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ESPRIT Volume 1 2016 By Young Marines For Young Marines National Headquarters Staff William Davis National Executive DirectorChief Executive Officer Joseph Venable National Deputy Director Joseph Lusignan Deputy Director West Coast Operations and Program Drug Demand Reduction Resource Officer Mike Tracy Director of Finance Robert Borka Director of Operations Gary Weisbaum Chief Marketing Officer Michael Guiles Director of Training Stephanie Guiles Director of Education Patricia Borka Director of Administration Alvin Hendricks Training Specialist Tim Kupper Xpert Media Management LLC Webmaster Service Mark Whittaker DES Inc. Database Developer Jaime Jasso Xpert Media Management LLC Editor Young Marines Esprit Board of Directors Chairman of the Board - William Smith Vice Chairman of the Board - William J. Walker Marine Corps League Liaison - Jim Laskey Appointed Member - Richard Yoder General Counsel - Herb Harmon Appointed Member - Angela Salinas Appointed Member - Melissa Crane Appointed Member - Howard Snow Appointed Member - Andre Hollis Invited Member - Gene Overstreet 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 2016 Division Young Marines of the Year YMSgtMaj Joseph Bacon Division One YMSgtMaj Caleb Maurer Division Two YMSgtMaj Cooper Johnston Division Three YMSgtMaj Serephina Gayle Division Four YMSgtMaj Matthew Carr Division Five YMSgtMaj Abigail Brambilla Division Six 2015 National Young Marine of the Year YMSgtMaj Lucas Ward Combined Federal Campaign Number CFC 2141 ESPRIT Page 1 Correction In our last issue the article on the Boulder Ironman run was incorrectly credited and captioned. The article was written by YMPFC Alexis Phillips of Douglas County CO Young Marines. We regret this error. From our National Executive Director Follow us on Facebook www.facebook.comusyoungmarines and our national homepage Spring Greetings Its hard to believe that we are already into April. We have been diligently working over the winter months to put the final touches on this years ALC and SPACES events. I am very excited about the events we have planned and am confident that you will be as well. I also know that there are lots of other great regional activities to augment our na- tionally sponsored events and hope that you are able to enjoy as many as possible. As I read through the draft of this issue I am touched by the stories that reflect the core values of our program. Your steadfast service to your communities our veterans and attention to our Drug Demand Reduction mis- sion are inspiring and I thank you for sharing them with us. Over the last 3 years Young Marines have provided over 1.3 Million hours of community service to our nation. Your com- mitment is inspiring and I know that you will continue to give in service to others. It was brought to my attention that one of our own performed one of the most humbling and honorable duties that can be asked of an- other YMSgt Segovianos presentation the National Ensign to the survivor of a military service member. I know fully the emotional challenge to oneself during such a memorial. That one so young was able to perform this task is remarkable. Please be sure to read his story in this issue - I trust that it will touch you as it has me. It is with great pride and pleasure that you are introduced to our new Division Young Ma- rines of the Year in this edition of Esprit. While our ranks are filled with those deserving of recognition there can be only one selected to represent each of our six Divisions. I have asked all of them to get out and about throughout their respective Divisions to meet you and I know they are already hitting the road. I look forward to getting to know these stellar performers better on our trip to Guam and Iwo Jima. Who will be on the cover of our next Esprit issue as the Young Marine of the year Well find out at the ALC I would like to congratulate our friends at Xpert Media Management XMM for their recent Bronze award from the Pyramid Award Competition. This is yet another award for the Closing the Gate on Drugs Program which also garnered the Young Marines a Fulcrum Shield award last fall from the Department of Defense. The XMM team worked closely with Joe Lusig- nan Mike Kessler and others to come up with this award winning program. Great job and thanks for being part of the Young Marines Team Remember that just because you depart or retire from the Young Marines does not mean that your affiliation has to end. Please consider joining the young Marine Alumni Association. For more information please be sure to read the article in this issue. Id also like to re- mind everyone that Chesters Supply Depot is open for business Our online store is being stocked with items requested by visit soon. In closing keep doing great things and make sure share your stories with us for publication in Esprit the Website andor Facebook. Stay safe and continue to make smart choices. Semper Fi Col Bill Davis USMC Ret National Executive Director Young Marines ESPRIT Page 2 As I read through the draft of this issue I am touched by the stories that reflect the core values of our program. From our National Young Marine of the Year Young Marines Xpert Media Management Honored for Marketing Excellence Closing the Gate on Drugs Wins Bronze Award in Internal Communications Programs Xpert Media Management XMM won a Bronze in the 2016 Pyramid Award Compe- tition sponsored by Promo- tional Products Association International PPAI. Thirty- Five Gold Silver and Bronze winners were recognized at the PPAI Awards Presenta- tion Reception held Janu- ary 12 2016 at the House of Blues in conjunction with The PPAI Expo in Las Vegas. The Pyramid Awards first introduced in 1958 have grown more relevant with time by recog- nizing campaigns that demonstrate the effective use of promotional products packaging and copywriting to create integrated marketing com- munications programs and quantifi- able results. Winners of PPAI Pyra- mid Awards are recognized for the outstanding creative use of promo- tional products in a variety of client programs and campaigns. We are very pleased to recognize Xpert Media Management with the Pyramid Award said Paul Bellan- tone CAE president and CEO at PPAI. XMMs dedication to so- lution-based selling combined with creative inspiration and the ability to deliver promo- tional strategies resonate with customers and deliver results. Xpert Media Management won the 2016 PPAI Pyramid Award in the category of Internal Com- munications for developing the Closing the Gate on Drugs in- formational package in partner- ship with the Young Marines. Winners were