The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, which helps to educate children of Marines, announced today the creation of a college scholarship fund in the name of Paul Lafond, a retired Marine colonel who lives in Skowhegan.

The $2,500 scholarship was established by Brammie and Warren C. Cook Sr. of Kingfield. The scholarship will give preference to Maine high school students who are children of Marines.

Lafond joined the Marine Corps in 1942 and served in World War II as a rifleman on Okinawa in the Pacific. After going through officer training, he served in the Korean War, then did two tours in Vietnam, including a stint as commanding officer of the Third Marine Regiment. He retired from the Corps in 1970.

Warren Cook, also a retired Marine, served with Lafond in Vietnam. Lafond also participated in the commissioning ceremony of the Cooks’ son, Maj. Warren C. Cook Jr., who is commanding officer of the Marine recruiting station in Los Angeles.

“(Lafond is) one of the most honest and purposeful men I have ever known,” the elder Cook said. “He is a leader of men, and I will always hold the highest respect for him.”

Lafond said he’s delighted that the Cooks chose to name a scholarship after him.

“The important thing isn’t the name, however,” Lafond said. “It’s that it will help a Marine family from Maine to send their child to college. This gift makes me proud to be a Marine and it makes me proud to be their friend.”

Each year the foundation awards more than 10 scholarships in Maine and more than 1,400 scholarships nationally.