Page 1
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6
Page 7
Page 8
Page 9
Page 10
Page 11
Page 12
Page 13
Page 14
Page 15
Page 16
Page 17
Page 18
Page 19
Page 20
Page 21
Page 22
Page 23
Page 24
Page 25
Page 26
Page 27
Page 28
Page 29
Page 30
Page 31
Page 32
ESPRIT Volume 1 2015 By Young Marines For Young Marines ESPRIT Page 1 National Headquarters Staff Michael Kessler National Executive DirectorChief Executive Officer Joseph Venable National Deputy Director Joseph Lusignan Deputy Director West Coast Operations and Program Drug Demand Reduction Resource Officer Robert Borka Director of Operations Mike Tracy Director of Finance Gary Weisbaum Chief Marketing Officer Michael Guiles Director of Training Judy Jones Director of Administration Stephanie Guiles Director of Education Joseph Bles Inspector General of the Young Marines Patricia Borka Database Administrator Alvin Hendricks Training Specialist Tim Kupper Xpert Media Management LLC Webmaster Service Mark Whittaker DES Inc. Database Developer Jaime Jasso Editor Designer ESPRIT Board of Directors Chairman of the Board - William Smith Marine Corps League Liaison - Johnny Baker Appointed Member - William Barnes Appointed Member Board Secretary - Dina Dillon General Counsel - Herb Harmon Appointed Member - Andre Hollis National Executive Director - Michael Kessler Invited Member - Gene Overstreet Appointed Member Treasurer - Cathrine Payne Vice Chairman of the Board - William J. Walker Young Marines National Foundation Executive Director - Mike Zeliff Young Marines Alumni Association Executive Director - Edgar Huff Division Commanders Robert Dittrich Division One George Biedenbender Division Two John Gionet Division Three Charles Jackson Division Four Ron Pownall Division Five Wilson Lee Division Six 2015 Division Young Marines of the Year YMSgtMaj Charles Brian Fagan Division One YMSgtMaj Joseph Ambs Division Two YMSgtMaj Tyler Ward Division Three YMSgtMaj Kariel Mayer Division Four YMSgtMaj Lucas Ward Division Five YMSgtMaj Tyler Wermann-Jones Division Six National Young Marine of the Year YMSgtMaj Blake DeWeese Combined Federal Campaign Number CFC 2141 From our National Director Page 2 ESPRIT Follow us on Facebook www.facebook.comusyoungmarines and our national homepage With some luck from Mother Nature winter will be behind us soon and we can look forward to that time of the sea- son when we begin to focus on a couple of very key events Summer Programs of Adventures Challenges Encamp- ments and Schools SPACES and the Adult Leaders Conference ALC. Most of you will have already applied for one of our activities and the jury is still out on the sign-ups for ALC. Those of you who plan to attend a SPACES activity I know you will have fun and will be looking forward to sharing your experi- ences with others. Our new activity the National Outdoor Leadership School NOLS sounds like a lot of fun. We will be looking for feedback from you to tell us all about it. And as always I am looking forward to this years ALC for a variety of reasons not the least of which is meeting our first-time attendees and introducing all of our award winners for the year. But I am really excited to get our National Leadership Academy started at Camp Rilea in Oregon State. The reason Im excited about it is because this years Young Marine Leadership Symposium was all about establishing a course cur- riculum that we can all be proud of and will want to take back to your units. The process began immediately following last years academy and for good reason our academy was broken and needed to be fixed. I feel we are on the right path and ready to showcase our new plan. Eighteen of our senior Young Marines converged on the Nations Capital to hammer out a series of recommenda- tions to enhance our academy. This included topics for the classroom more close order drill round-table discussion a new LEF and workbooks that are look- ing very very promising. This has truly been a team effort and the results will reflect on the hard work by all parties concerned. In fact I think the word is out because all three schools are full and I think this is a first. There is a valuable lesson to be taken away from this effort and the first is to recognize when a plan has gone awry and needs some attention. The second is to get input from those responsible for putting a plan together and in this case it is with your senior Young Marine leadership. Beginning with YM SgtMajor Blake Deweeses guidance teams were assigned and basic requirements clearly understood. From there they actually took an extra day to capture the essence of their hard work and then prepare a brief to the national staff and division commanders. From there it was a matter of putting their ideas into a plan that was executable and understood by all. We are putting the final touches on the project and from what I am able to see you will be impressed by the hard work and end result. A point to all of this is that I have said repeated that this is a program for and by our Young Marines. The task of re-writing the course curric- ulum for the Academy is a clear example of the role our Young Marines play in our organization. Well done to all of you. Now all we have to do is pull it off. ESPRIT Page 3 As I reflect on my Young Marine career I find it has been the most enlightening strenuous and exciting period of my life.The Young Marines have allowed me to develop and mature as a person. The program not only shaped me into a great Young Marine but a great person ready to do good in my future endeavors. This is what our program excels at doing providing indi- viduals with the skill set necessary to be successful in whatever avenue of life they choose to pursue. The road has not been easy that is a certainty. But straight roads do not make for good drivers. We as people will have many hardships to face in life and thanks to the hands on experience the Young Marines provides we are capable of taking them head on. I write this article nearing the end of my career as a Young Marine and as I think back on it I often find my- self dumbstruck I ended up where I did.Mewho forgot his uniform on the first day of recruit training. Me who called Right Face while marching a platoon. Had you told 11 year old YMPvt DeWeese that he would even- tually become YMSgtMaj DeWeese there is no doubt he would find the tale to be tall. Before joining the Young Marines I found myself at a strange place in life. I was not bullied or picked on. I had a handful of friends whose interests similar to mine ranged from little to none. I found myself sim- plyidle.I didnt know what I was doing or where I was going. It was once I found the Young Marines I found my calling my passion my ambition. From that day forward my life would be for- ever changed. I sud- denly had a group of friends with the same interests and ambi- tions as I did. As I grew older my appreciation for the Young Marines only strengthened. Being a high school senior I often see many struggle to find their place in the chaotic world of adolescence. It is hard to watch as so many try desperately to fit in. Our society tends to be a very pessimistic one of- ten paying more mind to who you are not. Im not a straight A student. Im not the captain of the football team. Im not Prom queen or the most popular person. The problem with this mentality is we become so con- sumed in who we are not we forget who we are. The Young Marines has above all else provided me with a sense of identity. I am none of those things and I can take solace in admitting this because at the end of the day I AM a Young Marine. I am part of a culture that brags about staying drug free that aspires to do what others dream and work together to bring other up not tear them down. The Young Marines has done much for me and pre- sented me with more opportunities than I could have fathomed. But this this seemingly obvious realization this concept that so many try to discover but fail to find this is what I am most grateful for. In the last year I have traveled much. I have met many Young Marines and heard many stories the most exciting part is that I know at some point during my travels I met a future National Young Marine of the Year. I tell my story not to boast but rather to inspire. I did not hit the ground running I stumbled tripped even fell. But I always picked myself up. No matter what your aspirations are I encourage you to pursue them with relentless determination and remain resilient in the face of adversity. We may not all achieve our dreams but at the very least we can look back and say we tried which is more than most can say. The question is not who will let me the question is who will stop me. - Ayn Rand. -YMSgtMaj Blake DeWeese National Young Marine of the Year 2014-2015 Oregon Cascade Young Marines From Humble Beginnings Reflections On a Career in The Young Marines Division Young Marines of the Year 2015-2016 Selected for the prestigious title of Division Young Marines of the Year the six Young Marines we proudly present here are honorees invited to the annual Re- union 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.One of the six will be selected for the highest honor of National Young Marine of the Year at the Adult Leaders Conference in May. YM SgtMaj Charles 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 Med- way High School. DIVISION ONE YMSgtMaj Charles Fagan 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. DIVISION TWO YMSgtMaj Joseph Ambs Page 4 ESPRIT YM SgtMaj Tyler Ward 16 of Knoxville TN. He is a member of the Lt. Alexander Bonney- man Young Marines in Knoxville TN under the command of Virgil Young. Ward is a junior at Christian Homelife Academy. DIVISION THREE YMSgtMaj Tyler Ward YM SgtMaj Kariel Mayer 17 of Harvey LA. She is a member of the Jefferson Parish Sheriffs Office 3 Young Marines in Harvey LA under the command of William Jones. Mayer is a junior at New Orleans Military and Maritime Academy. DIVISION FOUR YMSgtMaj Kariel Mayer We have some quality citizens in these Young Marinessaid Mike Kessler National Executive Director 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. ESPRIT Page 5 YM SgtMaj 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. DIVISION FIVE YMSgtMaj Lucas Ward 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 com- mand of Trish Jones. He is a junior at Julian Charter homeschool. DIVISION SIX YMSgtMaj Tyler Wermann-Jones JImmie TRIMBLE SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS YMSgtMaj Alex Loria YMGySgt Brittany Hannah YMGySgt Brittany Hannah is a member of the PFC Bruce W. Carter unit based in Miami FL. She attends Coral Reef Senior High School in Miami where she is a member of the Quill and Scroll Honor Society Future Business Leaders of America and Social Studies Honor Society. She hopes to work in the field of psychology assisting veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. YMSgtMaj Alex Loria is a member of the Col. Wesley Fox unit based in Sterling VA under the command of Terri Loria. He attends Chantilly High School where he is a member of the National Honor Society. He is plan- ning on attending college and pur- suing a Masters Degree immediately following college graduation. Loria wants to be an Aeronautical Engi- neer and perhaps one day become an astronaut. Page 6 ESPRIT Young Marines Keep That Bar High We grow as people when we overcome challenges By Joseph Lusignan Young Marines Deputy Director West Coast Operations In a world where the bar of challenge has been dropped so low that some could trip over it I want to salute those in our program that