Tribute to Veterans & Congressional Medal of Honor Ceremony

to the WWII Montford Point Marines - to Leslie Jones

Photo ccredits are given below along with a yummy plus recipe.

Walk through any cemetery and you’re likely to see a soldier's grave. Many were in war and killed in action. Many remain ‘missing in action.’ Wiser now, we’ve learned they didn’t have to carry physical scars to be wounded with the torments of mental trauma long afterwards.  


Thousands of military stones can be found in cemeteries spread across these United States since our founders gave their own lives, not long after Independence 1776. Small flags flap in the breeze, and mark them.

I once heard the long-time Tallahassee, Florida resident, General Lawrence F. Snowden, USMC, age 90 plus and highest ranking surviving officer of Iwo Jima, ask slowly in a tone of deep anguish, “Where do we get such men and women?”

This Veterans' Day, November 11th, make a special effort to take the time in some way to say, “Thank you for your sacrifice and service to our country, to my family, for our freedoms.” Attend a veteran appreciation activity, wear a poppy, buy them lunch, and fly the flag. Do something special.

The United States Congress chose to recognize military valor with the Medal of Honor. It is recognized by many as our nation’s highest military award for extraordinary acts of wartime valor. A description of one such recognition and ceremony follows below.

Campfire Story:

In 2011, the United States Congress unanimously approved the Medal of Honor to be presented to the initial marine recruits trained at Montford Point, NC, a new camp specifically for African-Americans to segregate them from other marine recruits. The medal was for their WWII service and sacrifice to country. Unfortunately, Marine Corporal Leslie James Jones, like many of them, were no longer alive. Thus, presentations were to immediate families.

The late Marine Corporal Leslie James Jones, one of the recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor, and wife, Margaret Louise Brock Jones.

Margaret (Jones) Colson accepting the Medal of Honor presented to her and family in behalf of WWII Marine Corporal Leslie James Jones. -- Tallahassee, FL

Such a ceremony was held March 2023 at Bethal Baptist Missionary Church in Tallahassee, FL. The medal was presented to Margaret (Jones) Colson and the Jones Family in behalf of deceased Marine Corporal Leslie James Jones. Margaret (Jones) Colson, widow of Corporal Jones, accepted it in his behalf and for the family, many of whom were in attendance. Clifton Savoy and wife, Judith, were close friends with Margaret and several family members over several decades, and were attendees to this event of honor.

The journey for Leslie Jones and the other African-Americans who received the Medal of Honor had a number of major roadblocks. These included racial discrimination, segregation, and a eugenics mindset pushed openly from the highest office in the Nation just two decades earlier. These policies and actions were clearly demonstrated by one simple event: the first motion picture screened inside the White House, and viewed by President Woodrow Wilson, his family, and members of his cabinet was what has been described as the most racist, controversial film in Hollywood history, Birth of a Nation (the Klansman). Of course, such philosophy and policies made their way into decision-making through Wilson’s administration.

Leslie and the African-American recruits also had the lingering affects of slavery although it was prohibited many years prior by the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The causative agent and genesis of all those atrocities listed above can be traced back through history (contact Clifton if you’d like further details).

At first, the Marine Corps didn't want African-Americans. History reveals, though, they were in other military branches leading up to WWII.

Descrimination based on race, creed, or national orgin was addressed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the military 'Commander in Chief,' in his Executive Order 8802 of June 1941. It wasn't specific, though, to the U.S. military. The Corps finally relented, and began to allow them in 1944. However, the African-

American recruits were segregated from other Corps recruits and trained at a new camp at Montford Point. About 20,000 African-American completed training there. In addition to the rigorous training, the first recruits had to build the camp as they prepared to fight for their country.

A few of the Jones Family and friends at the Medal of Honor Ceremony.

A young Leslie James and wife, Margaret Louise (Brock) Jones

Leslie Jones was honorably discharged May 1948, after a second reenlistment, with rank of Marine Corporal. He had served in the Asiatic Pacific Area, Hawaiian Islands, and in Japan. For honorable service to his country and allied forces, Corporal Jones received the Good-Conduct Medal Bar, the World War II Victory Medal, the Honorable Service Lapel button, and the Asiatic-Pacific Area ribbon. Posthumously, seven decades later, he and those first African-American recruits of Montford Point were recognized with the Congressional Medal of Honor.

