Each year on Nov. 11, Americans celebrate Veterans’ Day, a day to honor veterans for their patriotism, love of country and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good. In recognition of veterans everywhere, the members of the Young Marines youth organization will participate in Veterans’ Appreciation Week - Nov. 4 - 11, 2013.
“The purpose of the week, for us, is to encourage the Young Marines youth membership to dedicate time to help our veterans, and demonstrate, through their actions, their sincere appreciation for our veterans’ service to our country,” said Michael Kessler, national executive director of the Young Marines.
In fact, 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. Besides participating in Veterans’ Appreciation Week for the past 13 years, many Young Marines attend the annual Navajo Code Talkers Day in Arizona. They also travel to Guam and Iwo Jima to observe the Reunion of Honor with veterans of those Pacific campaigns.
In December each year in Hawaii, the Young Marines lead the Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Parade and lay a wreath at the National Cemetery of the Pacific. In addition, the Young Marines pitch in to help with various Honor Flights to Washington D.C. to see the World War II Memorial.
Through the actions of 300 Young Marines units nationwide, veterans are honored during Veterans’ Appreciation Week in a variety of creative ways. For example, units send thank you cards to hospitalized veterans, clean up a disabled veteran’s yard, visit veterans in hospitals or plan a community-wide social event with guidance from the Young Marines’ adult volunteers.
“While drug demand reduction education is the primary goal of the Young Marines,” Kessler said, “close behind is the commitment to honor veterans. When the last of our World War II and Korean Veterans have heard the final bugle call, it will be up to us to ensure to their legacy. All Young Marines take great pride in that.”
Kessler says the Young Marines units receive positive feedback from veterans’ organizations year after year but especially during and after Veterans Appreciation Week.
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 10,000 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.
More information on Young Marines’ events concerning veterans
Navajo Code Talkers Day
More than 100 members of the Young Marines traveled to Window Rock, AZ, to be part of Navajo Code Talkers Day which was Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. Twenty four veteran Navajo code talkers attended. Every year since 2006, Young Marines from across the country gather to honor and give praise to the Navajo code talkers from WWII. The Young Marines’ theme for 2013 was “Teaching Today’s Youth about Yesterday’s Heroes.”
Reunion of Honor
On March 7, 2013, members of the Young Marines traveled to Guam and Iwo Jima for the annual “Reunion of Honor.” The weeklong event is for the American and Japanese veterans who fought on the two islands during World War II. The Young Marines engaged the veterans and assisted them in any way they could whether that meant helping with luggage, assisting with getting on and off the bus or ensuring that they have water. Once the veterans and Young Marines got to know one another, they became almost inseparable and some maintain relationships following the trip.
On Friday, Dec. 7, 2012, 68 members of the Young Marines led the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade in Honolulu, HI. They carried the banners of the twelve capital ships that were attacked. The parade’s objective is to honor the heroes and survivors of Pearl Harbor and World War II, to pay tribute to veterans, active duty military members and military families, to celebrate freedom and to keep in remembrance the heinous events of Dec. 7, 1941. In addition to the parade, the Young Marines performed a wreath laying ceremony at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, in memory of the brave men and women who are interred there.
Young Marines in uniform greeted veterans and their families as they came off the plane at Ronald Regan National Airport in Washington D.C. They attended a meet and greet event at the hotel where the veterans stayed. The next day, the Young Marines enjoyed breakfast with the veterans, then assisted them as they visited Washington D.C.’s World War II Memorial and the Iwo Jima Memorial.
Media Contact: Andy Richardson
Ginny Richardson Public Relations
630-789-8899 or firstname.lastname@example.org