are striving to keep it high. It is no secret to youth that when put in front of a challenge some will say Its too hard and quit. High schools are full of those adrift and not striving to accomplish anything. What will their future look like Others will tackle it and once having completed it success- fully can honestly sayI did it. Another challenge Bring it Then there are others that will sayIts too hard and some adult will come along and say Yes it is. Let me make it easier for you. With the latter what did the child learn If I say I cant do it someone will give it to me anyway So wheres the incentive to try harder We grow when we step out of our comfort zone. Our muscles grow when we ex- pose them to stress. We grow as people when we overcome challenges. We also grow when we learn from our failures. When we navigate an obstacle suc- cessfully weve taught ourselves that we CAN DO IT. When we have to work a little maybe even a lot to achieve something that we want we KNOW that we earned it and it has more val- ueit adds to our self-esteem it adds to our pride. Well-meaning adults say they want to give kids self-esteem. This is a fal- lacy. You cant give a child self-esteem but you can give them opportunities to earn it. When the self-esteem bubble is fabricated it is simple to pop. When it is earned it comes with a sense of ac- complishment and is needle-proof. When our Young Marines reach a high- er level they know who among their peers earned it and who received it be- cause the path was made easy. When adults manipulate results when adults prevaricate on behalf of their children when we lower the bar for our kidswe do them more HARM than good. Just as with the title of Marine the title of Young Marine should reflect hard work it should reflect overcoming challengesand it should reflect the de- sire to stand up when others wont To do the right thing Not the easy thing. You want to change our future for the better Teach our children the value of earning what they receive. And I salute those who are doing this in our pro- gram. YOU are the ones who are build- ing tomorrows leaders. I will finish my article with a quote from some old dude who painted the ceiling of some famous church The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short but in setting our aim too low and achieving our mark. Michelangelo ESPRIT Page 7 Page 8 ESPRIT By Stacy Anderson Public Relations Officer Foothills CO We have a very special family in our unit. A family that found a box. In that box was a Bronze Star. They had no idea who it belonged to or why it was without a home but they knew that it wasnt right to just ignore it. They brought it home and started to investigate. They were determined and found the owner of that Bronze Star. As it turns out he thought he would never see it again. When the day came for Army SSGT. Daniel Gibson to be reunited with his award he came out to meet the Young Ma- rines who were responsible for finding his award. YM PFC Morganne Wick YM PFC Ti- tus Wick YM PFC Troy Wick and of course their Dad were all very happy to meet him and very pleased to reunite him with his award. Young Marines Reunite Army SSGT. with his Lost Bronze Star Army SSgt. Daniel Gibson reunited with his Bronze Star thanks to the Foothills Young Marines. UNITMYYM This was not just any game it was the home opener for the 20142015 season of the National Hockey League Colorado Ava- lanche. It called for an above-average modified Color Guard. Foothills Young Marines were proud to stand shoulder to shoul- der with two members of the National Order of the Purple Heart and four active duty Army servicemen carrying the National Col- ors. It was the largest Color Guard I have ever seen on the red carpet. With no practice prior to the event the Color Guard was flawless. -- Submitted by Stacy Anderson Public Relations Officer Foothills CO Colorado Avalanche Home Opening Game Color Guard Marching in Music City Two photos of Nashvilles Music City Young Marines unit marching in the Christmas Parade in nearby Donelson TN last December 6. -- Submitted by Peggy Northcutt Music City TN Last November my unit was chosen to plant trees in memory of our fallen soldiers in the local area. At that event we burned retired flags and talked to some veterans who were attending the event in honor of other veterans who had passed. This was one of many events that we attended. Veterans are a part of so many peoples lives and we need to keep our youth involved so we can show how we appreciate them. -- Submitted by YMLCpl Jennifer Feher Hanover Area PA Young Marines Planting Trees In Memory of Fallen Soldiers By Lynn Dominique 1st Fl Regiment Charlie Battalion Com- mander Emerald Coast FL Unit Commander Why do I do this If you have been in this program long enoughyouve asked yourself this question many times if you havent be patient you will. It is 1209 and I just finished my last official duty of a two night three day Battalion encampment DISMISSED Im beat. Its been non- stop and when there was some down time the Young Marines continued going non-stop. Note to self Dont schedule down time at an encamp- ment it only serves to mislead the Registered Adults. Hearing the Bat- talion Senior Young Ma- rine issue the command Dismissed sounded re- ally good. The long three-daytwo- night trip was over and now I could enjoy some real down time. Well maybe not quite yet I still need to break down my tent pack up my gear run down the Medical Officer before he leaves the site to try and locate some misplaced equipment do one last sweep of the grounds and an office we used and return the key to the Officer-of-the-Deck. Note to self Dismissed does not pertain to the Commander. Now the drive home and the time to ponder that nagging question Why do I do this. .. By the time I arrive home the ques- tion Why do I do this no longer ex- ists. It has been replaced with an over- whelming feeling of honor. Honor to be considered a Commander. Honor to be in the company of so many caring and incredibly hard working Registered Adults... Honor to watch former Young Marines now Registered Adults not only share what they have learned in the program but also strive to make it better. The biggest honor of all to have the opportunity to watch teach and help Young Marines gain Discipline grow in Leadership and embrace the principle of Teamwork. I cant even re- member what made me ask Why do I do this That question now seems like something only a crazy person would ask. Note to self Encampments will make you temporarily crazy. My highlights from a Battalion en- campment The Moto run running with the last Young Marine and help- ing them discover what they are able to accomplish if they dont quit... Watching a unit with very little drill experience give it their all in a drill competition and then over- hearing their comments of the need to practice more. Working with a Young Ma- rine who just doesnt get map and compass and with a little one on one direction watching that same Young Marine complete the course. Working with a first-time Battalion Senior Young Ma- rine and seeing his can do attitude and willingness to do whatever asked. Actually seeing the benefits of the snake class as it turns out a pygmy rattlesnake was also sharing our camp. Working with great unit command- ers. Seeing the commitment of a unit to drive all night and arrive at 0030. Having Young Marines and Registered Adults ask to be awakened at 0030 in order to help the last arriving unit set up camp. Why Do I Do This A Battalion Encampment- Through the eyes of a first-time Battalion Commander One of the biggest honors The opportunity to teach. Tour de Jefferson A Ride Through Louisianas Scenery By YMSgtMaj Kariel Mayer JPSO3 LA On the first weekend of November 2014 the Jefferson Parish Sheriffs Office Young Marines went out to support the numerous bike riders participating in the annual Tour de Jefferson. Only minutes from New Orleans the Tour de Jefferson family bike ride is truly a unique way to experience the scenery of Louisianas heart- land. As the riders began to pour in the Young Marines served food to the riders offered con- gratulations and had an all-out blast. We even got to talk to some riders who had participated in more than a hundred of these types of events all over the country. The riders told us that they were surprised to meet such wonderful kids and one man even thanked us- not for anything outstanding but just for being cool kids We had a great time helping ev- eryone out so much that it didnt feel like work at all. After all thats what Young Marines do ESPRIT Page 9 Page 10 ESPRIT Honoring Our Nations VET ER ANS By Kim Gray Registered Adult Upstate SC Tuesday October 28 2014 the Honor Flight returned our veterans home.In the sea of red white and blue hun- dreds of people were present to greet them and thank them for their service. People flocked to the Green- villeSpartanburg International Airport from all over the great state of South Caro- lina to pay respect to our veterans. I had a front row seat. The raw emotion from our veterans could be felt by the crowd as they were thanked and cheered. Waiting to assist and salute the returning veterans were the Green- ville Sheriffs Department The Upstate Young Marines unit representatives of the United States Marine Corps Pickens SC Sheriffs Department and the Pickens High School ROTC program. From the great state of South Carolinas very own Upstate Young Marines unit to the United States Marine Corps sa- lutes were made to our veterans. The Upstate Young Ma- rines unit had certificates and other items of thanks to present to our veterans. They saluted each and every one. Young Marine PFC Ethan LaDue said Their faces just lit up when the crowd started roaring and cheering for them. I think thats my favorite part. Just seeing how much it means to them that we set aside a portion of our time just for them. As I saluted the Veterans I felt pride that these men and women helped shape our yesterday today tomorrow and forever. I hope that one day I can do the same.The Honor Flight is just a way to show them exactly how much they mean to us. How much we respect them and their sacrifices. Young Marine Regis- tered Adult Kim Gray said This is probably my favorite event that we do. The parades and all are fun and good but this is my favorite. Its a great way to show our respect and thanks to our veterans. The Honor Flight is a non- profit volunteer program designed to give veterans a day sat- urated in our nations history in Washington DC. The program is dedicated to honoring our WW2 and Korean War veterans and the sacrifices they have made in serving our country. Through the Honor Flight they are able to spend time at The Tomb of the Unknowns the Iwo Jima Memorial Ar- lington National Cemetery and other memorials of our na- tions history located throughout the Washington DC area. One Hundred Veterans Honored for Their Sacrifices ESPRIT Page 11 By Judy LinkAdjutant Western New York NY The Conrad Kania Marine Corps League requested our color guard present the colors for their annual Marine Corps Ball on November 8th. They also invited five other Young Marines from the unit to attend as their guests. The Young Marines love to work with our veterans and also assisted in open- ing doors and taking coats before joining in the festivities.The unit also assist- ed the Marine Corps League in cleaning up Knoche Roadtheir adopted highway in Tonawanda NY. The color guard was also asked to assist in flag retirement ceremonies on Veterans Day. During a Veterans Appreciation Dinner our youngest Young Marine