One Last Mission For WWII Marines: Save Their Veterans Hall

Steve Miller
January 03, 2019 - 6:00 am

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The first African Americans to serve in the Marine Corps are trying to save their Chicago veterans hall in Englewood.

At the age of 91, James Reynolds says he is the "Baby Vet." The oldest is 97.

Seven of them are active members of the Chicago chapter of the Montford Point veterans. These are Marines who were stationed at Montford Point in North Carolina: a segregated camp during World War II.

"The things that they only offered us was to be a rifleman, which we never got to use. We had to fight for the right to fight,” Reynolds said.

Now, these former service members are trying to save the Chicago chapter hall of the Montford Point veterans.

"We was doing pretty good when we could rent the halls. We could keep it together. But with a leaking roof, we can no longer do that."

They need $75,000 to pay back property taxes and more to fix the roof.

The chapter president, Sharon Stokes-Parry, said she’s tried, unsuccessfully, to apply for tax-exempt status.

"It's not an easy process, and it's really not an easy process when you don't have money."

For more information, go to the online fundraiser page.