17 April 2015


by Andy Weddington
Friday, 17 April 2015

"Public Service must be more than doing a job efficiently and honestly. It must be a complete dedication to the people and to the nation." Margaret Chase Smith

This Building is Named 
in Honor of 
Colonel M. J. "Mac" Dube, USMC 
By an Act of Congress 
Public Law 113-266 
December 18, 2014 

That's the plaque unveiled and that will grace a wall in the United States Post Office Building, Twentynine Palms, CA 92277.

This morning at 0800, on a beautiful desert day, family and friends and folks temporarily holding public office with titles of distinction gathered in the Post Office parking lot for the dedication ceremony. 

A Marine color guard was on hand - for our Pledge of Allegiance. So was an element of the 1st Marine Division Band - for our National Anthem and of course the Marines Hymn. 

The mayor of Twentynine Palms spoke (Big Mac was mayor - twice). Chairman of the County Board of Supervisors spoke (Big Mac was a field representative for the County Board of Supervisors). The Assemblyman for the 42nd District of California spoke (Big Mac did not hold this office, surprisingly); The Chief of Staff of the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center spoke (Big Mac was the Chief of Staff about 30 years ago). The Congressman for the 8th District of California, a retired Marine colonel, spoke (Big Mac and the congressman served together, were friends and tennis court competitors, and the congressman had a significant hand in securing the Public Law for the naming). And Erik spoke. 

All the speakers were brief but sincere and then seated (ala Teddy Roosevelt) though Congressman Paul Cook noted none of them, by virtue for their lack of windy oratory skills, would make it in Congress. Truth. The crowd laughed. 

The ceremony was short and dignified - Marine like. That is, to the point. That was Big Mac's way - to the point. It was not possible to embarrass tough ol' Big Mac Dube (who died 353 days ago, as noted by his son Erik) but he'd surely have been humbled by this morning's gathering and tribute. 

Big Mac Dube was a fine man, Marine, and American. He was a patriot. He was not only a proud citizen of his community but a selfless servant thereof.  He was the essence of Smith's opening quote.

That the Post Office bears his name is right. Exactly right. That the commemorative envelopes bear the Marine Corps emblem and Purple Heart (Big Mac wore four and probably rated at least that many more) stamp fitting. 

In closing...

What a privilege to be a fellow Marine and friend of Big Mac Dube. I've written about him a couple of times. Links to those comments follow. If you've read them, take a few minutes to refresh your memory. If you've not read them, take more than a few minutes to acquaint yourself with one of America's best.  

Marines, Brass Recycled, and Mystery Solved

Heroism's Always Rewarded - Sometimes Decorated

Marines, please pass along today's comment to fellow Marines - many out there know and served with Big Mac so let's make them aware of his recent honor. Thank you! 

Semper Fi, Big Mac.

Post Script

On the way to the ceremony I stopped to pick up a Marine friend - a retired colonel, too, with whom I served.  He served with Big Mac years ago. We swapped memories. All good. Big Mac was a Marine's Marine and that is saying something. We miss him. 

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