LCpl Salem Nyari was invited to participate in the cake cutting ceremony. Re-flaging Veterans gravesites The Westover MA Young Marines along with their parents and staff mem- bers re-flagged veterans gravesites at St. Thomas Cemetery in West Spring- field MA for Veterans Day. There were more than 3000 veterans gravesites at this cemetery. Those veterans buried here served during conflicts ranging from the Civil War to Operation Iraqi Freedom. YMPvt.Williams Honors a NavyVeteran Young Marine PVT Jonah Williams of the Westover MA Young Marines salutes a vet- erans gravesite after posting a flag at it. This gravesite was of a WW II Navy Veteran. Young Marine PVT Williams father is currently serving in the United States Navy. Posting Flags at Graves HH HH HH Assisting the Marine Corps League Page 12 ESPRIT By YM LCpl Garriet Wells Miami Valley OH Imagine youre sitting in a random airport hallway. Night has fallen A crowd begins to cheer some tired and hard- ened men as they march at the head of a parade of some of the bravest men who ever lived. What if that fantasy could be made real What if I told you that it happens once a month at Dayton Inter- national Airport This event first took place in May 2005. Twelve veterans and six airplanes flew from Spring- field Ohio and took the World War II veterans to the World War II Memorial in Washing- ton DC. Since then the Miami Valley Young Marines became involved with Honor Flights when they started flying from Dayton International Airport with a single four man color guard. Greeting veterans as they re- turned with good memories few veterans expected that young kids and teens cared about their sacrifices from long ago. Its been said that All Gave Some and Some Gave All. Since this program began many groups have joined to turn out in support of Honor Flights and attend regularly. The Young Marines would not be involved and the event would likely not be as impressive without the efforts of Raymond Girard who has been everything from a police officer firefighter enlisted man in the Army Major in the Army college professor and much more. It would be im- possible without the support of the Young Marines and their color guard Wayne High School AFJROTC and the color guard they bring the United States Air Force Honor Guardthe Knights of Columbusthe Boy Scouts of America and the people from Patriot Pinup Inc. Honor Flight works like this Veterans are taken on a flight to Washington DC to visit the memo- rials there then upon their return as they march down the airport corridor the color guards and hon- or details pay tribute to them and they play music and everybody has a fantastic time. It is my personal honor to take part in the Miami Valley Young Marines Color Guard and honor these amazing men and women as they are shown the honor and respect that they so ab- solutely deserve. Not many people get that honor. I am so grateful that I have the opportunity. If I could summarize honor flight in a few words it would be that it gives great men thanks they never received and setting right the mistakes of the past. So in closing Honor Flight is one of the coolest things on planet earth and if I can for the rest of time I will give back to the people who gave so much when it mattered most. Semper Fidelis Veterans are Deserving of Our Honor and Respect Since this program began many groups have joined to turn out in support of Honor Flights and attend regularly. By YM Sgt Christian Vincent Miami Valley OH It was a chilly night in the Miami Valley but that didnt stop local veterans who attended one of this years Honor Flights from attend- ing the annual reception at the conclusion of the Honor Flight year. We started the event by helping the veterans and their families into the Springfield Foundation Center within the Clark County Fairgrounds. Once the festivities started our unit was able to supply a color guard to post the Colors. The event had the Patriot Pinup girls singing the National Anthem but this room of vets quickly joined in and sang along. Cake and juice were served with the help of our Young Marines and the veterans couldnt have been happier. Speakers including General Janet Wolfenbarger Com- mander of Air Force Material Command of Wright Patter- son Air Force Basetold about the years events. It was a pleasure meeting her and discovering she was the first female four star general in the United States Air Force and is a native of our area. I got the chance to speak with a few of the veterans and here are some of their comments I love the program Honor Flight. I go every year wouldnt miss it. - Dale Jenkins Sgt in the Marine Corps during the Korean War he served a 14 month tour and participated in the Battle of Boulder City hours before the Korean War cease fire.The program is great. I feel good and respected- Joe Schwallie who was a PFC in the U.S. Army Air Force in WWII. It is always a great feeling to walk away after a long day knowing that we were able to support such great Ameri- cans as these. For more information about Honor Flight Network activities in your area visit Ohio Unit Participates in Honor FlightsYear-End Celebration ESPRIT Page 13 ByYM LCpl Savannah Sailer-Torres and YMPfc Riley Hague Douglas County CO We were honored to celebrate Veterans Day at the Marine Corps Memorial in Golden CO.We set up more than 50 flags and participated in the ceremony to honor veterans. There were many honored guests there and it was wonderful to give thanks to such amazing people. It was a very cold Veterans Day this year in Castle Rock Colorado. Douglas County Young Marines provided a joint color guard to honor our veterans. It was really inspiring to see so many veterans come out in the 10-degree weather. It was a great experience to march in a parade with other units and see many people showing support for our veter- ans. It was easy to spot the veterans in the crowd because even if they could barely stand up they did in order to sa- lute the colors as we marched by. At the memorial we had the chance to talk to some of the veterans. There was one I remember in particular. She was a World War II veteran that went through a lot to become a Marine but she accomplished a lot so far and is still go- ing hard at the age of 98. Not everyone gets to take part in events that are so extraordinary so being able to take part in them are rare opportunities. Douglas County Two Veterans Day Observances The Douglas County CO Young Marines assembled at the Marine Corps Memorial in Golden and at a cold ceremony in Castle Rock CO. By YMSgt Cassandra Roache Miami Valley OH On one cool Sunday after- noon a group of dedicated Young Marines volunteered to give back to those who often give everything for their country Veterans. Approximately eight hours after presenting the Na- tional Colors to welcome home a large group of Hon- or Flight veterans returning from seeing their memorial in Washington DC the Mi- ami Valley Young Marines geared up again for another oppor- tunity to show their appreciation to our veterans service to their country. The unit worked together to cook and serve a hearty lunch of spaghetti with meatballs salad and a slice of pie to top it all off. The lunch was served at the local church where our unit meets and we served approximately 150 meals to local vet- erans and their families. Monetary donations were collected and do- nated to the churchs Fill the Boot program a program that sends much needed supplies to those currently serv- ing overseas. After a long weekend the Miami Valley Young Marines could finally rest knowing they had done well to give back to our veterans. Miami Valley Hosts Spaghetti Luncheon for Veterans Grand Rapids Collecting Socks to Help Our Heroes Our veterans see youths helping and giving back to them By YMSSgt Devin Simkins and YMSgt Brian Stricklen Grand Rapids MI We were approached by an individual while we were performing a commu- nity service. The individual asked us if we would like to takeover a major sock col- lection for the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans and we of course said yes because we felt it was our patriotic duty to do such a honorable deed. We had lots of hard work ahead of us but first we made collection boxes and fliers to put at local busi- nesses. Then we were in- vited to be guests on a morning radio talk show to publicize the sock collection and speak about the Young Marines program. A local 5th grade teacher heard us on the radio and had her class collect socks and when they finished col- lecting the socks she asked us to talk to her class about why it is important to appre- ciate our veterans. We spoke to them about the Young Marines program and what it stands for. While we were spreading the word about collecting socks we received a very gen- erous donation of 216 pairs of socks from an anonymous donor.We were overwhelmed by the communitys effort to- wards collecting socks for our veterans. But we also did a little competition within our own Young Marines unit. As YMSgt Stricklen led the Recruits to collecting a total of 310 pairs of socks and YMSSgt Simkins led the Young Marines to a total of 421 pairs of socks we as a unit collected a grand total of 731 pairs of socks. The Grand Rapids Home for Vet- erans Christmas party was held on December 13 2014. The final grand total of all the socks donated and collected was 1435 pairs of socks. We had more than enough socks for the veterans. The Christmas party was a blast.We had passed out pizza to all the veterans who had attended. The veterans also played many rounds of bingo. In addition to all of this we received homemade Christ- mas cards from various schools churches and daycares that were placed in almost 250 gift bags for the veterans. Every gift bag also included two dollars in cash a small bag of candy personal hygiene items and of course a few pairs of socks. We know how im- portant it is to our veterans when they see the youth help and give back to them. This is why we are already plan- ning new ways to get donations for next year and we would like to leave this honorable duty as a legacy even after we leave the program. YMs Stricklin and Simpkins with part of this years collection of socks for veterans. Page 14 ESPRIT By YM PVT Madison Long Pulaski MO Last December The Pu- laski Young Marines went to Hawaii for the Pearl Harbor Memorial parade. While we were there we were able to do many in- teresting things. We went to the Dole Pineapple Plantation climbed to the top of Dia- mond Head Crater went swimming and snorkeling at Hanauma Bay visited the USS Arizona Memorial went aboard the battle- ship USS Missouri visited the National Cemetery of the Pacific and attended a luau. At the National Cemetery of the Pa- cific we got to meet one of the survi- vors of the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. The veter- ans name is William McAnny and he is 93 years old. He was a Chief Petty Officer in the Navy and was stationed aboard the USS Solace a hospital ship that was anchored in the harbor. One thing that I will always remem- ber was when he said that they were still picking up bodies out of the wa- ter for months after the attacks. The main reason we were in Hawaii was to march in the parade. There were many Young Marines there. I car- ried the banner for the USS Missouri battleship. That was really cool since we are from Missouri. The parade was very exciting and fun. When we went to the USS Arizona Memorial I thought it was interesting that you could see the top of the hulk of the ship emerg- ing out of the water. There was still oil leaking out too. The