selected by a panel of industry professionals and indepen- dent outside marketing and adver- tising professionals. By YMSgtMaj Lucas Ward 2015 National Young Marine of the Year As my tenure as the National Young Marine of the Year winds down and I look ahead to life beyond the organization and my time in high school I am faced with tough decisions about where to go and what to do with my life. I know that these choices are those that everyone will face or has faced as a high school graduate. At 18 it is tough to decide what I want to do for the entire rest of my life. Fortunately I have a leg up as we all do because I have a set of skills from the Young Marines that most of my peers do not.I know that no matter where I end up I will be able to succeed because of what I have learned as a Young Marine. Additionally and more importantly I know that every Young Marine has the potential for success be- cause of the lessons learned in their time in the program. All of us know this already but the Young Marines is not a recruitment program for the armed forces and members arent required to join the military. In fact some of the best Young Marines I have ever known and most of my role mod- els in the program did not go on to join the military. It doesnt matter where we end up or what we are doing so long as we are the best at it. In the words of Mr. Alvin Hendricks It doesnt matter what you do.If you want to be a janitor that is perfectly fine but you better be the best janitor ever because you are a Young Marine. Being a Young Marine does not set us up solely for success in the military but but for success in every way for the rest of our lives. I encourage you as Young Marines to strive for success in everything you do both while you are in the program and after. The Young Marines will give you all the tools to succeed - being a leader and an example in the work- place being prepared to and working hard and being used to thinking quickly and calmly no matter what the situation - all of these things are skills that even basic Young Marines learn and all of these will help us succeed in the future.As long as you are happy with what you do in the future and you do the best you possibly can then you will truly have succeeded as a Young Marine. YMSgtMaj Lucas Ward 2015 National Young Marine of the Year ESPRIT Page 3 Adult Leaders Call or Click For FREE Samples 1-800-277-8989 CountryMeats.comsample Sell For 1 45 Profit 2016 Division Selections for VolunteersUnits of the Year Division 1 Volunteer of the Year Jeffery D. Edwards Natchaug River CT Unit of the Year Fall River MA Division 2 Volunteer of the Year Rebecca Anderson Southern Maryland Unit of the Year Southern Maryland Division 3 Volunteer of the Year Randolph M. Scott Albany GA Unit of the Year Orlando Devil Dogs Division 4 Volunteer of the Year Samuel V Bolds JPSO-3 LA Unit of the Year JPSO LA Division 5 Volunteer of the Year Tracie Fuqua Cincinnati OH Unit of the Year Greater Cleveland OH Division 6 Volunteer of the Year Ricki L. Schmidt II Eastern Mountain AZ Unit of the Year East Valley AZ The 2016 National Volunteer of the Year and National Unit of the Year will be announced at the Adult Leaders Conference in May. Division 1 YM SgtMaj Joseph J. Bacon 16 of Lud- low Massachusetts. He is a member of the Westo- ver Young Marines under the command of Edward Mitrook in Chicopee Massachusetts. Bacon is a ju- nior at Ludlow High School. Division 2 YM SgtMaj Caleb Maurer 15 of Brom- ley Kentucky. He is a member of the Northern Ken- tucky Young Marines in LatoniaKentuckyunder the command of Lynne Arnold. He is a freshman at Di- xie Heights High School. Division 3 YM SgtMaj Cooper Johnston 16 of Wakefield North Carolina. He is a member of the Capital City Young Marines in Raleigh North Caro- lina under the command of Doug Smith. Johnston is a junior at Wakefield High School. Division 4 YM SgtMaj Seraphina Fay Gayle 17 of Waco Texas. She is a member of the Heart of Tex- as Young Marines in Waco under the command of Henry Gonzales. Gayle is a junior at Rapoport Acad- emy High School. Division 5 - YM SgtMaj Matthew Carr 17 of Green- wood Indiana. He is a member of the Columbus Young Marines under the command of Scott Ri- ley. Carr is a junior at Greenwood Community High School. Division 6 YM SgtMaj Abigail Bambilla 17 of Van- couver Washington. She is a member of the Lewis and Clark Young Marines in Vancouver under the command of Brian R. Hildebrant. She is a senior at River HomeLink High School. These Young Marines represent some of the best and brightest young men and women from across our great nation said Bill Davis national execu- tive director and CEO of the Young Marines. They competed at the highest level. Each one of them is well on the path to future success as our next generation of leaders. Their communities divisions and fellow Young Marines should be proud of the accomplishments of one of their own. The six honorees are invited to the annual Re- union of Honor trip to Guam and Iwo Jima.The year 2016 marks the 71st anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima and the 72nd for Guam. Annually Ameri- can and Japanese veterans come together for re- membrances 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 es- corts for the veterans during the trip. The Young Marines named six division winners one of the most prestigious awards - the Division Young Marine of the Year. The winners will travel to Guam and Iwo Jima in the spring and vie for the title of National Young Marine of the Year in May. The division winners are Meet the 2016 Division Young Marines of the Year Winners Announced for Each of Six Divisions ESPRIT Page 5 YMSgtMaj Joseph J. Bacon Division 1 Young Marine of the Year YMSgtMaj Joseph J. Bacon joined the Young Marines at age 10 and currently he is in his sixth year in the program. He credits the Young Marines for teaching him leadership skills and the ability to speak publicly. His unit earned Best Overall Unit at a 2014 encampment. It also received three of the five awards including Best in Basic First Aid Best in Knowledge and Best PFT. Outside of the Young Marines Bacon likes to play football for his high school. He plans to go to college pursue a degree in engineering and be- come an officer in the military when he finishes college. YMSgtMaj Caleb Maurer Division 2 Young Marine of the Year YMSgtMaj Caleb Maurer joined the Young Marines at age 11 and currently he is in his fourth year in the program. He credits the Young Marines for teaching him discipline teamwork and integrity. Maurer has earned 32 ribbons in the Young Marines. He saved his sister when she was choking so he richly deserved