The Young Marines youth organization has named six division winners of one of its most prestigious awards - the “Division Young Marine of the Year.” The winners will travel to Guam and Iwo Jima in the spring and vie for the title of “National Young Marine of the Year” in the summer.
The division winners are:
- Div. 1 – YM SgtMaj Charles Brian Fagan, 16, of Millis, MA. He is a member of the Blackstone Valley Young Marines of Milford, MA, under the command of Geoffrey Coffin. Fagan is a sophomore at Medway High School.
- Div. 2 – YM SgtMaj Joseph Ambs, 17, of Westminster, MD. He is a member of the Carroll County Young Marines in Westminster, MD, under the command of Ralph Dornon. Ambs is a junior at Winters Mill High School.
- Div. 3 – YM SgtMaj Tyler Ward, 16, of Knoxville, TN. He is a member of the Lt. Alexander Bonneyman Young Marines in Knoxville, TN, under the command of Virgil Young. Ward is a junior at Christian Homelife Academy.
- Div. 4 – YM SgtMaj Kariel Mayer, 17, of Harvey, LA. She is a member of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office Young Marines in Harvey, LA, under the command of William Jones. Mayer is a junior at New Orleans Military and Maritime Academy.
- Div. 5 - YM GySgt Lucas Ward, 17, of Farmington, IL. He is a member of the Midwest Central Young Marines in Peoria, IL, under the command of John Lewis. Ward is a junior at Farmington Central High School.
- Div. 6 – YM SgtMaj Tyler Wermann-Jones, 16, of Oceanside, CA. He is a member of the Camp Pendleton Young Marines at Camp Pendleton, CA, under the command of Trish Jones. He is a junior at Julian Charter (homeschool).
“We have some quality citizens in these Young Marines,” said Mike Kessler, national executive director and CEO of the Young Marines. “They competed at the highest level and each one of them is a winner in my book. Their communities, divisions and fellow Young Marines should be proud of the accomplishments of one of their own.”
The six honorees are invited to the annual Reunion of Honor trip to Guam and Iwo Jima. The year 2015 is the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima and the 71st for Guam. Annually, American and Japanese veterans come together for remembrances of their fallen brothers and to recall the fierce battles that took place on the two islands during World War II. The Young Marines act as escorts for the veterans during the trip.
“The Reunion of Honor provides our outstanding Young Marines a sense of pride and an invaluable history lesson,” Kessler said. “The interaction each Young Marine experiences with the veterans is something they will remember their entire lives. Once the veterans and Young Marines get to know one another, there’s a lot of respect and affection. Some even maintain contact years after the trip.”
The Young Marines organization is divided into six divisions across the United States. Each Young Marine goes through a series of selection processes starting at the unit level, going through battalion, regiment and on to the division. Then one Young Marine of the Year is selected from each division. From these six winners, one will be named the “National Young Marine of the Year” which will be announced on May 9, 2015, at the Adult Leaders’ Conference in Las Vegas, NV.
The Young Marines is a national non-profit 501c(3) youth education and service program for boys and girls, age eight through the completion of high school. The Young Marines promotes the mental, moral and physical development of its members. The program focuses on teaching the values of leadership, teamwork and self-discipline, so its members can live and promote a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.
Since the Young Marines' humble beginnings in 1959 with one unit and a handful of boys, the organization has grown to over 300 units with 11,000 youth and 3,000 adult volunteers in 46 states, the District of Columbia, Germany, Japan and affiliates in a host of other countries.
For more information, visit the official website at: http://www.YoungMarines.com
Media Contact: Andy Richardson
Ginny Richardson Public Relations
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