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HaroldFranceHarold France of Tappan, N.Y.

Harold France grew up on Marsellus Place, just a block from the Holy Name Church in Garfield, N.J., where he became a baritone player for the Holy Name Cadets at the age of 12. He remained in the corps until he turned 18 and joined the U.S. Marine Corps.

Immediately following training, Harold shipped out to the South Pacific, serving in artillery defense. He was sent to Guam in June 1944 where he participated in the D-Day landing and then later shipped to Guadalcanal.

In 1945, he made landing in Okinawa and participated in the cleanup operations after the Japanese surrender.

Upon his return to the U.S., Harold earned his bachelor’s degree in music education in 1950. He then returned to the U.S. Marine Corps for boot camp training as an officer’s candidate in the field of communications.

In 1952, he went to reserve status and continued his education, obtaining two master's and a doctorate degree.




Robert Philhower of Ringwood, N.J.

Robert Philhower was a long-time friend of honoree Robert J. Varga.

He was a Garfield Cadet, performing in the corps’ brass section from 1962 to 1965.

He then served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1966 to 1970 as a machine gunner in the Vietnam War.

Robert J. Varga was one of the Garfield Cadets' original contra bass players, marching in the corps from 1959 through 1966.

He joined the U.S. Navy in 1966, where he served until 1970 as a Navy corpsman.

According to the recommendation for this honor: “Likely a quality honed as a member of the Garfield Cadets, painstaking care was requisite as he tended to the servicemen on the U.S.S. Casa Grande. It takes determination to march with a contra bass to four world championships, and this man was living proof. He never heard the word 'no.' There was always a way to achieve success. Tasked with ferrying supplies and personnel en route to Vietnam, the crew of the Casa Grande was ever graced with this honoree’s concern for his shipmates' injuries and illnesses. He was never afraid to take chances as he proved later in life by serving his community as a firefighter for many years."

EugeneClaytonEugene Clayton of Bedford, N.Y.

Eugene Clayton was a horn player in the Holy Name Cadets from 1946 to 1952.

He spent four years in the ROTC program at Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie Mellon University) and was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant in the Army Corps of Engineers in June 1958.

Eugene went on active duty for six months in April 1959, spent three months in a Ft. Belvoir, Va. officers' training course, and then the last three months at Ft. Dix, N.J. as a platoon leader in the 86th Construction Engineers Battalion. He spent the remainder of his eight-year commitment in the inactive Reserves.

MichaelMargolisMaj. Michael Margolis of Alexandria, Va.

Michael Margolis marched with the Cadets of Bergen County in 1994 as a soprano player.

Following his drum corps career, he enlisted in the United States Marine Reserves. Upon graduation from college, Michael continued in his military career to become a commissioned officer and is currently assigned to the Pentagon where he directs implementation of strategic policy concerning aviation supply and maintenance.

Highlights of Michael's career include multiple deployments to Iraq, service aboard various naval ships, sea service deployment, numerous conferences and working groups, and a spectrum of military career level and specialty schools.

He is a recipient of the Bronze Star for his actions in the Middle East and has served across the globe in places as far away as Japan, Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia. He was also hand-selected to serve as a staff officer as general’s aide to General Robert E. Schmidle.


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