his Life Saving ribbon.He earned a Perfect PFT ribbon for achieving a perfect score of 500 on a Physical Fitness Test. Another award he greatly values is the Honor Graduate ribbon for being named the best of his class in Junior Leadership School JLS. Outside of the Young Marines Maurer plays lacrosse and football. He hopes to serve one term in the Marine Corps and then go to col- lege and major in Graphic Design. YMSgtMaj Cooper Johnston Division 3 Young Marine of the Year YMSgtMaj Cooper Johnston joined the Young Marines at age eight and currently he is in his eighth year in the program. He credits the Young Marines for teaching him leadership skills through dis- cipline. He has won many awards but the honors he treasures most are in Academic Achievement Marine Corps League Commendation Veterans Appreciation Conservation Community Service Senior Leadership Communications Marksmanship a Young Marine Unit Commendation and Young Marine Achievement. Outside of the Young Marines Johnston enjoys working out learn- ing languages and playing video games. He plans to go to college earn a masters in engineering and become a Marine Corps officer. YMSgtMaj Cooper Johnston joined the Young Marines at age eight He has won many awards but the honors he treasures most are Veterans Appreciation Conservation Community Service Senior Outside of the Young Marines Johnston enjoys working out learn Page 6 ESPRIT ESPRIT Page 7 YMSgtMaj Seraphina Fay Gayle Division 4 Young Marine of the Year YMSgtMaj Seraphina Fay Gayle joined the Young Marines at age 12 and currently she is in her fifth year in the program. She credits the Young Marines for teaching her discipline teamwork and re- sponsibility. She has received 17 awards from the Young Marines including the Presidential Volunteer Service Award from President Obama the Project Alert certification and the Personal Achievement Award for the 1st Texas Regiment Young Marine of the Year. Outside of the Young Marines Gayle is a cheerleader and she enjoys sports. She also loves to travel. She hopes to attend Texas AM become a Cadet and graduate as an officer with a major in Kinesiology. Post college she hopes to further her career with the Marines and become a part of a rescue team serving as medic. YMSgtMaj Matthew Carr Division 5 Young Marine of the Year YMSgtMaj Matthew Carr joined the Young Marines at age 14 and currently he is in his fourth year in the program. He has completed two perfect physical fitness tests and taught a class of recruits as a nationally certified lead instructor. Currently Carr has a total of 34 ribbons many of which have stars and palms. Outside of the Young Marines Carr enjoys track swimming ad- vanced choir Environmental Club acting in school plays and musi- cals and being a member of the newspaper staff. After high school Carr wants to enlist in the Coast Guard as an Aviation Rescue Swimmer. YMSgtMaj Abigail Bambilla Division 6 Young Marine of the Year YMSgtMaj Abigail Bambilla joined the Young Marines at age 13 and currently she is in her fourth year in the program. She has won many awards but the honors she treasures most are the Commendation of Merit Recruit and Senior Leadership School Honor Graduate Young Marine Achievement Good Conduct Ad- vanced Leadership School Top Ten and the Presidential Volunteer Service Award Bronze Level. Outside of the Young Marines Bambilla is involved in her church youth group. Hobbies include reading photography piano and be- ing outdoors. After she completes high school her goal is to trans- fer to Washington State University Vancouver campus and major in neuroscience . She hopes to earn a doctorate in this field and work with veterans andor the military in some capacity. UNITMYYMGreetings from a Young Marines unit in Thailand Were you aware that there is an affiliate Young Marines unit in Thailand Well there is and its led by retired Master Gunnery Sergeant Radford Mays. Last summer they went to EOD-Beach at U-tapao where you could rent an unusual beach cottage shown at right fabricated with part of a retired C-47 transport aircraft. Enjoy the pictures and if you want to cor- respond with themyou can write to Radford Mays JUSMAGTHAI Box R 3490 APO AP AP 96546-9998 USA. Ramps for Warriors Out of Respect for Their Service Among the San Antonio Young Marines are some dedicated teens who know that community service is one of the highest callings.They are particularly proud of a program called Ramps for Warriors. Some veterans are on fixed incomes and cannot afford the cost of hiring a contractor to build a wheelchair ramp. Our unit assists these veterans by building ramps. Through Ramps for Warriors a veteran in need of a ramp may have one custom-made by our Young Marines and adult vol- unteers.The veterans pay nothing and the pride our Young Marines earn from this service is priceless. The veterans genuinely appreciate the work done by our Young Ma- rines. This service is possible through fundraising and donations. Our Young Marines host barbeque fundraisers and participate in 5K events to raise money so that we are able to give back to our veterans who have given us so much through their duty and sacrifice. With several years of ramp-building experience behind them the San Antonio Young Marines plan to continue offering these services to our veterans. Our Young Marines are the leaders of tomorrow leaders who know how to serve and give back. -- Submitted by Christopher Redman Training Officer San Antonio TX Young Marines Several Santa Clarita Valley Young Marines had the opportunity to meet former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin last December. She was signing cop- ies of her new bookSweet Freedom when the room filled with Young Ma- rines. Palin took the opportunity to shake the hand of every Young Ma- rine and thank them for serving the community and honoring their country.Ms.Palin also thanked staff members Mark Sears and Adjutant Cathy Hagopian for their service to the Young Marines and giving their time. Thank you for all you do to help these kids love America. They are our future and I cant thank you enough stated Pal- in. She then stood and instructed us all to gather for an impromptu group photo. Photo L-R Adjutant Mrs.HagopianStaff member Mr. Sears YMLCpl. Carlon YM Cpl. Sanchez YMSgt. Chandler YMLCpl. Corey YMSgt. Segoviano Sarah Palin YMPvt. Cortez YMSgt. Lepine. Submitted by Mark Sears Executive Officer Santa Clarita Valley CA Young Marines Santa Clarita Valley We Shook Hands With Governor Sarah Palin Page 8 ESPRIT By YMCpl Austin Gammon Granite Mountain AZ Last November the Granite Mountain Young Marines attended a CPR class con- ducted by the Chino