PUBLIC NEWS RELEASES
223 Young Marines meet World War II Navajo Code Talkers
Tuesday, September 02, 2014
 
Two hundred twenty three members of the Young Marines including registered adult leaders traveled to Window Rock, AZ, to be part of Navajo Code Talkers Day which was Thursday, Aug. 14. Seventeen veteran Navajo Code Talkers attended.
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Scott Riley of the Columbus Young Marines named ‘National Adult Volunteer of the Year’
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
 
The Young Marines youth organization has named Scott Riley the “National Adult Volunteer of the Year” at the annual Adult Leaders Conference held in Washington D.C. Riley is the Unit Commander of Columbus Young Marines from Division 5 located in Colu
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Young Marines announces ‘National Unit of the Year’ - Lt. Alexander Bonnyman Unit from Knoxville, TN
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
 
The Young Marines youth organization announced the “National Unit of the Year” – Division Three’s Lt. Alexander Bonnyman Unit in Knoxville, TN, under the command of Virgil L. Young, Jr.
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National Executive Director and CEO Mike Kessler announces future retirement from the Young Marines
Thursday, August 07, 2014
 
Mike Kessler, National Executive Director and CEO of the Young Marines, announces his retirement which will take place in late 2015.
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The Young Marines unveil a new and expanded Drug Demand Reduction Program: ‘Closing the Gate on Drugs’
Monday, July 14, 2014
 
The Young Marines youth organization took its drug demand reduction efforts to the next level by launching a new program titled, “Closing the Gate on Drugs.” The program focuses on the drugs that our youth are exposed to early and most often - the ga
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The DEA and Young Marines present Enrique ‘Kiki’ Camarena Awards to six units
Monday, June 16, 2014
 
The DEA and Young Marines announce Enrique "Kiki" Camarena Award winners. The award honors six units, one award per division, for drug demand reduction efforts through community education and peer-to-peer role modeling.
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Blake DeWeese named ‘National Young Marine of the Year’
Friday, June 13, 2014
 
The Young Marines youth organization announced the 2014 - 2015 “National Young Marine of the Year” – YM SgtMaj Blake W. DeWeese, 18, of Beaverton, OR. As National Young Marine of the Year, DeWeese will travel throughout the country representing the Y
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Young Marines grateful for a grant from American Legion Child Welfare Foundation
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
 
The American Legion Child Welfare Foundation has provided a $90,000 grant to the Young Marines youth organization for the purpose of creating printed materials to use in its campaigns to reduce the demand for drugs through education.
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The Young Marines News Network wins second Telly Award
Monday, April 28, 2014
 
The 35th annual Telly Awards have been announced, and a Nov., 2013, broadcast of the Young Marines News Network won a 2014 bronze Telly in the online video category.
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Honorary Young Marine Zach Veach, teen race car driver, wins Indy Lights
Tuesday, April 08, 2014
 
The Young Marines youth organization salutes teen race car driver Zach Veach, 19, on his first place win in the season opener of the Indy Lights race held Sunday, March 30, in St. Petersburg, FL. He won by leading every lap of the race.
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Ten Young Marines Return From a Very Special ‘Reunion of Honor’ on Guam and Iwo Jima
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
 
Young Marines traveled to Guam and Iwo Jima for the annual “Reunion of Honor.” Each year, American and Japanese veterans and their families come together for remembrances of their fallen brothers and to recall the fierce battles.
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Twenty Young Marines to participate in United Nations Conference
Thursday, March 06, 2014
 
Twenty youth members of the Young Marines youth organization are traveling from across the country to New York City on March 8 – 12, 2014, to participate in a conference held by the United Nations.
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Young Marines names six Division Young Marines of the Year
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
 
The Young Marines youth organization has named six division winners in its most prestigious award - the “Division Young Marines of the Year.”
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ABC Features the Young Marines Performing a Wreath Laying Ceremony at Pearl Harbor
Sunday, December 08, 2013
 
Friday, Dec. 6, youth members of the Young Marines performed a wreath laying ceremony at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu, HI, in memory of the brave men and women who are interred there.
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Young Marines From Across the Nation Travel to Hawaii for 72nd Anniversary of Pearl Harbor Attack
Monday, December 02, 2013
 
Youth members of the Young Marines will travel to Hawaii to participate in the 72nd anniversary Pearl Harbor Day Commemoration. The Young Marines will lead the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade in Honolulu and perform a wreath laying ceremony at the Natio
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Gary Weisbaum named Chief Marketing Officer of the Young Marines youth organization
Monday, November 18, 2013
 
Gary Weisbaum accepted a position as the Chief Marketing Officer for the Young Marines. Weisbaum will coordinate the Young Marines brand and marketing programs across the United States.
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Two Young Marines awarded Jimmie Trimble Scholarships at American Veterans Center Honors Awards Banquet
Thursday, November 14, 2013
 
YM MGySgt Mary Ann Wessell of Cleveland, OH, and YM MSgt Nathan Baker of Atlanta, GA, are the recipients of the Young Marines’ Jimmie Trimble Scholarship Awards which were presented at a black tie event on Saturday, Nov. 9, hosted by the American Vet
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For the Young Marines, Veterans’ Appreciation Week is all year long
Friday, November 01, 2013
 
