Tri-State Detachment 494 of the Marine Corp League will be holding its 33rd annual reunion on Saturday, Aug. 18, at the Saxon Club on Meridian Road. This year's event will feature an Austintown Fitch graduate who rose through the ranks and has seen a fair share of action abroad. Master Gunnery Sgt. Robert Hogan, now living in Sneads Ferry, N.C., will be the guest speaker.
Detachment 494 member Joe Caruso said he ran across Hogan after reading a news article about the Marine and his active life.
"We gave him a call and he said he would be glad to speak at our reunion," Caruso said.
Hogan, a Fitch class of 1982 graduate enlisted in the Marines in September of that year. After training at Parris Island, S.C., he was deployed to Okinawa, Japan, as part of unit deployment program. He served at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and in 1990 got orders to report to Drill Instructor School back at Parris Island.
Over the next decade, he became a senior drill instructor and in 2000 ended up at Camp Lejeune, N.C., where he served as company gunnery sergeant and later as chief instructor and operations chief for the Marine Combat Training Battalion.
In 2003, Hogan took on the role of assistant joint operations center chief with the Joint Task Force Horn of Africa in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He later was assigned to a small craft company and from 2004 to 2008 was deployed to Al Anbar Province in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He continued serving in the Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
After 30 years serving in the U.S. Marine Corp, Hogan retired from military life on June 22. During his career he had earned the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and Combat Action Ribbon.
He is married to the former Shannon McIntosh of Hollidaysburg, Pa., and the couple have four children, Kathleen, Anthony, Erika and Garrett.
Caruso said Hogan makes a real good fit as this year's guest speaker and he discovered a closer-to-home tie in talking to him.
"Robert Hogan graduated Fitch with my daughter Gia's class," Caruso said.
As for Detachment 494, Caruso said it is part of the Marine Corp League that began shortly after World War I as a way for Marines to keep in touch. Nationwide, the League has more than 50,000 members and Detachment 494 that serves the tri-county area has a membership of 154.
For information on the reunion, call Ed Leviseur at 330-702-0667 or Chester Kaschak at 330-533-6084.