battleship USS Missouri was cool too. I learned how the sailors would clean the deck by using a brick and a stick. It was aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on Sep- tember 2 1945 that representatives from the Empire of Japan signed the Instrument of Surrender ending the war with Japan. On the flight home I thought about how cool it was in Hawaii and how much we had done and learned. It was so much fun and a really great trip I will always remember. A Place of Many Interesting Things Our Visit to Pearl Harbor Young Marines from Missouri carried the parade banner for the USS Missouri. ESPRIT Page 15 By YM LCpl Jennifer Feher Hanover Area PA As I stand in my classroom every morn- ing and pledge allegiance to the flag it is because of our veterans. As I sit in Church on Sunday to worship God it is because of our veterans. As a young female who has been given the opportunity to be anything I want to be because of our veterans. Veterans are the men and women like my father grand- fathers uncles mentors and friends who have made the choice to serve our country and fight for my freedom.They are important in so many ways because they went into battle fighting for their lives to let us have the freedom we enjoy. Many people today only think of them as people who fought in wars or worse yet they do not think of our vet- erans at all. People like me know family and friends that fought in the wars and we think of them as leaders and be- loved family members. To me I love all of the people who fought and who are fighting for us especially those who died in the wars. My grandfather retired from the Navy. I lost my grandfather last year because he was sick but every time I saw him he had another story to tell me of what he went through.As an Aviation Electronic Technician First Class he served 20 years and went through a lot. He repaired whatever needed to be fixed for his unit in the Navy. My father also retired from the Navy not long after I was born. After 22 years his ca- reer as a Signalman was ending because the Navy ended his rate. He has always taught me the importance of hon- oring our veterans not only on the holidaysbut every day. I am thankful that being a part of the Young Marines gives me more chances to do this. As I grow up I will always try to honor and remember the importance of our veterans the past the present the future. As I meet new soldiers I will show my respect be- cause they are also someones loved one and I will look for their story in a veterans eyes. An Essay Why I Appreciate Veterans By YM LCpl Jonathan Gray II Upstate SC Editors Note YM Gray writes I entered the Voice of Democracy Audio Essay Competition sponsored by the VFW and its Ladies Aux- iliary. My essay was awarded 3rd place. Attached is my essay and a picture of me receiving my award. VETERAN.. What do you see or think of when I say this word Do you see rows of white tombstones stretching as far as the eye can see or do you see flag-draped coffins According to an unknown authora veteran whether active duty retired National Guard or reserve - is someone who at one point in his or her life wrote a blank check made pay- able to The United States of Americafor an amount of up to and including hisher life. When I hear veteran I see my two grandfa- thers my uncle my great- grandfather and count- less others who through their service and sacrifice made huge contributions to our great nation. I see right hands raised and hearI do solemn- ly swear that I will support and defend the Constitu- tion of the United States against all enemies for- eign and domestic. Because of them and many others who spoke those words we have the freedoms we enjoy today. Its because of them that I have the privilege to lay my head down on my pil- low at night and not fear what the darkness brings. Their sacrifices make it possible for us to live as we do. Since our country began many have had the remarkable strength to wear this countrys uniform. Although it has changed over the years one thing hasntthe never-ending strength courage determination and sacrifice of those who wear it. In the past for the most part our American military was made up of volunteers young people who heard the call and believed in their country so much that they yearned to wear this uniform. Their country called and they did their part. I will never accept defeat never leave a man behind honor courage commitment loyalty duty respect selfless service these are the core values our veterans exemplified through- out their service and even after their uniforms were retired. For these reasons veterans have made and continue to make our nation strong. Kimberly Mitchell a co-founder of a non-profit program to help veterans once said The children of today dont know the stories of our service men and women. They dont know the valor or understand the courage that our service men and women show every day. Their stories are an important part of our history - they show WHY we are WHO we are. She is 100 correct. Veterans are extremely important to our nations history and our future. Veterans represent dif- ferent eras different wars and different experiences but they are all bound by their willingness to give their lives for the country that they loved. I have had the honor to hear many incredible stories about my family members service to this country over the years. Those stories helped shape me into the person I am today. Those stories allowed me to learn and feel true patriotism at a very young age. They taught me what sacri- fice and heroism was when they talked about their experiences. It was during those talks that I was able to get a better understanding of our na- tions past. Those stories allowed me the ability to establish a respect for the men and women who served our nation dur- ing times of war. As they were sharing their mem- ories and experiences I had the opportunity to express my thanks that they so rightly deserved.In this same way our veterans can help all Americans young and old. Unfortunately my great-grandfather and uncle are no lon- ger with us. I am sure with their passing that many of their personal accounts are now buried. There are millions of veterans still living today but as each day passes we lose around one thousand and much of our American History dies with them. Important personal ac- counts from history are slipping away. In April of this past year I participated in welcoming home our veterans from their Honor Flight. Mr. Allen M. Anthony a World War II veteran was on that flight. He passed away on May 13 2014 less than a month after his Honor Flight. When I heard of Mr.Anthonys passingI couldnt help think- ing that each time an older veteran passes away we lose an important connection to our past and to the struggles that Why Veterans Are Important to Our Nations Past and Future A VFW Essay Contest Finalist Although this countrys uniform has changed over the years one thing hasntthe never-ending strength courage determination and sacrifice of those who wear it. Jonathan Gray II accepts his award from VFW representatives. Page 16 ESPRIT have made our modern lives possible.These untold stories and memories are vital to our nations history and our fu- ture generations need to hear them. Some may argue that our history books can teach us all we need to know but there are some things books cant teach us such as how to withstand how to recover and how to grow in the face of lifes challenges. Veterans ex- periences and memories as difficult as they were teach us about the past and connect our generations. My gen- eration as well as future generations need to understand how America became this great nation. We just as all Americans need to know the sacrifices and experiences that were made by so many veterans so that we can truly appreciate the awesomeness of America. With this being said I leave you with the words of Cal- vin Coolidge The nation which forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten. This was true back in 1920 when he spoke those words and it is true now. Its time to thank our true American idols by listening and learning about their dedication sacrifices and honor they had for this great na- tion. ESPRIT Page 17 VeteransAppreciation with the St. Helen Elks By YM SSgt Kevin Christenson Oregon Cascade OR Last November 9 the Oregon Cascade Young Marines performed color guard duties for veterans at a Veterans Day ceremony held in the St. Helens OR Elks facilities. Before the dinner Young Marines per- formed a posting of the colors.The chal- lenge was in the combination of low ceilings and tall flags. I was proud of my fellow Young Marines who adjusted and overcame the obstacle of the low ceil- ings. It was a privilege to be in the presence of our nations heroes. The veterans ac- cepted and appreciated us. The older Young Marines remind them of themselves when they started in the military.This is one of the ways were able to honor them.To usthey denied their status of herobut to us they are and that is what matters. Most meaningful to me was being able to interact with the veterans and getting the opportunity to recognize them for serving our country. The veterans were very appreciative of how we posted col- ors and then assisted disabled veterans with their dinner plates carrying trays and serving cake. I was able to share my knowledge of the cake cutting ceremonies of the Ma- rine Corps with the veterans. I told them how we follow this tradition during our annual Young Marines Ball to symbolize the passing of knowledge from one gen- eration to another. The St. Helens Elks have in turn hon- ored us by inviting us to attend all future veterans activi- ties and functions. The Music City Young Marines marching on Lower Broadway in down- town Nashville TN in the Veterans Day Parade. Afterwards several adult leaders and Young Marines attended American Legion Post 82 ceremo- nies and were lunch guests. Music City Marches in Nashvilles Veterans Day Parade Page 18 ESPRIT By Joseph Lusignan Young Marines Drug Demand Reduction Resource Officer A politician from Texas says marijuana should be legal because God created it and God doesnt make mistakes. God created mountains with high cliffs as well but I also know he gave us the ability to decide not to jump if we knew the sudden stop at the bottom would be especially detrimental to our health. A Girl Scout troop in Oregon is now selling cookies outside of a marijua- na dispensary. As if the sugar wasnt harmful enough now were teaming Girl Scouts with drug dealers The party of American Family Val- ues is now endorsing the legaliza- tion of pot in order to capture the financial boon that taxation on its sales would bring. In the State of Washington one of the misguided States that have legalized recre- ational Marijuana theyre taxing the growth processing and distribution of the product as one of the original arguments used to legalize it. That financial boon would be used to erase all manner of deficits. Do they remember our history Remember the Tea Party of Revolutionary War fame We Americans dont like to pay taxes. The State also mandated that the THC level Tetrahydrocannabinolthe ingredient that gets you high would be a maximum of 3. The last sum- mer I worked in law enforcement we stopped and arrested a man for driv- ing under the influenceof marijuana not alcohol. He was an entrepreneur from Seattle Washington who had gone shopping in Colorado for product to supply a store he intended to open once it became legal to sell dope in Washington. He had samples of prod- uct with all kinds of different strainsin colorful