Marine Col. Don Davis addresses the “One Nation Under God” program at Friday’s Exchange Club meeting.
ALBANY — Well known as fighters against child abuse, the Exchange Club of Albany membership also keeps patriotism as one of its founding principles.
At its Friday meeting, the Exchangites held the yearly “One Nation Under God” program. As the chair of the program, Tom Pollock, explained that the program has a patriotic speaker every year.
This year, Col. Don Davis, commanding officer of Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany, a vital community and economic partner in the Albany area, was asked to speak.
In civilian attire, Davis rose to the occasion, saying, “I am a Christian who was called to serve as a Marine. I’m here as myself, not as a representative of the Marine Corps.”
The values that Davis spoke about, however, had the Corps woven all through them. Listening to Davis, audience members knew that was because American values are what Marine values stem from.
“As you gladly serve your community, you show that you have the same values Marines have,” Davis said. “Guys like me appreciate you every day. We see the service you do for your country and the community everyday.”
Marines and Exchangites share the values of “mission first, people always,” Davis said. The Marines get the mission accomplished and take care of the welfare of the people.
In much the same way, the Exchangites work to accomplish their mission with the welfare of the people in mind.
The club works at its fair and other projects to raise money to share with community organizations that build the community through strengthening families and caring for children.
Davis spoke of the three-legged stool he bases his command on — mental, physical and spiritual legs.
“Mental. The Marines are really good at it. Physically, we are the biggest and the baddest,” Davis said. “And if you aren’t healthy spiritually, you can’t be healthy mentally and physically.”
Davis also spoke about something that one doesn’t often hear “the biggest and the baddest” express. Like his religion tells him to do, Davis said that he carries unconditional love for his Corps, country and the community, his fellow people.
With three years left in his assignment to the logistics base, Davis said he wanted to open the base up more to the community. He views himself as part of the community and he wants the community to feel more welcome at the base.
The base understandably became more security oriented after 9/11, Davis said. But there are opportunities to become more involved with the community and he plans to take them.
As an example, he said that more than 500 have signed up to participate in the “Dirty Dog Devil Run” 10 a.m. today in the base’s Boyett Park.
It is also an opportunity for the community to support the annual Toys for Tots campaign for the Christmas Holiday.