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“My wife and I were truly blessed to have been invitees to witness this historical ceremony. The memory is treasured and dear, and even more so because my wife and I had many warm, one-on-one Christian experiences over several decades with Margaret and her Jones\Colson Families. In all that time, we never had the slightest idea of Margaret’s connection to her former military days, other than a little of her present one with Mr. Colson. Margaret was always an optimist, never one to dwell on losses in life.

In reflecting later of this ceremony and our friendship, I was struck in how history repeats itself. You see, I had to carry out extensive history research for my book, Shades of Color. Our long-time relationship with Margaret reminded me of the mid-1800s and how white Christian abolitionists came together with free African-Americans to form a new political party, elect Abraham Lincoln as President, and the eventual constitutional end to slavery in the U.S. Yes, it is truly an honor to have Margaret as our Christian friend and, by extension, all of her ancestors and decendents!” … cs 

Thanks for stopping by my campfire, and sharing a little history.


I’ll keep the campfire burning,




PS: Yes, you may share this true story from our history with someone else. They also can receive future Campfire Stories by sending an email to Clifton at or joining Clifton's Campfire writing blog on his author website: BTW, these are free.

 Photos (top down): #1 Veteran Field of Honor, courtesy use by K. C. Litteer, Tulsa, OK, . #2 General Lawrence F. Snowden, USMC, courtesy use by Turtle Cove Press ( #3 Congressional Medal of Honor, courtesy use by National Archives. #4-5 and #7-8 Marine Corporal Leslie James Jones Medal of Honor Program, courtesy us by Jones Family. #6 President Franklin D. Roosevelt WWII Executive Order 8802, courtesy use by National Archives. #9 Famous Rosenthal WWII photo of 2nd Flag raised on Iwo Jima, courtesy use National Archives. 


 The original Part Two of the 'Life & Death' Campfire Story will be out at a later time. The next Campfire Story will be about the question: Where were you when you herd the news of JFK, MLK, 9-11, etc?

God bless! ... cs

© Clifton Savoy, Ph.D.

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St. Michael’s Alley White Chili

Submitted by K.C. Latteer of Tulsa, OK.

Background: St. Michael's Alley was a small cafe/coffee shop in Tulsa, OK. It had live local jazz or music to entertain those who came for coffee and/or light dinner. It had the first expresso machine in Tulsa. It opened in 1960, closed early 1980s. Reopened for 10 years 1988-98. The White Chili recipe was well known & loved. The Tulsa World published the recipe.


 Ingrediants: 5 cloves garlic (or use 5/8 tsp garlic powder or garlic salt), 2 yellow onions (or 1 pkg. of diced frozen onions, thawed), 2 lbs chopped chicken (OR: a packaged of diced, grilled frozen chicken), Six 1 lb. cans of Great Northern White Beans, 1 sm\med can of chopped green chilis, 3 cup chicken broth (low sodium and/or fat free works), 1/3 cup chopped jalapenos (optional), 2 tsp chili powder, 1 Tbs cayenne pepper (can use less), 2 tsp oregano, 1 Tbs cumin, 1 Tbs tobacco sauce (can use less), 1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce (can use less), one 16 oz. can chopped/diced tomatoes, and Salt & pepper to taste


Saute: 5 cloves finely chopped garlic and 2 yellow onions, chopped (or use substitutes), Add: 2 lbs cooked, chopped chicken (or the amount from packaged diced, grilled frozen chicken. Thaw first, and chop into smaller bites if needed. Six 1 lb cans of Great Northern White Beans, one sm\med can of chopped green chilis, drained, 3 c chicken broth, 1/3 c chopped jalapenos (optional), 2 tsp chili powder, 1 Tbs cayenne pepper (can use less), 2 tsp oregano, 1 Tbs cumin, 1 Tbs tobacco sauce (can use less), 1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce (can use less), one 16 oz can chopped/diced tomatoes (drained), and Salt & pepper to taste


Cook:  Over medium heat, stir occasionally. May be cooked in a crockpot on low for 4 hours or high until bubbly. Stir occasionally.


Can be combined day before cooking. With these spice measurements, it will be ‘hot’. I reduce by ½ the spicy stuff. Freezes well. Tastes great as leftovers! Good with crackers or Tostito round type chips crumbled up.