packages that identified THC levels as high as 65. In 22 years as a cop the highest Id seen was 28. So if Im a consumer why would I buy State approved Ganja thats overly taxed with only 3 THC when I can get it cheaper from North of the Bor- der South of the Border or from a neighbor and it has a higher potency The adults that are voting to approve legalizationdo they realize that to- days marijuana just isnt the same drug they experimented with when they were kids They argue that by le- galizing weed well eradicate the drug trade and the illegal cartels. No we wont they are much more efficiently runwere just giving them more cus- tomers. Nowas an adultI dont care what you do in the privacy of your own home but when it harms our youth Im com- pelled to speak up. Though the law in Washington made it legal for only those over the age of 21 to legally con- sume Marijuana I arrested more high school kids in my last year of service for possession of marijuana than in the prior five years combined. By adults voting to legalize the drug we just told our kids it was safe. So is it safe Theres still a lot to be learned and studied but heres a little of what we know. Marijuana can be addictive. Marijuana smoke is even more destructive than tobacco often leading to issues like asthma and bronchitis. Studies on animals reveal that the chemicals in marijuana can result in permanent damage to the brain. One joint can contain as many carcinogens as five tobacco ciga- rettes. Marijuana releases chemicals that bind to receptors in the brain effecting memory thought concen- tration time passage and coordi- nated movement. Increases the heart beat up to four times as high as under normal conditions. Mentally users can experience hal- lucinations psychedelic effects and a severe impairment of their ability to perform simple motor tasks. Users often cant perceive danger be- cause the drug lulls them into a false state of relaxation. As a school resource officer I know what I saw. I worked with kids I cared about on a daily basis. Marijuana takes away their ability to learn their moti- vation to exceland their desire to care. Even When Made Legal Its Not Made Safe By YM LCpl Branson J. Coiteux Oregon Cascade OR When my unit started preparing for Red Ribbon Week this yearOregon Measure 91 was on the election ballot to allow the sale and recreational use of marijuana for those over the age of 21. I wanted to let government officials know that the Young Marines cared about the future for youth. I prepared a state- ment to give government officials attending a Labor Day picnic to get support for awareness of Red Ribbon Week. I went to the picnic and approached Oregon U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley and Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber. I gave them my prepared statement and got a few minutes of their time to discuss the importance of being drug-free and the role the Young Marines plays in my life. I had a very serious talk with them about Red Ribbon Week and mari- juana.I asked them to support our efforts to have youth stay drug-free.They both said they would give me a letter of sup- port or a proclamation. Within a few weeks I received a proclamation from Gov- ernor Kitzhaber and a letter of support from U.S. Senator Merkley. During Red Ribbon Week Oregon Cascade held an event at a large local farms pumpkin patch.We worked hard to create educational tools and poster boards to teach kids and adults about the dangers and effects of drugs alcohol and tobacco to our youth. Our unit received a total of three proclamations and two letters of support that we proudly displayed at our table. It was a successful day but marijuana is now legal in Or- egon Editors Note Measure 91 passed by approximately 57 to 43. The Young Marines help me everyday to recognize that I can make a difference. Red Ribbon Week and Educating My Community ESPRIT Page 19 Red Ribbon Week Getting the Message Out Handing out Red Ribbon Week Materials at a school assembly. LCpl Clark and PFC Foster of the Swansboro Young Marines promoting Red Ribbon Week at New Bridge Middle School. As a parent looking to protect your children and ensure their productiv- ity and future success why would you espouse a drug that makes them even more moody impedes their personal relationships inhibits their learning and puts their minds at risk and puts them in danger of immediate physical trauma as they learn skills such as driv- ing motor vehicles Not to mention introduces them to a drug that they can become dependent on and can cause the development of psychosis or other health problems well into their future. If you as an adultare a proponent of this drugyou are indirectly giving them your bless- ing to abuse it as well. If Marijuana were truly the wonder drug that those championing it as medicine claim why hasnt the Ameri- can Medical Association or the Ameri- can Cancer Society endorsed it Since legalization the State of Colorado has seen an increase in medical costs espe- cially amongst the young and increase in calls to their poison centers an in- crease in homelessness an increase in drivers driving under the influence of marijuana an increase in response to crime and lawsuits brought on by neighboring States that are negatively affected by Colorados legalization of Marijuana. Initially supportive of the peoples voice the Governor of Colora- do recently lamented his support tell- ing his fellow governors that it was the biggest mistake theyd ever made. If recent polls are correct the ma- jority of Americans now support the legalization of this drug that will and already is harming our youth. So this begs the question if the majority be- lieve its harmlessin spite of science medicine law enforcement and educa- tors saying differentlyare they right As the intoxicating haze of legaliza- tion continues to entice the adults in our country to choose what is harmful for our kids in favor of their own quest for escape relaxation and the abdica- tion of responsibilitywill this fog of poison continue to sweep across our borders Or will there be enough of us who stand up with clarity look through the smoky haze and exclaim Dude the emperors not wearing any clothes. Page 20 ESPRIT By YM LCpl Theodore Burns Oregon Cascade OR Ethos A Greek word meaning char- acter that is used to describe the guid- ing beliefs or ideals that characterize a community nation or ideology. When I first went to recruit orien- tation I saw that the Young Marines were different. The crisp discipline motivation and confidence they expressed attracted me to the program and encouraged me to become a Young Marine myself. That attitude is what sets Young Ma- rines apart and why I continue in this outstanding program. This Young Marine Ethos is many things.It is accomplishing the mission and giving 110 percent working as a teamsharing the burden and rewards and being a leader putting others be- fore yourself and taking responsibility for your own actions and showing re- spect at all times to everyone around you and to yourself. Not only does this serve me well as I lead Young Marines during drill and events but it also serves me in my personal life when Im out of uniform. As I interact with my family and peers I have learned to carry myself to a higher standard than before I joined. Young Marine is a title I carry with me 247 and I strive everyday to live up to it in all that I do.This is what the Young Marines has done for me. In a world where immaturity and self-in- terest are quickly becoming not only the norm but also the desired ideal the Young Marines gives me a chance to learn and grow to become a leader and strive to be the best person I can. My Thoughts on Living the Young Marine Ethos By YMPFC Austin Reeves Oregon Cascade OR For the past two years I have had many experiences with the Young Marines. Many have been very memorable like participating in encampments Red Ribbon Week activities and marching in parades. Some have changed me physically like PFTs and some have changed me mentally like doing more than I thought I could ever do. One experience that changed me in a large way was Or- egon Cascades Young Marines recruit training. Before re- cruit trainingI was somewhat mischievous and disrespect- ful and I didnt have much self-respect. As soon as I noticed the Recruit InstructorsI was in shock and very nervous. Throughout recruit training I learned about many amazing things. I also learned about respect- ing others and myself as well how to stay in good shape physically. I consider every Young Marine to be a part of my family. If I have a problem they help me with my problem and in return I can help them. I can talk to other Young Marines as if they were my brother or sister. That is what Young Marines means to me - Family. Recruit Training A Chance to Learn to Change and Grow By YM PFC Janejea Minner Oregon Cascade OR When my parents divorced in 2009 I was very angry. My mom signed me up with the Oregon Cascade Young Ma- rines. I was only 8 years old and I remember being scared and confused. At first I did not like it. I did not want to be there but by the time I graduated from recruit training I had made some good friends. I felt like I belonged there. Being a Young Marine has taught me things that most of my school friends dont know yet. I know CPR I know how to march I know about safety and the dangers of abusing drugs but most of all I know how to handle being bullied. In grade school kids used to bully me and make fun of me because I am very tall for my age and having some prob- lems with my school work. But being a Young Marine taught me how to deal with the negative comments and gave me confidence to talk to my teachers and principal when the bullying wouldnt stop. I think I am a better person because of the things I have learned being a Young Marine. How Being in the Young Marines Helped Me A Few Thoughts From those in the Young Marines FAMILY ESPRIT Page 21 By YM LCpl Austin Miller Oregon Cascade OR For me being a Young Marine is being involved in something bigger than me. It is making a difference in me and I meet people who will impact my life forever. I am learning survival skills how to handle stressful tasks how to ap- proach new people and most impor- tantly how to become a better person by looking at the negative and making it into something amazing. There are many great role models provided for me and I do everything I can to give back as much as I can. The Young Marines has also given me the opportunity to be a part of some astounding events. For example I talked with the last living WWII Medal of Honor recipient in Oregon Robert D. Maxwell and got to shake his hand and hear his story. Every event has impacted me in some way whether it was bonding with other Young Ma- rines or being a part of a life-changing event. What this program gave me that nothing else can compare to is a sense of belonging something I have searched for as long as I can remem- ber. One major thing I have realized about the Young Marines program is that I will never know the true mean- ing of iteven if I am the Young Marine of the Year. I will not know the true meaning of my experiences in the program until I am an adult with a job and then I can look back on this program and think to myself the Young Marines is why I am here.The Young Marines is the tallest mountain you think you will climb as a kid and teenager but once you reach the top and go into the adult world you will see that the Young Marines prepared you to discover and climb even bigger and harder mountains and face challenges. A Young Marine