked diligently to host the 1997 reunion in Milwaukee to overwhelming acclaim. The reunion in Milwaukee was noted as a “great place” and our Chapter was noted as having “great hospital and spirit”. Since then we hosted the 2006 reunion due to the continued support of the members.
The chapter has grown through the years with new members continuing to join. We bring together men and women who have served in WWII, Korea, Viet Nam, Peace-Time, etc. We are proud of our chapter’s history and its members. And believe it or not the dues have remained at $10.00 per year.
The Chapter meets 4 times yearly throughout Wisconsin giving everyone the opportunity to come together. We have donated to various veterans groups, the Scholarship Fund and ROTC programs and have donated numerous boxes of books to Okinawa and VA Hospitals.
We are noted to be a low-key group. No committees, no demands on members. Our purpose is to meet with our Marine Corps family and continue to bond that only Marines can claim. The chapter also recognizes the importance of military coming together and preserving the history of their story and nation.
It is important that we continue the next chapter in the history of our Wisconsin Chapter…………………..
00:00 - 05:00
Alan Kulwicki, Milwaukee Wisconsin