Valley Fire Depart- ment. Seventeen Young Marines were present. It was a lot of fun and I am so glad that I am now CPR certified and Ive earned another ribbon. The Granite Mountain Young Marines also attended the Marine Corps Ball and participated in a parade on Veterans Day. Im CPR Certified CBRN Marines Demonstrate Awareness and Preparation By PFC Bryant Rivera Eagle CA Eagle Young Marines went to observe CBRN ChemicalBiologicalRadiological and Nuclear Train- ing at Camp Pendleton CA. First we received an orientation about CBRN. It was amazing to learn about the equipment that Marines use in training. After the orientation we formed groups and went to the different stations. My teams first station was the Vehicle station.We were shown the CBRN gear used on the different parts of the vehicle there.Then we were shown the high pressure hoses used for decontamina- tion of vehicles. The next station was the Suit and Gas mask station. There are three different types of suits. We were shown how to put the suit on with the gas mask. It was really bulky and hot but the suit would protect us from the dangers of chemicals in a contaminated en- vironment. There was an explanation of how the filters work blocking the chemicals but allowing air through so we can breathe. Camp Pendletons CBRN Marines were very knowledgeable and it was obvious that they really cared about their duties. I thought learning about the CBRN for the Eagle Young Marines was a great opportunity. I am grateful for my parents enrolling me in the Young Marines I enjoy going to the Young Marines on Saturday. By YMSgt Grace Clayton Billings MT Hello Young Marines This year has already started great for my unit I have been in the Young Marinessince I was 11 years old its true that time flies when you have fun and I am currently in my junior year in high school. Since I joined in 2010 these have been the best years in my life. Ive learned to overcome my fear of speaking in public in- cluding at graduations and I am currently the Chaplain for my unit.The unit itself is the best that I have been involved in and though we are small in number we are strong for a small group We have currently have 30 Young Marines enrolled. I dont know what would have happened if I had not joined. The Best Years in My Life On My Birthday I Fought Zombies By YMSSgt Micenna Brooks Etowah Valley GA Last October the First Georgia Battalion Young Marines went to visit the Glock factory with Mr. Kessler and Mr. Davis the Young Marines former and current National Executive Direc- tors. When we first arrived We split off into two groups. The group I was in observed a Firearms Safety Course and the other group of Young Marines started out with the simulators. Most of the Glock representatives were military or law en- forcement veterans and we thought that was pretty cool.When my group went to the simulators we had a simulator shooting competition and we battled zombies. This was an amazing op- portunity and I am glad that I was able to spend my birthday visiting the Glock factory with some amazing people. Only in Texas The Worlds Biggest Pecan We performed a color guard for the opening ceremony of the Pecan Museum in Seguin Texas last November. The pecan industry is important to the area around Seguin Texas. At one point the area supplied the majority of the pecans for the United States. Now many of the pecans are being shipped overseas as well. The agricultural com- munity felt it was important to bring information about the growth in Seguin and future of the trees to the community and built this museum. Our Young Marines were honored to participate and met many special guests including a representative of the Agricultural Commission for the State of Texas. -- Submitted by Dina Dillon Unit Commander Guadalupe Valley TX Young Marines Young Marines in front of a really BIG Pecan... MY YM UNIT ESPRIT Page 9 By YMLCpl Ryan Douglas Bodnarik Capital City NC This past September the Capi- tal City Young Marines lost a very important person James Haslam USMC Ret. who passed away af- ter a lengthy and courageous battle with cancer. He was the founder of our unit and a huge influence on the lives of many youth and adults involved with the Young Marines program. My mom often tells the story of how my Grandpa Deans friend Mr. Haslam would invite us each year to come and watch the Memorial Day Parade downtown. As a toddler I would try to reach out and grab at the Young Marines as they marched past the crowds. Mr. Haslam would laugh and smile and sayIts okay Ry. Youll get there one day. And now I am a Capital City Young Marine. I owe it to Mr. Haslam and his vision for this unit. I know that I speak for the Capital City Young Ma- rines when I say that he was an inspiration to so many in our unit and will be missed by all. Semper Fi Mr. Haslam. We love you Capital City Remembering Our Units Founder Mr. Haslam with Capital City YMs. Why I Volunteer A Committment to the Young Marines One day while I was patrolling the streets of San Antonio Texas I passed a parked car that blared obnoxious music. The teens who were gathered around it stared down onlookers. I called for another unit and upon their arrival we approached the group of youths whose ages were between 13 and 17 years. Upon checking their IDs I learned all had previously been in trouble with the law.They were respectful to a point but it was a mocking respect Their poor at- titudes were apparent during our con- versation. But as they opened up about their home lives I shuddered... I thought to myselfIs this their fault or the fault of their environment As I returned to my regular duties I couldnt get those kids out of my mind. I have three sons Robert Christopher and Samuel. Although I am not a rich man my sons have never wanted or been without. They dont know what its like to go to bed and wake up hungry scared or unloved. I could not fathom what that is like. I felt and still feel genuine sorrow for those young men who will never know peace and unconditional love. This is why I volunteer. I am ever-pres- ent in my sons lives focused on all that they do. I want them to see their father side-by-side with them in everything. I want to help mold them into leaders and fine young men. And to that endnot so long agosome- thing extraordinary happened I began to volunteer with the San Antonio Young Marines. Before I knew it I seemed to gain over forty new sons and daughters. Not only was I trying to shape my sons but now I directly impacted the lives of dozens of kids. And I want success for all of them. I want them all to know that someone believes in them. That is another reason why I volun- teer. All adult