Experiences A Sense of Belonging By YM PFC Daniel Holm Oregon Cascade OR Before I joined the Young Marines I was just this kid who didnt care about anyone but myself. I didnt care about other peoples belongings or how they felt. I didnt care about my elders be- sides my parents. I was really disre- spectful and not responsible. Then I joined the Young Marines pro- gram and it changed my life for the good. I became very respectful for not only my peers but for my elders random people that I meet on the street or in stores and many of my parents friends. I have also became more responsible for all my actions and for all my belongings. People that I meet will ask meHow are you so respectful So I tell them about the Young Marines and they answer back Very interesting. I tell them that they should tell anyone from 8 to 18 years old to take a look at this program and I be- lieve that they have.The Young Marines is an outstanding program that needs more publicity so more people know about it and it can become a bigger program. The Young Marines We Need More Publicity By YM SSgt Philip Mesa Oregon Cascade OR My participation in the Young Marines is coming close to an end after five years. My thoughts are increasingly turn- ing to questions of what have I learned experienced etc. but most often Have I made a difference None of us can say for sure what our passage through this program will mean. We know that we have experienced things that the majority of youth in our nation never will. Our heritage is as patriotic citizenswho honor the essen- tial values that come with being a Young Marine. The one thing I wished I had done differently earlier in my Young Marines career was to wake up every morning and think about what it is I represent every time I put on my uniform. Think about this every time you put on your uniform. What is it you are standing for and representing What will I remember from this Probably everything. Reflecting on My Five Years in the Young Marines JOIN TODAY Learn About Experience ADVENTURE LEADERSHIP TEAMWORK DISCIPLINE THEYOUNGMARINES Boys Girls Ages 8 to 18 By Michelle Stacko Adult Volunteer Greater Cleveland OH August 9 2014 Last evening my son and I experienced one of those times where you know that God has worked to bring your life to a certain point. So many little things intersect into one mo- ment and you know for certain that you are right where God wants you to be. Id like to share this story in an effort to honor God and to recognize and honor our fallen military those who gave all. When my son Jacob was six years old God placed on my heart that Ja- cob would likely choose a career in the military. Not having a military upbring- ing these thoughts were often followed by my concerns for his safety. But God always soothed my thoughts and has grown me to acceptance and to a small understanding of what it takes to be military. Jacob is now nearing 16 years of age In the last two years he has chosen the United States Marine Corps as his ca- reer goal. When I recently shared this with an acquaintance they asked me what about Jacob made me think he would be military-minded I quickly and simply replied Service and Honor. Its a com- mon thought in our family that Jacob was born an adult and when I look at him and understand his career goals its simply summed up as Service and Hon- or. I wonder how many parents have been faced with these thoughts and re- alizations about their child. Over the last two years Jacob has done a lot of research on the Marine Corps and talked with his family and friends about his goals. Many will talk of things of reason such as concern for his safety and life. But there have also been many with ties to the military who have come alongside him supported him and shared their knowledge. Jacob has so appreciated being taken seriously and has listened to these people with re- spect beyond his years. Jacob has learned from my niece Kelly and her husband Doug about some of the tougher things about the military. Dougs cousin Jeffrey A. Boskovitch was a Marine who lost his life serving our country in Iraq on August 2 2005. Jacob has seen the banner honoring Jeffrey at his high school Jeffrey was a graduate of that school. Kelly and Doug have been straightfor- ward about what Jeffrey went through to be a Marine and about his ultimate sacrifice and yet Jacob remains focused on his path to be a Marine. While writing a quick note in a Christ- mas card two years ago I mentioned to an old friend of my parents that Jacob wanted to be a Marine Just simple an- nual sharing of how Jacob was doing. This friend responded with a note of encouragement and a suggestion to Google Young Marines. We had not heard of this organization and upon visiting their website discovered that this seemed to be a great path for Ja- cob to pursue. My thought was that this experience would either help him get over the Marine Corps or it would en- sure that he liked what he was planning to do for a career. Jacob graduated Young Marines re- cruit training as Young Marine Pvt. Ja- cob Stacko on July 27 2014. His focus and dedication to this program is driven by his goal to be a United States Ma- rine something I have no doubt he will achieve. One of the expectations of the Young Marines is to provide community ser- vice which Jacob has easily accepted. Sometimes the schedule gets hectic and there are family discussions of what events he will be able to attend so that he and the family wont be overloaded. Such was a conversation this past Thursday about attending the two hours-long event on August 8th in Par- ma Heights Ohio called Ohio Flags of Honor. Jacob was rather adamant about at- tending.We agreed on a schedule to en- sure that he would be Continued Jacobs Path -A Parents Source of Concern and Pride Page 22 ESPRIT Young Marines participating in Ohio Flags of Honor ceremony.. ESPRIT Page 23 able to attend both the opening and the closing of this event. We had not heard of this event be- fore and frankly had little time to re- search it. Our experience with service events has so far taught us that the Young Marines could be serving be- hind the scenes or they could serve as part of the event. Upon arriving at the Commons where the event was held I received a program of the evenings activities. As the event unfolded I realized that the Young Marines would be among those in attendance that would carry flags with the names of each Ohio ser- vice member fallen during the War on Terrorism. First family of those fallen carried their flags as announcers read the names of the service member A bell was tolled as each name was read. A one point it occurred to me that Jeffrey Boskovitchs name would be called.I listened intently as each name was called. It finally came time for Jacob to carry a flag and to pause in front of the an- nouncer for the name to be read and what name was read but that of CPL Jeffrey A. Boskovitch USMC. My heart stopped. I got chills and of course did what every mother would do and started to cry. Here was my son carrying an honor flag for some- one whose sacrifice we were aware of. While we never met Jeffrey we had heard of his life and sacrifice from Kel- ly and Doug. This was not just a name on a long list but someone who was known and loved by people we know and love. This was amazing and chilling at the same time. I began to tremble partly due to the coolness of the evening but more so from the thoughts running through my mind thoughts that I dont want to someday carry the flag with the name of someone I know my son. I can imagine thats the thought of many parents of service members I felt ashamed that I didnt want to go there but I knew that Jacobs intent for Service and Honor could possibly lead me there. I choose not to stand in my sons path a path that I know is purposed by God and a path followed by so many others whose names were called and whose flags were placed that evening. In this day and age my natural re- sponse was to text Kelly to tell her what had happened. When the service was over and with the sound of Taps having just concluded I texted Kelly to tell her of what had just happened. I talked briefly with her before being able to talk to Jacob.We marvelled that Jacob was able to carry Jeffreys flag. When I was able to talk with Jacob one of the first things I asked was How did that happen wondering if he thought to ask to carry Jeffreys flag. I learned that while waiting in the long line he was randomly given a flag. He felt obligated to read the name and was surprised to see that it was the flag honoring CPL Jeffrey A. Boskovitch USMC. He said he immedaitely held tighter to the flag to ensure that he would not drop it and that he was honored to carry this particular flag. After my initial surprise I just simply had to pay honor to God for how the event unfolded. A divine appointment with Jacob occurred that evening. A mothers fear sets in as I once again hope that Jacobs name is not among those of the fallen one day but God has soothed those fears by the re- sponses that Kelly sent me that she had received from the Boskovitch fam- ily. They shared how honored and thank- ful they were that it was Jacob who carried Jeffreys flag. Their apprecia- tion assured me that no matter what happens to Jacob that he is firmly in Gods hands. As Ive told Jacob many times you can go into the Marines but you cant go without God. I am so thankful of all of the friends and family who are so supportive of our Young Marine who is a source of pride for my husband Dave and I. We are thankful for the Greater Cleveland Young Marines for teaching the value of leadership to our youth. Our ulti- mate thanks rest with God who has provided this path for Jacob. His bless- ing is shown through the events that unfolded on that August evening in 2014 nearly nine years and one week since the passing of CPL Jeffrey A. Bos- kovitch USMC. I am so thankful of all of the friends and family who are so supportive of our Young Marine who is a source of pride for my husband and I. Sometimes people think that the Young Ma- rines dont ever have fun but this picture tells a different story This photo was taken on the return trip from Navajo Code Talkers Day this year. --Submitted by Hope Farnsworth Douglas County CO Douglas County On the Road Page 24 ESPRIT By YM Cpl Roman Grant Southeast County CA Last October I went with the South- east County Young Marines to the site of the Battle of Dominguez Rancho which is also known as The Battle of the Old Womans Gun which took place in what is now part of southern Los Angeles County in California. It was a great experience being able to be a part of the reenactment as well as seeing how people lived in the 1800s. It was very educational. I enjoyed being able to stop at the different tents and witness the daily events that would have occurred back then such as panning for gold creat- ing brick out of mud and straw and churning butter.As part of the reenact- ment I was able to play a role as a U.S. Navy sailor or Marine. My fellow Young Marines and I were able to advance with the other actors in a mock attack as part of the battle reenactment. I recommend this event to other Young Marine units in the Cal- ifornia area. It was a great day for our unit and a lot of fun. Learning About History The Battle of the Old Womans Gun By Keith Chapman Unit Commander Kaufman County TX The Kaufman County Young Marines spent the night in a church more than 100 years old while preparing to sup- port the Heritage Festival in Edge- wood Texas. The festival is an annual event the celebrates the towns begin- nings and brings