Oliver North in Branson

Branson, MO (Vocus) October 2, 2008 -- Lt. Col. Oliver North (USMC-ret) will be featured as the keynote speaker at the 233rd Marine Corps Birthday Ball, a celebration of the Founding of the United States Marine Corps.

The event, which is open to the public, will take place on November 10, 2008 at Branson, Missouri's stately Chateau on the Lake Resort Spa and Convention Center. The Marine Corps Birthday Ball will highlight Branson's Veterans Homecoming, a week-long festival widely touted as America's largest event honoring the nation's veterans.

The evening's agenda will include the Marine Corps Birthday Ceremony, Lt. Col. North's keynote address, dinner and dancing. During the time-honored ceremony, a sword is used to cut the birthday cake as a reminder that through time, Marine Corps members are 'a band of warriors, committed to carrying the sword so that our nation may live in peace.'

Rob Dixon, a Branson area Marine Corps Veteran shared "The Birthday Ball really is a big deal to members of the Corps. My favorite USMC birthday was Nov. 10, 2001. A few days before I went into Afghanistan, my friends and I had a small birthday ceremony in a room on a Pakistani Air Force Base. We used a piece of cake from our MRE (meals ready to eat) combat rations and held our own cake cutting ceremony. I'll never forget it." Dixon, whose parents and brother are also members of the Marine Corps stated "Lt. Col. North is a highly esteemed member of the Corps. I wouldn't miss this event for anything!"

The Marine Corps was founded on November 10, 1775 at Tuns Tavern in Philadelphia, and from that day forward, November 10 has been the high point of the Marine Corps calendar year. The birthday is celebrated wherever one or more Marines are stationed; aboard a ship, on bases and posts of other service branches, or in theaters of conflict across the world.

Keynote speaker Lt. Col. Oliver L. North (USMC-ret) is a combat decorated Marine, a #1 bestselling author of novels and true-life stories, the founder of a small business which manufactures protective body armor for law enforcement officers, an inventor with three U.S. patents, a syndicated columnist, and the host of 'War Stories' on the FOX News Channel. His bio claims however, that his most important accomplishment is 'being the husband of one and the father of four.'

Lt. Col. North also helped establish the Freedom Alliance, a foundation which provides scholarships for the sons and daughters of service members killed in action.