Detroit — Marine Lance Cpl. Meghan Millott studied the picture of a man in uniform taped on the wall as she painted the outline of his nose and filled in his mustache.

The 21-year-old Marine stationed in Quantico, Virginia, had never met her subject, Marine Sgt. Julian Kevianne, a native Detroiter who was among 16 service members killed in a July military plane crash.

Yet painting him in a mural outside the Montford Point Marine Association Building, where World War II, Vietnam and other veterans gather on Joy Road, is how she’s thanking Kevianne for his service and gifting her talents to the community during Marine Week Detroit.

“It’s honestly such a privilege to be able to give something like that back to a family, especially to show our appreciation and support for them,” said Millott, explaining Kevianne’s family is expected to attend the mural’s unveiling Saturday. “I personally didn’t know him, but he’s still a brother in arms.”

The eighth annual Marine Week will be held in Detroit Wednesday through Sunday. About 700 Marines are expected to participate in more than 80 free events open to the public as well as visit schools, hospitals and veterans’ centers. Many are traveling from San Diego and Washington D.C., and the 1st Battalion, 24th Marine reserve unit in Selfridge will be involved.

Since 2009, Marine Week has taken place in U.S. cities without a significant Marine Corps presence, including Chicago, Cleveland, Nashville and Seattle. This is the first time the festivities are coming to Detroit.

U.S. Marine Corps spokeswoman Diann Rosenfeld said most Marines are stationed on coasts, such as around southern California, North Carolina, Washington, D.C., and Quantico, Virginia.

“Those areas are very familiar with Marines because we live, work and go out in those communities, and the cities we’ve selected for our past Marine Week really don’t have that opportunity to meet their Marines on a daily basis,” she said.

There are about 182,000 active Marines and 38,900 in the Reserves. Approximately 5,700 active Marines and 3,300 Reserve Marines claim Michigan as the state they resided in when they entered the corps. Of those, 200 active Marines and 100 Reserves identify Detroit as their hometown.

The name of the Montford Point Marine Association Building — where six Marines are painting the mural through Saturday — pays homage to the boot camp in North Carolina where black Marines were sent as a result of segregation. According to the National Montford Point Marine Association, 20,000 black Marines trained at the facility between 1942 and 1949.

“(Montford Point) was really bad, really run down, and they went through a lot,” said Sgt. Elize McKelvey, 27, who chose the mural site.

She also designed the mural, which showcases the congressional gold medal President Barack Obama awarded to Montford Point Marines in 2012, several local Montford Point Marines and the iconic image of Marines raising the American flag on Iwo Jima.

Her black sweatshirt splattered in yellow paint Tuesday morning, McKelvey pointed out that one of those Marines represents Private First Class Harold Schultz from Detroit. Schultz, who died in 1995, reportedly did not discuss his involvement in the flag raising, and an investigation of the photo uncovered his identity last year.

“A lot of people don’t even know that black Marines were on Iwo Jima because cameras would not show them. So this is my chance to share their story a little bit,” said McKelvey, who’s stationed at the Pentagon in Washington D.C.

The right end of the mural shows Marines of all races and genders before the Detroit skyline, saluting the Montford Point Marines.

“It’s signifying that, ‘Hey, we acknowledge what’s happened throughout history, and we salute back to you,’ ” McKelvey said.

Before planning Marine Week Detroit, Capt. Brian Kimmins, 32, had never visited the Motor City.

“When we first came here, people kind of looked at us weird, like, ‘Hey, Marines! We don’t really have much interaction with you,’” said Kimmins, an AV-8B Harrier pilot based in San Diego. “As planning went on, and we got here this week, it seems like the majority of people we’ve come across and some of the local businesses are pretty excited to have us.”

Marine Week organizers estimate about $7 million will be reinvested into Detroit from the weeklong events.

The week officially kicks off 6 p.m. Wednesday with an opening ceremony in Campus Martius. Daily events include 6 a.m. reveille bugle calls in front of the Spirit of Detroit and 7 a.m. workouts with Marines in Cadillac Square.

Another highlight of the week is the Marine Air-Ground Task Force demonstrations on the Detroit River on Friday and Sunday — coordinated efforts with the U.S. Coast Guard, Detroit Police Department, Detroit Fire Department, Michigan State Police and Windsor Port Authority.

Kimmins, the “air boss” for the demo, said the Marine-Air Ground Task Force is a combination of infantry and Marines in tanks and amphibious assault vehicles that work in tandem with aviation and a logistics team.

“We are a self-sufficient fighting force when it comes to employing the Marine Corps, and the MAGTF demo is the way we demonstrate that to the community,” he said.

The simulation will involve two F/A-18 aircrafts, two CH-53 heavy lift helicopters, one MV-22 Osprey aircraft and one UH-1 Huey helicopter.

Two Marine teams in Combat Rubber Raiding Crafts will ride down the Detroit River to a barge, while a separate team of reconnaissance Marines fast-rope out of the Huey onto the barge.