volunteers have made this commitment to their Young Ma- rines. You can either believe in the youth of our city bringing them up and in- stilling the best in them or you can just drive by those kids on the corner hoping that someone else will take the initiative and believe in them. -- Submitted by Christopher Redman Training Officer San Antonio TX Young MarinesMr. and Mrs. Christopher Redman with two of their three sons. JAMES HASLAM 1929 - 2015 Before I knew it I seemed to gain over forty new sons and daughters MY YM UNIT Page 10 ESPRIT ESPRIT Page 11 By YMPVT Nicholas Waltrip Hamilton MD HamiltonYoung Marines participated in many events to raise awareness for Red Ribbon Week. Each day that week we set up at different locations throughout Baltimore MD asking that people sign our banner pledging to be drug-free. During Red Ribbon Week we filled up two large banners with signatures from children and adults. It was encouraging to see people signing our banner tak- ing the pledge to be drug-free. Knowing that people signed our pledge banners makes me happy because it shows they are drug free just like me. Many people said they were proud of us for being in the Young Marines and living a healthy drug-free life. Our unit also received several proclama- tions including one from the Governor of Maryland Larry Hogan and one from the mayor of Baltimore Stephanie Raw- lings-Blake. My unit also had the MDTA Police Department visit us and give a K-9 demonstration and talk to us about the dangers of drug abuse. I think that Hamilton Young Marines learned a lot during Red Ribbon Week. Im proud to say Im a Young Marine. Hamilton We Learned a Lot During Red Ribbon Week One Young Marines Opportunity to Learn About South Korea Scenes from an unforgettable trip YMSgt Mark Rigano travelled to South Korea and took part in ceremonies that honored the ties between the people of both nations. By YMSgt Mark Rigano White Plains NY I have been a member of the Young Marines of White Plains for four years and hold the rank of Sergeant. My unit is the oldest continuously-running Young Marine unit in the country and my Unit Commander Mr. Lucian Caldara has been leading it ever since it was founded fifty years ago. It was an incredible honor to be se- lected to travel with Mr. Caldara to Seoul South Korea last September. He had served in the Marine Corps and was stationed in Asia. I was very excited to learn I had been selected to go on this trip the experience was far more incredible than I could have ever imag- ined. Visiting South Korea was the greatest experience of my young life. It was an invaluable experience and opportunity to be able to immerse myself in the cul- ture meet wonderful people and study the history of Korea first hand. The experience was made even more incredible because throughout the trip Mr. Caldara and I were in the company of a retired Republic of Korea Marine Sgt Maj Kyung-Seo Kang who is also the Chairman of the Korean American Friendship Association. He guided us as we visited many historic locations and public landmarks such as the Demilita- rized Zone the Inchon landing site the National Cemetery several museums and military outposts and bases. At the Demilitarized Zone or DMZ I was given a private escort by a ROK soldier into a tunnel excavated by North Koreans in an attempt to infiltrate the city of Seoul. The DMZ was established at the end of the Korean War to serve as a buffer zone between North and South Korea. At the strategic port of In- chon we saw an incredible re-enactment of the U.S. Marines sur- prise amphibious landing on the 65th anniversary of this historical event. On September 15 1950 the U.S. Marines recaptured the port from the North Korean troops. U.S. Army Gen Douglas MacArthur successfully led the United Nations and South Korean forces in the battle to recapture the South Korean capital of Seoul from the North Korean Peoples Army. This battle is considered to be one of the most decisive military operations in modern warfare. At the National Cemetery I was treat- ed as a special guest and participated in a ceremony honoring fallen South Korean veterans. On the stage adorned with memorial floral arrangements and flanked by both a ROK Marine and a Korean Naval Seaman I placed a white flower on the altar be- low the South Korean flag. Following the ceremony I joined more than 30 Kore- an Marine veterans for din- ner at their annual meeting. I reflect on my trip and my unique experiences were not ones of a tourist but more of a guest who was treated as a VIP on every occasion. I concluded my trip by reconnecting with a childhood friend from elementary school. I had not been in contact with him since he and his parents moved to South Korea several years ago. We had dinner at a local restaurant walked around Seoul and talked about the things that hap- pened in our lives since he left the United States. Throughout my visit I found the South Korean people to be very kind and generous. I returned home with some unique gifts to go along with my many incredible experiences. Semper Fi By YMSgtMaj Athan Bennett General Raymond G. Davis GA It is a privilege to stand before city councils and county commissioners and ask them to proclaim the last week of October Red Ribbon Week. My unit has participated in Red Ribbon Week for many years This year several council mem- bers noticed I grew a few inches since last year. They know me now and I feel comfortable speaking before them. It is an honor to meet with Nathan Deal the Governor of Geor- gia. Getting the opportunity to speak with the Governor and receive a proclamation from him is always a pleasure. This year our fourth visit together was no exception. An even higher honor was given to me this year. I was in- vited by my high schools Principal to speak in front of the entire student body of my high school Pickens High School in a Red Ribbon Week assembly. I felt honored because the principal could have chosen a popular school athlete or per- haps the president of the student council. But Dr. Lameau chose me because of all the press coverage he had seen Our local paper ran four articles about me receiving proclama- tions from the Governor of Georgia Pickens County Commis- sioners and a few other towns in our county. In my presentations I begin by telling the Enrique Kiki Camarena story and how his death gave life to Red Ribbon Week. I conclude my presen- tation with a simple encouraging message about living drug free. I was a little concerned that some students would make fun of me because too many of them think using tobacco alcohol and drugs is something cool or popular to do... But its anything but cool or