Joint Veterans Committee of Maryland's Veteran of the Year - 2012
Mr. Anthony J. "Tony" Begenwald
Vice President/Director East Coast, Marines Helping Marines Foundation
Chaplain, Dept. of Maryland Marine Corps League (MCL)
Judge Advocate, DAV Chapter 7; Past Chaplain, JVC of Maryland
Commissioner, Prince Georges' County Commission for Veterans
Tony was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA. Upon graduation from Central Catholic High School in 1954, he enlisted in the U. S. Marine Corps under a 2-year Active Duty and 6year Reserve Program. Upon his release from Active duty in 1956, he enrolled at Penn State University. He graduated in 1960 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering.
He accepted a position with the Bendix Field Engineering Corp. in Baltimore. There he became a Pioneer on NASA's Manned Space Flight Program by writing the Acquisition Aid Tech Manual for the Project Mercury Space Program. He advanced through numerous positions from Technical Writer, Engineer, Supervisor, Manager, Program Manager and Director of Administration. His responsibilities covered multiple disciplines such as technical writing, engineering, space flight mission support, logistics, purchasing, plant engineering, quality assurance, publications, budgeting and estimating, and senior management. He was Bendix's first prestigious NASA Manned Space Flight Awareness honoree, received the Astronaut's Silver Snoopy award, and numerous Bendix and NASA citations. He retired in 1995.
Tony's Marine Corps League's activities began when he joined the Free State Detachment in Bowie. There he held the positions of Chaplain, Sr. Vice Commandant, and Commandant and Chaplain at the Dept. level. While Detachment Chaplain, he assumed the task of coordinating Free States activities regarding visiting wounded Marines and FMF Corpsmen from Iraq at the Bethesda Naval Hospital. This activity ultimately became the Marines Helping Marines Foundation (Program) in 2003. For the past 9 years he has supported this program in outstanding manner. He has made over 450 visits to Bethesda and Walter Reed hospitals, taken wounded Marines on excursions such as golf tournaments, fishing trips, and ball games. For the past 6 years he has conducted monthly cookouts and a Christmas Day dinner at the hospitals. Fund raising has always been one of his dedicated activities. He has traveled many miles, from Connecticut to San Antonio to Boise to sell his MHM wares to raise funds. He has donated his Orioles season tickets for years and has made frequent and generous personal donations. He is noted for ending all of his conversations regarding funding for the MHM program with the words "Send Money". For his dedication to this program, he was selected as the MCL Free State Detachment Marine of the Year in 2005, the Dept. of MD MCL Marine of the Year in 2007, Free State Detachment 2009 Devil Dog of the Year, and is a Chapel of the Four Chaplains Honoree. He has also received numerous citations and proclamations from the hospitals, city of Bowie, Prince Georges' County, Maryland House of Delegates, Maryland Senate, and the Governor of Maryland.
Tony resides in Bowie Maryland. His wife of 44 years, the former Barbara Carole O'Neal of Miami, Florida, passed in February, 2005. He has 2 children, Anthony J "Joe" Jr. and Lisa Westbrook. He has 6 grandchildren, Anthony J. "AJ" III, Robert C. Westbrook III, Ryan Westbrook, Michelle Stott, Daniel Thornton, and Timothy Thornton.
The Joint Veterans Committee of Maryland, an organization consisting of Veteran Service Organizations (VSO) including the Marine Corps League (MCL), Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH), American Veterans (AMVETS), Disabled American the Veterans (DAV), Catholic War Veterans (CWV), and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) have chosen a member of the Marine Corps League as its 2012 Veteran of the Year - Anthony J. "Tony" Begenwald.
Begenwald, who lives in Bowie, MD and also a member of the DAV, the American Legion Post 66, is a Commissioner on the Prince Georges' County Commission for Veterans, the Bowie Elks Lodge #2309, the Knights of Columbus, and the Penn State Alumni Association, was recognized by the JVC for his nine years of support to veterans and wounded Marines and Corpsmen at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center at Bethesda (formerly Bethesda Naval) Hospital. Working under the auspices of the Marines Helping Marines Foundation, a 501(c) 3 charitable organization, where he is the Vice President and Director for the East Coast, he has made over 450 visits to the hospitals, taken wounded Marines on excursions such as fishing trips, golf tournaments, and ball games. For the past six years he has conducted monthly cookouts and Christmas Day dinners at the hospital. Fund raising has always been one of his dedicated activities. He has traveled many miles, all on his own nickel, from Connecticut to San Antonio, TX to Boise, ID to Greenville, NC and places in between to sell his Marines Helping Marines wares, shirts, and challenge coins to raise funds. He has received numerous certificates and proclamations for his activities. Attached is his Bio from which you may learn more about Begenwald.
An award presentation will be held at a Banquet at the Bowie Elks Lodge in Gambrills (Crofton), MD on Saturday, March 17th from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm. The cost is $35.00 per person which includes a one hour open bar, buffet dinner, and the program. For ticket information, you may contact Jerry Devlin, 301-262-1696, Bob Flick, 410-451-1529, and Ray Chatary, 301-706-2491
If you would like to obtain more details, feel free to call Begenwald at 301-262-4869.