San Clemente is just north of the Marine Corps Base at Camp Pendleton and the Marine Corps flag flies below the U.S. Flag on the pier. There's even a park dedicated to the Corps near the pier (picture taken by yours truly) and a lot of retired military live in the area. So I thought it might be interesting to learn a little more about the base.
Camp Pendleton, the major West Coast base of the USMC, was named after Marine General Joseph Henry Pendleton, who advocated establishing a training center on the West Coast. It was started in 1942 and stretches between the cities of Oceanside, in San Diego County, and San Clemente, the southernmost city in Orange County. The area was originally Rancho Santa Margarita y Los Flores, so designated in 1769 by Spanish captain Gaspar de Portola, who led an expeditionary force looking for sites for the famed California Missions. The closest mission is San Luis Rey, just south of the base. The original ranch house, still used as the home for the Commanding General of the First Marine Expeditionary Force, is a National Historic Site.
Today the base serves as the Corps prime amphibious training base and has been home of the 1st Marine Division since 1946. We often hear the Marines shelling San Clemente Island, an almost daily reminder that the Marines are on the job, and I'm glad they are.
Sunday, as I was leaving Wal-Mart, I saw an older gentleman with a cane who was taking collections for the children of men and women killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I was happy to make a donation for such a worthy cause. I just hope our soldiers and Marines can all come home soon.
additional source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camp_Pendleton
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