popu- lar I have seen the damage drug abuse causes in peoples lives. Instead of anyone making fun of me I received a standing ovation much to my amazement Several students later complimented me on my presentation and my uniform. Young Ma- rines opens the door to more opportunities each year. I dont know how next year can top this one. But Im determined that it will Semper Fi Metro Atlanta Recognition and Our Best Red Ribbon Week Yet Our unit was happy to share with our community the im- portant message of being drug-free. We participated in three events where our Young Marines shared valuable life-changing information on gateway drugs. In October our Young Marines shared with Hope Ranch Learning Acad- emy. There were more than 40 people in attendance at this event. Then the following day one of our local schools Challenger K-8 also invited our unit to set up a booth at their fall festival. Our Young Marines walked among the crowd answering questions and shared the im- portance of living a drug-free lifestyle. Our last and final Red Ribbon Week presentation was held on October 26 2015 at Spring Hill Christian Academy. We had more than 300 partici- pants attend this event includ- ing the school principal various school staff and students in third through twelfth grades. Many of the participants learned about drugs and the slang terms used on the street The school princi- pal was absolutely thrilled with what we had to share. Red Rib- bon Week items were passed out to all attendees. We were invited back to all locations to educate and promote Red Ribbon Week next year. Our Young Marines are proud of what they stand for. Once these events were com- pleted YMSSgt Jordan Poe qualified for his DEA device. Way to go Young Marines -- Submitted by Candi Cook Unit Adjutant LCpl Brian R. Buesing FL Young Marines We Were Very Busy During Red Ribbon Week in Florida Page 12 ESPRIT ESPRIT Page 13 By Joseph Lusignan Young Marines Drug Demand Reduction Resource Officer For the last five years or soProject Alert has been our curriculum. From corner to corner of our nation and all points in between it gives us the opportunity to teach a standardized curriculum to all of our Young Marines so that we can ensure that our Young Marines re- ceive the same education regard- less of the name of their unit. So why did we turn to Project Alert Drug Demand Reduction is the center pole of our tent as it is the reason that Congress funds our program. In fact our funding comes under the Department of Defenses Drug Demand Reduc- tion umbrella. But with most of our adult leaders coming from a drug free background it is not a subject that many are intimately familiar or comfortable with. We needed a curriculum that people who are not experts in the field of drug abuse could teach. Then a teacher AND one of our adult vol- unteers introduced me to Project Alert. So what is Project Alert Taken right off the website the Project ALERT curriculum was created and test- ed by the RAND Corporationa nonprofit nonpartisan research organization. De- veloped over a ten-year period Project ALERT addresses the pro-drug mindset of todays teens and effectively increas- es their likelihood to remain drug-free. Project ALERT is a free classroom based substance abuse prevention program thats proven to reduce the experimen- tal and continued use of drugs. Through a series of comprehensive lessons Proj- ect Alert motivates students against drug use cultivates new non-use atti- tudes and beliefs and equips students with the skills and strategies theyll use to resist drugs. Its been proven to Motivate students against drug use. Provide skills and strategies to resist drugs. Establish new non-use attitudes and beliefs. It consists of Fourteen eReader downloadable lesson plans Eight online interactive student videos Twelve projectable classroom posters Online teacher training A certificate of training completion Toll-free phone support and online technical assistance An electronic newsletter So how do we use it In addition to Registered Adultswe also have our high school aged Young Marines 14 and old- er become certified as instructors so that they can develop public speaking classroom management and leadership skills. In classroom settings they teach their peers and younger Young Ma- rines the Project ALERT Curriculum. The classes are interactive with scenarios input from the students and informa- tion on current trends and realistic cur- rent events. The individual instructor logs in to Pro- and registers for the in- structor training. HeShe then takes the training individually moving through each lesson one at a time. At the conclusion of the training they will receive an emailed certifi- cate of training. Email the link to the certificate to me at DDRyoungmarines. com. Please indicate in the email the name and unit that the in- structor belongs to. I will enter it into the database on the instruc- tors behalf. Once you email me the certifi- cate youre ready to teach your Young Marines. Download the lesson plan prepare yourself to perfection and then deliver the best class your Young Marines have ever seen. An additional benefit of teaching Project Alert is that with the abil- ity to state that your Young Ma- rines have been educated through a standardized curriculum doors often open more readily when you are looking to do presentations for schools churches or other youth orga- nizations. With this education and utilizing mate- rials from our Closing the Gate on Drugs initiativeother youth and adults see the validity of the efforts were making in trying to entice our communities to lead a healthy drug free lifestyle. And did I mention its free An Outline and Explanation of the Project Alert Curriculum Described as 100 digital and 100 free Project Alert gives us the opportunity to teach a standardized curriculum to all of our Young Marines. A Season forA Season for Communities Giving to our Upstate Every Kid Deserves a Little Joy at Christmas Submitted by the Upstate SC Young Marines We were inspired to share the joy this holiday season by working closely with the USMC and Harley Davidson of Greenville SC as they collected Toys For Tots by hosting the 13th Annual Toy Run on Saturday November 21 2015. The primary goal of Toys for Tots is to deliver a message of hope and a new toy to less fortunate youngsters. The opportunity to be involved in this type of community service had a huge impact on our Young Marines. We tell their stories below I felt joy when the group of motorcyclists came to help kids less fortunate and felt pride with working together with the Marines... I loved every second of this event and would be happy to do it again.