THOMAS E. BULLEIT, JR (VETERAN CORPSMAN) HONORED WITH MARTIN G. HANSE, SR HUMANITARIAN AWARD
Established in 2016 by the Marine Corps Coordinating Council of Kentucky (MCCCK) Board of Directors to recognize those individuals, whenever appropriate, who have demonstrated compassion, charity, and philanthropy in alleviating suffering and helping those less fortunate, while substantially improving the lives of others, through personal dedicated service of an inspirational nature.
Like the individual whose memory this award honors, the recipient thereof will have undoubtedly made a significant impact in bettering the lives of others. Martin G. Hanse, Sr. (1940-2014) served honorably in the Marine Corps before embarking on an outstanding career with United Parcel Service, from which he retired in 1999 as Vice President – International Operations, United Parcel Service Airlines. Never forgetting his Marine Corps roots, he worked tirelessly for various Marine Corps related charitable causes, fully embracing the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, while serving as the “conscience” of the MCCCK in identifying and addressing causes in need of compassionate support, either emotionally or financially. Even while incapacitated with a debilitating illness, he readily contacted friends and former colleagues for support of charitable causes. His leadership in helping those, both within our statewide Marine Corps community and elsewhere, in need of assistance has served to institutionalize charity and benevolence within the very fabric of the MCCCK mission. Although he is no longer with us, his spirit lives on in the charitable work of the MCCCK, and his memory is honored with this award, through the recognition of those who have embraced the admirable calling of helping others.
Thomas E. Bulleit, Jr has been described by a corporate competitor, as absolutely one of the kindest men he has ever met. He is known to fellow veterans as a caring, concerned and generous man, whose success in life, both personally and professionally, can be traced to his military service as a Navy corpsman assigned to the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. Saving lives in combat was a transformational experience in his young life and has been a continuing profound influence in all that he does. What he is most proud of in his life – other than being a husband and a father – is his service as a corpsman with the Marine Corps in Vietnam. Nothing comes close to that. Being a veteran means more to him than being a corporate giant.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC holds a special place in his heart. He campaigned to have it built and has spoken there twice. He believes that every living Vietnam veteran should visit it at least once, as it is about healing, not only for them, but also for those who protested the war. He has noted in his remarks at the Vietnam Memorial, that not since the Civil War were we at such odds as a nation and the memorial is a reminder for all, that soldiers are not responsible for war, but bear the burden. Understanding how veterans of the Vietnam War were treated by their fellow Americans upon their return to America, he is helping to ensure that our current warriors are treated with the respect and honor they deserve.
In a natural transition from his dedication to the construction of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and his experience as a life-saving Navy corpsman, he has embraced the continuing need to care for our wounded and injured Marines, through his leadership and generous support of the Semper Fi Fund. Sensing a void in the passing of the man for whom this award honors, he has assumed a leadership role in marshalling the support of our entire Kentucky Marine Corps community for the benefit of wounded, critically ill and injured members of our United States armed forces and their families, challenging his fellow veterans to likewise come to their aid. Since 2013, he has voluntarily taken the lead, without any provocation or encouragement, to establish a community wide challenge, to care for those who need our support, by raising thousands of dollars on their behalf, which has now become a traditional and important component of our unique annual breakfast commemoration of the founding of the United States Marine Corps.
Through his past service as a life-saving combat corpsman; contributing role in the campaign to construct the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, a place of healing for thousands; and benevolent leadership in our continuing efforts to care for injured and wounded Marines, he has earned the respect and gratitude of his fellow veterans, as a true humanitarian, worthy of this unique honor.