After forging a special bond, WWII veteran Tom Evans, with the support of club members, treated a battalion from nearby Camp Pendleton to lunch at the Newport Beach, Calif. club.
Tom Evans, a retired Marine who served in World War II and the Korean War, offered 60 active-duty Marines the opportunity to be his guest at Big Canyon Country Club on May 20, The Orange County Register reported.
Evans, 85, invited the Camp Pendleton-based Marines from Fox Company, 1st Marine Regiment, 2nd Battalion to experience fine dining at the Newport Beach, Calif., club, where he has been a charter member for over 40 years. With the support of club members who bought tables for the event, Evans treated his guests to a Sunday lunch of filet mignon, butter-lettuce salad with crumbled goat cheese and chocolate lava cake that was valued at $45 a plate. The group enjoyed the meal, served by the club’s wait staff, in a clubhouse dining room that overlooks Big Canyon’s golf course and Olympic-sized swimming pool.
The relationship between Evans and the company began when Evans, who lives in a house overlooking Big Canyon’s 10th hole, was invited to speak to the Marine battalion before it was deployed to South Korea. Though Evans is frequently invited to speak to troops—he made his fortune owning secure data-storage companies after his military service—he forged a special bond with this group.
“It really meant a lot to me,” Evans said. “And later, when they were in [South] Korea, they called me from there to say, ‘Hey, you were right. It can get damn cold here—but we know we don’t have it anywhere near as bad as you had it.’
“I said to myself right then that when they were back in town, I was going to have them out [to Big Canyon] to give them something special.”
In return, the Marines gave Evans a boat paddle, hand-braided with rope and emblazoned with the company’s logo. The company travels by boat and trains to enter conflicts along beaches via small boats.
“The paddle with Mr. Evans’ name on it symbolizes that he has accomplished his mission,” said 1st Sgt. Jacob Jones.
“It makes us feel very appreciative that he would take the time out to invite all of us out here,” Lance Cpl. Nicholas Allen said. “It makes you feel appreciated, too, and you realize that you really are part of a tradition, of a family.”