- YMPvt Donovan Mack Giving back to those in need reminds me of all that I have. I am blessed more than I will ever know more than I will ever need and more than I will ever want.This event is at the heart of the Young Marines Lead- ership values.We demonstrate love to our community by working together and lead- ing an event that gives to those less for- tunate. Oorah- YMCpl Jake Flynn I was surprised at how many motorcyclists were veterans. I felt honored to be able to help the Marines and to be part of an orga- nization that they support and I was happy to see that kids who dont have much will be getting very nice toys and that so many people cared.- YM Pvt. Daniel Kocsis I was thankful to be able to help the Marines and felt happy and wanted to do more things like that. YMPvt Joseph Kocsis Having participated in the toy drive at the Harley Davidson dealership several times I get a familiar feeling of happiness. This is because I think of the children that will benefit from all the toys donated.Its always a pleasure to help those who put so much into a great cause. Its great to be helping children that dont have all we do and it warms my heart that I am helping those who are a part of my com- munity. YMGySgt Ryan Jackson I thought that it was amazing in the turn out so many people showed up. It felt good to be a part of an organization that helps people who are less fortunate. YMPvt James Hyman I was filled full of joy that I was able to help the Marines and it was great to see how many bikers brought toys. I enjoy helping others that need help. I hope that those in need had a great Christ- mas. YMPvt Tony Guthrie It was a great experience I was amazed at how many people came out to give a toy to make a child smile at Christmas. It gave me a great feeling to know that a lot of kids are go- ing to be happy on Christmas Day. YMCpl. Eric Avalos Wow is the first thing that comes to mind when I think about this event. Each year Im more and more amazed at how our communi- ty comes together to help those in need The bikers just kept comingbringing toy after toy. It didnt take long before that military Convoy truck was slammed full Being a part of this event is truly a blessing. YMSgt Jonathan Gray II Above Left Upstate Young Marines helping to collect Toys For Tots. Page 14 ESPRIT ESPRIT Page 15 Last December our unit participated in Wreaths Across America. This event took place in Salisbury NC at the Salisbury National Cemetery. We joined friends veterans and familes to honor fallen veterans at the annual wreath-laying ceremony. It was a rewarding experience this holiday season for our unit to assist with the placing of wreaths on the soldiers graves in support of Wreaths Across America. - Submitted by Alvin Chanthirat Unit Webmaster Mecklenburg County NC Young Marines Mecklenburg County Supporting Wreaths Across America Young Marines Help at a Senior Facility in Florida at Christmas... In a program called Be a Santa to a Senior LCpl Brian R. Buesing Young Marines FL Young Marines assisted Home Instead Senior Care in wrapping gifts for needy seniors in the community. - Submitted by Candi Cook Unit Adjutant LCpl Brian R. Buesing Young Marines FL By YMGySgt Tyler Smith Chino Valley CA There are so many things we should be grateful for family friends a home and especially our veterans. Veterans past sacrifices allow us to be able to experience the things we most love today. On the sixth of December 2015 I was honored to share a magnificent day with veterans at the West Los Angeles Vet- erans Hospital. During the course of the day our unit spent time going from room to room giving veterans Christmas gifts and thanking them for their service. During one of our stops a couple of Young Marines and I had the pleasure of meeting a WWII veteran Mr. Riley as well as other veterans. It was inspiring just being able to see the joy on their faces as they took some time to share with us great stories about their lives and their outlooks. It was one of the greatest experiences for me and for my unit. For me it made me stop to think and realize what the Christmas season is really about its a special time to give back not expecting anything in return. Chino Valley West Los Angeles Veterans Hospital Holiday Celebration Cross Roads We Also Volunteered at a Feast of Sharing Event A few Cross Roads TX Young Marines were ready to do their part in their community at the Dorothy Garrett Coliseum in Big Spring TX. Young Marines helped serve more than a thousand people with delicious ham dinners with all the trimmings and of course lots of pie. Shown here are YMPFC Nik Armstrong YM PFC Ryker Grove and YMPVT Chance McMurray. - Submitted by Carrie Rodman Adjutant Cross Roads TX Young Marines For the past three years the Cross Roads Young Marines look forward to volunteering at Christmas time by collecting needed items for our Military who are deployed.The holidays can be a lonesome time for our military men and womenand our Young Marines like to make it brighter and give them a piece of home from the Big Spring Community. We collect everything from candy games puzzle books snacks toiletries DVDs and Christmas music and well wishes or whatever else we can fit into these small gift boxes. The Christmas for the TroopsAdopt A Military Hero orga- nization has asked us every year for our help and each year weve accumulated great donations from the community and the businesses in the surrounding areas. Our Young Marines battle frigid temperatures and long hours on their feet but they love it They always love staying longer than their as- signed shifts.We also help assemble the boxeshelp organize the items to be shipped and assemble their candy Christmas sleighs. Attached is a photo from some of the troops in Ku- wait who have received our Christmas boxes. Our Young Ma- rines enjoy giving back to our Military.This is one of our great accomplishments during our Veterans week. Young Marines heroes dont wear capes they wear dog tags - Submitted by Carrie Rodman Adjutant Cross Roads TX Young Marines Thanks from Kuwait Cross Roads Volunteering for Christmas for the TroopsAdopt a Military Hero By YMPvt Madilynn Bruce Lapeer County MI Ive been in the Young Marines for two years now and I have many good things to say about it. We do a lot of positive things in the community and are always looking for more ways to help. One event that I took part in this year was the Toys for Tots drive at Ray Cs Har- ley Davidson Dealership. Before I arrived for the Toys for Tots event I was not sure what to expect but I wasnt expecting a lot of people to participate. Im glad to say I was wrong. When I arrived that morning