CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Members of the Marine Corps League from multiple cities and counties around the state attended an installation ceremony at a local establishment in Jacksonville, N.C., May 17.
The occasion was a historical appointment of office within the league’s Onslow County Detachment. Julianne Froncek, a logistics manager with 2nd Marine Logistics Group and 10-year league member, was appointed the first female commandant.
Friends, family and veterans were among the attendees at the two-hour event. The ceremony itself was short, but the friends and league members stayed long after, catching up, discussing upcoming league events, and exchanging fond Marine Corps stories.
Froncek, who medically retired from the Marine Corps after five years and has been involved with the league in both Florida and North Carolina for the past 10 years, seemed very comfortable among her older, male counterparts.
She joked and laughed with them, but became serious when talking about what she had learned from them since joining.
“These guys are all so great,” she began. “They come from World War II, the Korean War, the Frozen Chosin and Vietnam. They’ve got stories that would just send chills up your spine.
“They have such great, vast knowledge based off things they’ve experienced, things they’ve done, information [young Marines] can use.”
Froncek went on to describe what the league does and why she got involved. Their community involvement ranges from Toys for Tots to visiting veterans around the area and mentoring Eagle Scouts. The members also help Marines of all ages with the paperwork required for Veterans’ Affairs benefits.
The knowledge base she gained from the other members for her own medical retirement benefits was, according to her, worth too much for words to describe.
Beyond learning about benefits, meeting other veterans and staying involved with the Corps, Froncek has a distinct reason for her pride in holding the office of first female commandant for the detachment.
“I want to challenge the younger community to come out and help more. If I can do it, anyone can,” she concluded. “If the Marine Corps hadn’t been there for me when I was 18 years old, and didn’t have a clue as to what direction I wanted to go, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. This is my way of giving back to the Marine Corps itself.”