Members of the Young Marines celebrate America’s veterans all year long, reaching more than 30,000 men and women who have served in the armed forces. The members of the Young Marines will participate in Veterans’ Appreciation Week - Nov. 4 - 11, 2013
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Young Marines participate in Red Ribbon Week - Oct. 23 – 31, 2013
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
 
Young Marines units from all over the country are participating in projects to support Red Ribbon Week – Oct. 23 – 31, 2013, which is the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the nation.
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Young Marines Symposium: A hatching ground for good ideas
Thursday, October 10, 2013
 
Advanced or senior members of the Young Marines will be traveling to Arlington, VA, for the annual national Young Marines Symposium held Thursday to Monday, Oct. 10–14, 2013.
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SELECTED ARTICLE
223 Young Marines meet World War II Navajo Code Talkers
Tuesday, September 02, 2014
 

Young Marines at Navajo Code Talker Dayin Window Rock, AZTwo hundred twenty three members of the Young Marines  including registered adult leaders traveled to Window Rock, AZ, to be part of Navajo Code Talkers Day which was Thursday, Aug. 14. Seventeen veteran Navajo Code Talkers attended.

Every year since 2006, Young Marines from across the country gather in Window Rock, AZ, to honor and give praise to the Navajo Code Talkers from WWII. The Young Marines’ theme for 2014 was, “Treasure the Legacy.”

“It was a privilege to educate the Young Marines about the role of the Navajo Code Talkers and give them the opportunity to meet these living heroes,” said Michael Smith, coordinator of Navajo Code Talker Day and son of Samuel Smith, Navajo Code Talker.

The Young Marines not only met Code Talkers, they acted as escorts for the very special veterans. They cleaned up Veteran’s Memorial Park, attended a class about the Code Talkers, set up flags and marched in the Navajo Nation parade, provided gifts for the Navajo Code Talkers and their wives and visited the Navajo Nation Zoo and the Navajo Museum.

The Young Marines planned and ran a 5K fundraising run which made $3,000. The monies are designated to help pay for Code Talker funerals.

“Navajo Code Talkers Day was an incredibly humbling experience,” said YM/SgtMaj Blake DeWeese, National Young Marine of the Year, 2014-2015. “It provided a vivid depiction of the sacrifice and hardship the Navajo faced. We all had a greater appreciation of people as strong as the Navajo.”

The following Young Marines units were represented by attendees:

  • Temecula Valley – Winchester, CA
  • Carroll County - Westminster, MD
  • Southland – Montclair, CA
  • Desert - Glendale, AZ
  • Southeast County - Seal Beach, CA 
  • Columbia River – Kennewick, WA
  • Guadalupe Valley - Geronimo, TX
  • Bakersfield - Bakersfield, CA
  • Camp Pendleton - Camp Pendleton, CA
  • Emerald Coast - Crestview, FL
  • Columbus – Columbus, IN
  • Fall River - Fall River, MA
  • Seaford - Seaford, DE
  • Flat Irons – Thornton, CO
  • North Idaho - Hayden, ID
  • Pueblo – Pueblo, CO
  • Pikes Peak – Colorado Springs, CO
  • Hamilton – Nottingham, MD
  • Colfax County – Raton, NM
  • Swansboro - Cedar Point, NC
  • Douglas County – Aurora, CO
  • LCPL Caleb Powers - Fredericksburg, VA
  • Tornado Alley - Wichita, KS
  • Rattlesnake Reservoir - Loveland, CO
  • Poudre River – Greeley, CO
  • Tustin - Costa Mesa, CA
  • Mountain View – Highlands Ranch, CO
  • Colorado Springs - Colorado Springs, CO

“It’s rare to meet people who have had such an impact on our lives,” said Brenda McNulty, registered adult leader, Mountain View unit of the Young Marines and organizer of the event. “These men are more than just WWII heroes. They are dear friends to the Young Marines.”

In fact, McNulty heard a very meaningful compliment: If it weren’t for the Young Marines, the Code Talkers would be forgotten.

“Speaking with some of the Code Talkers was a valuable experience that the Young Marines will cherish for years to come,” DeWeese said. “Everyone came away with a story to tell and an experience upon which to reflect.”

Top secret

Cipher machines, or machines that create coded messages, did not work well in the jungles of the Pacific Islands during World War II. However, the United States military needed coded messages to send secret information from the battle lines to air bases and other locations. Native Americans who spoke the Navajo language helped solve this problem.

The Navajo “Code Talkers,” as they became known, used English code words that they translated into their language to send messages. The Japanese military could hear these coded messages, but they could not understand their meanings. The Navajo language was not well known.

The Navajo Code Talkers served in some of the fiercest battles of the Pacific. They saved many lives and helped the United States and its allies win the war. However, the Code Talkers were never allowed to discuss their work with anyone. Most Americans did not know about the Code Talkers’ role in World War II until much later.

The Navajo Code Talkers’ contributions to the U.S. military during World War II became better known with the release of the 2002 movie, “Windtalkers,” starring Nicolas Cage. Although the movie received mixed reviews, it exposed the public to World War II’s Native American heroes.

For their bravery and service, President Ronald Reagan set aside a special day to honor the Navajo Code Talkers. In 1982, he declared August 14 to be National Navajo Code Talkers Day.

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 http://www.youngmarines.com/.

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Media Contact: Andy Richardson
Ginny Richardson Public Relations
630-789-8899 or arichardson@gr-pr.com