together families from all over North and East Texas. Edgewood is a small community lo- cated some fifty miles east of Dallas. The Young Marines were invited to open and close the day by raising and retrieving the Colors. The Kaufman County Young Marines also decided it would be a good time to support our veterans and promote our message of living a drug-free lifestyle. Each one of these missions was accomplished by passing out stickers information pamphlets activity books and talking to those in attendance about both of these matters. The materials that we distributed were provided by the Wounded War- rior Project and the Young Marines Red Ribbon Week Campaign.The many people in attendance both young and old were very receptive to receiving such a positive message. There were questions and excitement at watch- ing the Young Marines perform drill in the afternoon. It was a great day and all the members of the Young Marines in attendance worked hard and did a great job representing our program. They also had a lot of fun seeing all the displays and eating some great food Semper Fi Kaufman County Young Marines Support Heritage Festival in EdgewoodTX By YMGySgt Abigail Bambilla Lewis and Clark WA Before going to Senior Leadership SchoolI had the attitude of just do your best and see what happens. Its a positive attitude but I realized I was also being passive. I think you should al- ways do your best so that no matter what hap- pens you know that you put in 110 effort. Ive come to learn that every step towards greatness or success requires a conscious decision start- ing with little things. Sometimes people can overlook or discount the small stuff when in reality theyre very important If you show that you pay attention care and do your best with the little thingsyou are also showing that you can be trusted with the big things. At a national school with 126 participants the windows for leadership positions were smaller. Aside from my one day as platoon guide I was simply a team member for the week. Never think that your part in what you do is in- significant or small. Its all perspective. Dont fo- cus on where youre not but how you can be the best in what you are now. So I tried my hardest to be the best team member I could be. It was worth it. You cant be passive about success you have to make up your mind to truly want it and be will- ing to work hard to achieve your goal. Make the decision to keep going to dig a little deeper run a little farther and jump a little higher. It makes earning things 100 times more worth it. Dont count yourself out ei- ther. Think positive thoughts and have a good attitude and youll be surprised at what you can accomplish. The choice is yours. A Vital Lesson I Learned at Senior Leadership School ESPRIT Page 25 By YM Sgt Nicholas Morrell Pensacola FL October 24th was the day that I would travel to Gainesville FL for the 1st Florida Regimental ALC . I had been anticipating the day since I learned that I was going. I was eager about this trip because it would be a place where senior Young Marines from across Florida could exchange ideas on how to improve the regiment. Saturday October 25th was the day I really anticipated. After morn- ing chow the Registered Adults and Young Marines separated into their own separate conference rooms and began exchanging ideas. I sat and lis- tened about ways to help improve the regiment and the program as a whole. Also the National Young Marine of the Year YM SgtMaj Blake Deweese sat with us in our conference room and helped discuss our topics with us. We separated into groups to come up with ways to organize a training plan and create a schedule of the years events. We came up with ideas on improving the regiment such as using Remind 101 Quizlet and having competitions in which all units in the regiment could participate. Later that evening after the con- ference we held a banquet to get to together and talk about some of the ideas mentioned earlier that day and I was among several Young Marines who had the privilege of meeting the Young Marines National Executive Di- rector Mike Kessler. During the banquet a number of guest speakers presented ideasthank- ing those present for their hard work and handed out various awards. In conclusion my experience at the 1st Florida Regiment ALC was amaz- ing. I had the chance to meet and talk with other Senior Young Marines from across Florida and met people from outside our state as well. I am glad that I was able to attend this confer- ence and will be able to bring a lot of the ideas presented here back to my unit and use them to improve as a leader as well. My 1st ALC Exchanging Ideas with Senior Young Marines Granite Mountain Young Marines Visit San Diego By YM PFC Austin Gammon Granite Mountain AZ The Granite Mountain Young Ma- rines recently went to San Diego CA. Twenty of our Young Marines boarded the chartered bus for a trip that was a fun experience.We arrived at the Wyn- dham Hotel where we stayed the next three days. The next morning our unit had chow then boarded the bus and we went to Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego where we were met by Sgt Woodeland viewed a graduation. We had chow at the mess hall at lunch time. After that we got to speak with the Marine Corps Drill Instructors. We returned to the bus then we went back to the hotel and we went swim- ming in the pool. Later on that eve- ning we played games.We returned to all of our rooms and had lights out. The next day we went to the USS Midway now moored at the Navy Pier and serving as a museum. We toured the ship and were able to try the simu- lators even our staff was trying them. It was a blast Then we had lunch on the USS Midway and after that we marched down the street to our boat and we got to tour more ships. We got to see the USS Ronald Reagan a mod- ern nuclear-powered supercarrier. Later after the boat ride we went to bed after chow. The next morning we went to Camp Pendelton then had a 7-hour bus ride back home to Arizona. Living History Week Learning About the Bataan Death March By YM PFC Devin Holm Oregon Cascade OR In the November of 2013 my father brother and I went to Evergreen Air Museum. At the Museum we met the last sur- vivors of the Bataan Death March. The survivors of the march were the nicest men you could ever meet and some were also very funny too. The stories the men told were out- standing and the things they went through were unimaginable. The men also said that the Young Marines are a great program and that it is good for children to teach the discipline that Marines and other sol- diers have. I not only met the survi- vors of the march but I also met an Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Jefferson who was a Tuskegee Airman in WWII and later a prisoner of war POW after bailing out of his plane which was damaged by anti-aircraft fire. He landed in a tree miles behind enemy lines. He stated that the Germans knew him better than he knew himself and the Germans also treated him bet- ter than his commanding officer. He wrote a book that discusses his life and it is titled Red Tail Captured Red Tail Freed . He signed a copy of the book for my brother and I. The final person that I met was a man from Los Spaniel and he is one of the greatest men I ever met. He gave my brother and I extra kudos for the Young Marines and he was the boy on the hill in the movie Raid at Dawn. He said that when he was at the Los Baos Internment Camp he and his brother were so malnourished that they ate the bugs in their food just to get some protein. When the raid on the prisoner of war camp occurred in February 1945 he said that not a single person was left behind or killed. Page 26 ESPRIT By YM Cpl Troy Murphy Miami Valley OH Last November the Miami Valley Young Marines conduct- ed our Qualified Field Encampment. We slept in tents the first night upon arrival since we arrived after sundown. We cooked our first meal in the field the next morning when my fellow Young Marines and I made oatmeal in our canteen cups. Then we were divided into two squads to begin our journey to set up campsites.With only the ponchos and tarps some of the Young Marines happened to packwe began construction on what would soon be our future homes later that evening. My shelter was a nice lean-to that two other Young Ma- rines shared with me. But before that there were plenty of classes and competitions to take our minds off of the cold winter chill. Our squads competed against the other in knot-tyingcamp construction and fire-building.After night fall it was each of us competing against the weather. As the temperature dropped to below 30 degrees it took all we had to stay warm and brave the night. Fortunately our units Young Marines braved the elements with the aid of our new fire building and shelter construction skills. Though the cold got to me on several occasions I am glad I attended the event and earned the Qualified Field ribbon with my fellow Young Marines. Miami Valley Encampment COLD but QUALIFIED ...after night fall it was each of us competing against the weather Editors Note In the Young Marines we speak a language that many people outside of our program might find a little confusing. Here is one example submitted by YM Pvt Cynthia Borka of Virginias Col. Wesley Fox unit. Bravo Zulu Cynthia By YM Pvt Cynthia Borka Col. Wesley Fox VA One day Pvt. James walked up the ladder topside to help with field day. Firstyou will start with the galley said his D.I. Aye Aye Maam said the Private. Next do the grinder said the D.I. Aye Aye Maam said James. The hatch ladder passageway port rack the skivvies and the topsidesaid the D.I. Aye Aye Maam said James. Then square away your cover stow your gear then get some pogey bait secure and stand by for further instructions said the D.I. Aye Aye Maam said James. Esprit de corps asked the D.I. Esprit de corps said Pvt. James. Dont forget to be here for morning colorssaid the D.I. Aye Aye Maam said James. Carry on said the D.I. So Pvt. James got to work right away. While James was cleaning the rack he saw a radio. When he turned on the radio radio Disney came on and he danced while he swabbed the deck. While James was tidying up his rack he started to get very hungry and he thought to himself Boy am I starving So he texted his D.I. and asked May I please get some chow Sure she said.First square away your gear. Aye Aye Maam said James. You should get the Gung Ho Award said the D.I. Thank you Maam said the Pvt. Then as soon as Pvt James finished he went back to his bunk and was finally done for the day. Leadership Teamwork Discipline and TALKINGthe TALK By YM Sgt. Kendra Base Eagle CA This tour left such a huge impression on us Young Marines that a little more than a year later we are still talking about the visit. The moment we entered and observed our sur- roundings we were impressed with so many pictures and posters of movies which Legacy Effects helped develop. At a glanceit seemed that there wasnt an empty space left on the wall to add another frame We received a VIP tour of the facility from John Rosengrant and Jason Lopes.Manyof you maynot recognize their names but you know who the Terminator Machine is the Hulk the blue creatures of Avatar or how about Storm Troopers from Star Wars Yes these are all projects designed and created by Legacy Effects. They are leaders in prototyping fabrica- tion concepts and design as well as 3D development scan- ning for the movie industry. They showed us what the company does to create the interesting and futuristic characters and creatures from the movies. It is a very detailed