“The rope drops down from the helicopter, the Marines fly down the rope and then the helicopter takes off,” Kimmins said, adding that pyrotechnics will be displayed on the barge and a call for artillery will be broadcast to viewers.

“That will give the crowd a feel that this real and (show) what the Marines do every day,” he said.

A Marine Corps member will play “Taps” at the Spirit of Detroit to close each day, and a retirement of colors ceremony will be held 11:15 a.m. Sunday to signal the end of Marine Week Detroit.

Rosenfeld said other U.S. military branches, such as the Navy, have community outreach events. The Navy hosts Fleet Week throughout the country.

Rosenfeld said other U.S. military branches have community outreach events, such as the Navy’s Fleet Week.

“(Marine Week) is our way to reach out to communities and say, ‘Thank you for your support,’ ” she said, “and showcase what we do at the Marine Corps.”

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Twitter: @Steph_Steinberg

Daily Marine Week events, Wednesday-Sunday

6-6:15 a.m. Reveille

Spirit of Detroit, 2 Woodward

A member of the Marine Band will perform the bugle call to start the day.

7-8 a.m. Workout with the Marines

Cadillac Square, 800 Woodward

The community is invited to work out with Marines during their physical fitness training. The training requires the use of your own body weight and can be modified for all experience levels.

8 a.m. Morning colors

Spirit of Detroit, 2 Woodward

Marines raise the American flag.

9-9:30 a.m. Wreath laying ceremony (through Saturday)

Spirit of Detroit, 2 Woodward

Service members and Gold Star families will honor those who have served the U.S.

7 p.m. Evening colors

Spirit of Detroit, 2 Woodward

Marines lower the American flag.

10-10:15 p.m. Taps

Spirit of Detroit, 2 Woodward

A member of the Marine Band will perform “Taps” to end the day.


6-7 p.m. Opening celebration

Campus Martius, 800 Woodward

U.S. Marine Corps leaders will kick off the week with remarks. The Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon and Marine Band will perform.

7 p.m. Detroit Tigers honor Marines

Comerica Park, 2100 Woodward

Marines will be on the field and in the stands during the Detroit Tigers vs. Kansas City Royals game.


11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sound Strike performance

Campus Martius, 800 Woodward

Marine Band San Diego’s Sound Strike will play classic rock, funk and top 40 hits.

11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Static displays

GM Renaissance Center, 100 Renaissance Center

Marine Corps amphibious assault vehicles, artillery and tanks will be stationed in the center RenCen parking lots for public viewing. The display will also be open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 8


1:15-2 p.m. Marine Air-Ground Task Force demonstration

GM Renaissance Center, 100 Renaissance Center

Marines will demonstrate martial arts and military dog handling at the Detroit Riverfront behind the RenCen. This will also take place 10:15-10:45 a.m. Sept. 10.

2-2:30 p.m. Marine Air-Ground Task Force Show

GM Renaissance Center, 100 Renaissance Center

The demonstration is a military operations simulation that showcases the the four components of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force. The show includes rotary aircraft, assault vehicles and infantry. This will also take place 10:45-11:15 a.m. Sept. 10.

7 p.m. Sound Strike performance

Briggs Detroit, 519 Jefferson

Marine Band San Diego’s Sound Strike will play classic rock, funk and top 40 hits.


8 a.m. to noon Patriot Ruck

Hart Plaza, 1 Hart Plaza

Marines and participants will carry rucksacks along the riverfront to honor military members, veterans and 9/11 first responders.

10-11 a.m. Mural unveiling ceremony

Montford Point Marine Association Building, 13721 Joy

Marines will unveil a mural they painted throughout the week on the Montford Point Marine Association Building.

Noon to 4 p.m. Food truck and Iron Chef appearance

Eastern Market, 2934 Russell

The Marines are hosting a community cooking challenge noon to 4 p.m. An expeditionary field kitchen will be on-site for the public to tour 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

2-3 p.m. Drumline competition

GM Renaissance Center parking lot, 100 Renaissance Center

Drumlines from local schools will compete. Marine Corps Band San Diego will open the competition with a performance.

5 p.m. Sound Strike performance

Nancy Whiskey Pub, 2644 Harrison

Marine Band San Diego’s Sound Strike will play classic rock, funk and top 40 hits.


7-9 a.m. Hockeytown 5K

Little Caesars Arena, 2645 Woodward

Marines and the community will participate in a run/walk that starts at Joe Louis Arena and ends at Little Caesars Arena.

9-10 a.m. 9/11 remembrance ceremony

Hart Plaza, 1 Hart Plaza

The Marines will host a public remembrance ceremony in honor of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

11:15-11:30 a.m. Retirement of colors ceremony

GM Renaissance Center, 100 Renaissance Center

The Marines will retire the American flag, signaling the end of Marine Week Detroit.

Noon to 4 p.m. Detroit Lions honor Marines

Ford Field, 2000 Brush

Marines will deliver the game day football for the Detroit Lions on the field before the team takes on the Arizona Cardinals.

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