Marine Lt. Col. Paula Graver (Ret.) has been holding troop rallies on the corner of Mission Trail and Diamond Drive in Lake Elsinore every Saturday for two years. On a recent Saturday, a special rally was held to mark the two-year anniversary of the war in Iraq. Supporters honked, waved and shouted as they drove by during the March 5 event.
About 20 members of the “Black Horse Troopers” came from St. George, UT, to show their support for the troops. “We are honored to come and show our support for the troops. We are all Veteran Brothers. We all have served our country,” said troop member Ken Sabo.
Members from the “Run for the Wall” motorcycle club were in attendance as well.
“My mission has always been to make sure that our troops are not forgotten. Everyone needs to remember that these troops are making sacrifices for us. They need our support,” Graver said.
Twenty-three-year-old Marine Corps Corporal Stephen Ferguson was shaking hands and answering questions from residents who dropped off donations that will benefit 1,100 Navy Corpsmen and Marines who are returning from Iraq later this month. “I just re-enlisted for another four years. I am not done having fun yet. I may become a 20-year man. I am honored to serve our country,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson did a tour of duty in Iraq early in 2003. His battalion’s mission was to secure the oil fields in Ramali. He is stationed at Camp Pendleton and was recommended for honorable mention for Marine of the Year in 2003 by the Marine Corps Times Magazine.