process which includes mul- tiple steps to ensure that everything goes to plan and the result is realistic. The first step is a computer generated drawing of the concept and design. Then a 3D printing machine prints out a smaller scale version of the character that they plan to create. After that there are different rooms where several processes happen such as weaving hair in a wig or creating eyes creating the skin of the characters body making the suits which some actors and actresses will wear while film- ing and even a room where engineers create hydraulic and mechanical systems creating something that is not yet real. While touring Legacy Effects I was continuously think- ing about other ways these methods could help our nation including our troops in a very personal way. For example before any of our military personnel are deployed they could have a complete body scan. With the 3D scanner we could scan a persons physical appearance and store the memory of the individual into a computer. The scanner de- tails so finely that each hair is located and each skin pore is detected. With this electronic capability and the use of the different processes that Legacy Effects uses to create a character we might be able to reanimate lost skin by put- ting it on or provide hydraulic legs in case military person- nel loses a limb. From other sourcessuch as Discovery Channel60 Minutes the Science Channel and other educational shows I under- stand that scientists are capable of making skin mechan- ics have created and are testing exoskeletons that assist people to walk in spite of paralysis and mechanical limbs are still being researched to respond to electronic impulses from the brain. With the technology that Legacy Effects uses the capability of scientists to use what is available is so much greater than what is actually being utilized and researched. The experience of touring Legacy Effects was a once in a lifetime opportunity. It showed Young Marines how to help others by the use of modern technology and that their ca- reer choices are infinite especially in the engineering and medical fields. There are many opportunities to serve your community and become a contributing young adult. Thank you to Legacy Effects Jason John for sharing your vision and talent with us Young Marines. Oorah Our Visit to a Hollywood Special Effects Studio A look behind the scenes captivates the imaginations in a Young Marines unit Members of the Eagle CA Young Marines unit received a VIP Tour of the special effects studio of Legacy Effects. ESPRIT Page 27 Page 28 ESPRIT By Harry Mercer Executive Officer Music City TN Music City Young Marines in Nashville TN is proud to recognize our former Young Marines who have gone on to join the military in several different capaci- ties. We are proud and it is very gratifying to have watched each develop from chil- dren to teenagers to young men and women. Each of them have bright futures and will impact our militarys future. Matthew A. Mercer is currently LCpl USMC Marine Security Forces PRP Kitsap Naval Base Silverdale WA. Zachary Zach Harris graduated from Parris Island SC in August of 2014 and in January 2015 ships out to Okinawa Japan. Clarence Leake also graduated from Parris Island SC in August of 2014 and is currently in Defense Information School Argonne Hills MD. Robert Turner is in his sophomore year in NROTC at Vanderbilt University. Jack Stovall is now PFC Jack Stovall USMC Naval Base Pensacola FL. Marine Avi- onics Electrical Technician Carson Ward is currently in his 2nd year in the Southern Polytechnic Marine PLC pro- gram. Netdao Nene Yuta- kom currently at US Naval Academy at Annapolis MD and Laquan Whatley ships out to Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island in the Spring of 2015. Proud to Recognize Our Former Music City Young Marines Netdao Yutakom 2nd year at Annapolis future Marine Officer By YMGySgt Abigail Bambilla Lewis and Clark WA Last September a small group of Young Marines and staff from my unit traveled from Vancouver to watch the new Seattle Young Marines unit graduate their first recruit class.We all met at 0500 at our regular drill site to muster for the 3-hour drive to Redmond WA. I was excited to be able to attend this event. The only graduations I had seen were from my unit so I was interested to see how another unit would handle theirs. When we arrived at the VFW post where the ceremony was to be held all our NCOs changed into their service Alphas. There were quite a few distinguished guests attending in- cluding Maj Kim of the United States Marine Corps. When I first saw the recruits standing by waiting for go time I felt the feelings I had with own graduation-- the butterflies nervous excitement and eagerness when you proudly earn the title of Young Marine. At 0900 everyone took their seats for the ceremony.After the soon to be Young Marines were marched in everything seemed to speed by. Words of congratulations buttons and blousing and re- ceiving the Basic Ribbon Award. I enjoyed the speech that was given by a Marine Captain and also getting to present our units challenge coin to the new Young Marines and proud staff members. But my favorite part of it all was the dismissal.These youths who had chosen to set themselves apart from their peers were released from their recruit training as they stepped into their Young Marines career. I felt honored to be able to witness that beginning. Going to the Seattle Young Marines first graduation was a special memory I will never forget. Honored to Attend a Units First Graduation Ceremony Drugs in the News Plenty of Real Danger in Fake Marijuana By Joe Bles Young Marines Inspector General Its bad enough we have to deal with the pressures to le- galize marijuana we also have to watch out for the Fake sometimes called synthetic marijuana as well. Recently a 14 year old took a product called K-2 Spice by another name overdosed and died. The chemicals in this product react dif- ferently to the user and that accounts for the danger. The simple solution is not to ever take the stuff and while youre at it warn all your friends not to as well. While youre at it remind those same friends about the dangers of Real marijuana. Matthew Mercer LCpl USMC Carson Ward 2nd year GA Polytech Future Marine Officer Laquan Watley Cpl in Music City ships out for Parris Island in June 2015 ESPRIT Page 29 By Gary Weisbaum Chief Marketing Officer As I sat down to write this Esprit article two of the Young Marines largest and most visible activities are top of mind. First the Young Ma- rines participation in the 73rd Anniversary Pearl Harbor Day Commemoration in Hawaii in December and the upcoming Reunion of Honor trip to Iwo Jima in March.These two events represent two of the three events the Young Ma- rines gain national and even international recognition for their efforts. And while these two power- ful remembrances along with our activities at Window Rock AZ each year with the Navajo Code Talkers garner the Young Marines organization great ac- colades and visibility they do not recognize what each of our Young Marines and Registered Adults are doing to support and honor veterans in each lo- cal community where there is a Young Marines unit. Every city andor town in America takes a little different approach to honoring veterans from every major U.S. Military engagement since World War I. In many me- dium to small cities and towns honoring veter- ans honoring all veterans is a part of everything they do. In some of our larger U.S. cities honor- ing veterans is reserved for specific holidays and celebrations throughout the year. For the Young Marines honoring veterans is a 365 days a year promise we make. Some of our Young Marines units have estab- lished relationships with their local Marine Corps League Detachments American Legion Post Ki- wanis ChapterVFWor one or more of many other veteran organizations.That saidover the last 10- 15 years as a result of Operation Dessert Storm Operation Iraqi Freedom and Op- eration Enduring Freedom many other veterans groups have loca- tions across the country. While most of these organizations are reputable and provide needed services for Americas veterans there are some that do not. To identify the quality organi- zations in your community that provide needed services to veter- ans of all ages check with your local government officials or vis- it If for any reason you are unable to identify a veterans charity or- ganization for your unit to work with please contact me directly at gary.weisbaumyoungma- I will be happy to work with you and your unit to identify orga- nizations with veterans in your community that need your help and will allow the Young Marines and the Registered Adults in your unit to embrace and honor veterans at a local level. My personal thanks to our Unit Commanders Registered Adult Volunteers and of course our Young Marines for their tireless efforts to sup- port and honor our veterans. Honoring Veterans Its in the Young Marines DNA ESPRIT Certificates Ribbons ... and Suspense By YMPVT Joseph Roberts Cherry Point NC The suspense of trying to figure out if you will make a good Young Marine is hard anyway but the hardest part about it is when you feel nervous about standing in front of everybody to get your certificate and ribbons. It can be hard at first but it is worth it once it happens believe me Graduations Congratulations to all our new Young Marines and to all those who taught and nurtured them. Good Work Unit Natchaug River CT Date December 2 UC Joseph Couture Honor Grad Ryan Zalewski Unit Swansboro NC Date December 12 UC Dana Cozzens Honor Grad Raymond Fioroni Unit Northern Kentucky KY Date December 14 UC Lynne Arnold Honor Grad Marc Greene Prsrt Std U.S. Postage P A I D PC Mailing Services 78217 Young Marines National Headquarters P.O. Box 70735 SW Station Washington D.C. 20024-0735 Congratulations Recruits By YMGySgt Copeland SSgt Jason D. Whitehouse VA I would like to congratulate Recruit Class 2014-02 on finishing Recruit Training on 20 November 2014. Our 13-week journey culminating in our weekend encampment is one we will remember throughout your time in the program. YMPFC Harris Honor GradYMPvt DammannYMPVT GrabarczykYMPvt Hepner YMPvt Sanders and YMPvt Washburn. OO- RAH and Semper Fidelis National Executive Director Mike Kessler presented the Life Saving Ribbon Award 3rd Degree to YMSgt Alfredo Mercedes for service as set forth in the following citation On July 30 2014 then Young Ma- rine Corporal Mercedes was filling the billet of Young Marine Corpsman for his Greater Cleveland Young Marine unit while on an encampment. During evening activities Young Marine Mercedes witnessed a fellow Young Marine collapse and recognized that he was having a seizure. Knowing this medical emergency was beyond his ca- pabilities he immediately took charge of organizing a proper response to the situation by sending others for assistance from adult medical officers and local rescue squads. Young Marine Mercedes immediate action un- der stress resulted in immediate proper aid. YMSgt Mercedes response in a critical situation reflects great credit upon himself his training in the Young Ma- rines and is in keeping with the finest traditions of the Young Marines program. Congratulations and well done YMSgt Mercedes Receives Life Saving Ribbon A Perfect PFT Score YM PFC Cruz Magee of the Southeast County Young Marines scored a Perfect PFT score of 500 on January 24th 2015. Young Marines and Unit Commanders-- Please submit your information including YM rank unit and date to Esprit Ssubmissions in our website.