Guam – Marine Corps Base Guam will be named in honor of the late Chamorro Brigadier General and Congressman Ben Blaz. That’s the news from our nation’s capital, as retiring Guam Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo reflects on Blaz’s life of service to Guam and the nation.
Bordallo states, quote:
“As the first Chamorro Marine Corps flag officer and Guam’s former member of Congress, General Blaz embodied the values and spirit of Guam, the Chamorro people, and the U.S. Marine Corps. He served our country and island with distinction, and he was a true patriot and statesman. I deeply valued the counsel he provided to me before his passing in 2014.”
A news release from Bordallo’s office says “the U.S. Marine Corps’ main cantonment area on Guam will be named in honor of the late Brigadier General Vicente ‘Ben’ Tomas Garrido Blaz.” The Navy notified Congresswoman Bordallo that Marine Corps Commandant General Robert B. Neller, concurs with her recommendation and endorses it. The base is now under construction off Route 3 at Finagayan in Dededo.
Born on Guam, Blaz is the highest ranked Chamorro to have served in the Marines. A member of Guam’s greatest generation, Blaz survived the Japanese occupation of Guam during World War II. He served in the Marines for 29 years, and commanded the Ninth Marine Regiment, one of the units that liberated Guam. He served four terms as Guam’s delegate to Congress, died in 2014, and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.