one of the big donation boxes was already filling up. I was surprised to see that people had already dropped off so many gifts so early . It warmed my heart to see so many people giving so freely to those less fortunate. The cold and windy weather didnt prevent people from giving. Most of them where bikers. Before when I pictured bikers in my mind I thought of a group of people who are mean or rude. Im glad to say that I was again wrong. The men and women who showed up were very kind and brought many gifts. Some spoke with us about what we wanted for Christmas and told us to have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year. I now look at bikers with a new respect and I see that they are no different from you and I. The employees at Ray Cs were very nice to us. They were having a chili cook off that day and they let us taste both kinds one was made with beef and the other was venison meat from a deer. The venison was yummy I learned some valuable lessons while helping out that day I learned that its not what I get for Christmas but what I can do to help others and how I treat them. I learned that I need to respect people and never judge them by the way they look. I thank my unit and Toys for Tots for this oppor- tunity and allowing me to help out and learn these lessons. Lapeer County Toys for Tots and Learning a Few Valuable Lessons Page 16 ESPRIT ESPRIT Page 17 A very special thank you goes out to everyone who donates and supports the Toys For Tots program sponsored by the United States Marine Corps. Our unit has strong ties with the Conrad Kania Detachment of the Marine Corps League and working together we have helped many children enjoy Christmas. YMCpl Wohlleben of the Western NY Young Marines unit assisted Randall Rid- er of the Conrad Kania Detachment of the Marine Corps League load more than 400 toys and delivered them to the Buffalo Naval and Marine Reserve center. - Submitted by Kris Rider Adult Volunteer Western New York NY In Western New York TiesToys and Tots Wreaths Across America Delivering Respect by the Truckload By YMSgt Jonathan Gray II Upstate SC This past December the Wreaths Across America cam- paign came to Arlington Na- tional Cemetery in Arlington VA. Trace Adkins performed his hit song Arlington at the opening ceremony. That day 280815 graves were adorned with Christmas wreaths by more than 70000 volunteers. Some were there to place wreaths on a family members grave and the rest were there to show their respect.This was my first visit to Arlington National Cemetery. To visit on such a special day made it even more memorable. My family and I walked to the cemetery from our hotel in Pentagon City and as soon as I entered the front gate I was speechless. Ive seen the images of Arlington but nothing could prepare me for what I saw that day. I stood silently overwhelmed at the sight. As far as I could see in every di- rection were the graves of our nations heroes. Here resting in peace were the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice so that I could be free. I regained my composure and I walked for miles. It occurred to me that many of the graves hadnt been visited in quite some time. Im not able to express the feelings I had standing on this sacred ground among these heroes. After the opening ceremony we made our way to different sections of the cemetery to a transfer truck filled with 4000 wreaths. While I was standing in line one headstone under a tree on a nearby hill caught my eye. I asked my mom to save our spot in line and I walked to the grave. Once I got to the grave I kneeled down to get a closer look. Two stars were on this headstone. He began as an enlisted Private in December 1941 and retired a Major General. This was the grave where I chose to place my first wreath. Once I received my wreath from the truck I made my way back to the Generals grave. Before I placed the wreath I made sure it was perfect. I knelt down to place it at a 45 degree angle against his headstone and I bowed my head in a moment of prayer. I made my way back to the truck to get another wreath we were allowed only one at a time. I then went to locate the grave of a familyfriend who was killed inAfghanistan fiveyears ago. Placing a wreath at his grave was ex- tra special to me. My dad and I spent a lot of time here as we were feel- ing very close to our friend. Once again no words were spoken. I looked to the right and saw a man kneeling. One hand on the top of the headstone and the other hand cradled his face as he wept. His wife close behind him with her arms around him. My heart broke for them. We then observed a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns. A changing of the guard was in progress as I approached. I watched as the sentinel took his twenty-one steps. The twenty-one steps are a reference to the twenty- one gun salute which is the highest honor given any military or foreign dignitary. I noticed the sentinel did not execute an about face. This is intentional and so is the meaning. He stopped on his 21st step then turned and faced the Tomb for 21 seconds.He turned to face back down the matchanged his weapon to the outside shoulder for another 21 second count. Thats when he started another 21-step walk down the mat. This was impressive to watch We finished the day with another wreath ceremony at Presi- dent John Fitzgerald Kennedys grave. The eternal flame was intense. I was amazed that this flame has burned at Presi- dent Kennedys grave since November 25 1963. His grave is aligned with the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Mon- ument and the view is spectacular. I will always remember these moments at Christmas in years to come as I decorate my own tree with my family. The memory of these heroes are etched into my heart and mind forever. Every July the Conrad Kania Marine Corps League Detachments sponsors Marine Appreciation Day in front of a beautiful Marine Corps Monument lo- cated on River Road in North Tonawa- nda NY. Here Marine Corps League Members along with The Western New York Young Marines State Senator Robert Ortt oth- er local politicians and guests honored the sacrifices made by past present and future Marines. The Western New York Young Marines Color Guard presented and retired the Colors YMSgt Justin Reisman rang the bell as the names of each fallen Marine from Western New York was read and YMCpl Chris Wohlleben played Taps. The rest of our unit assisted with set-up and tear-down and assisted the Wom- ens Auxiliary with their basket raffle. On November 7th our Color Guard presented the colors at the Marine Corps Ball held by the Conrad Kania Ma- rine Corps League Detachment. In addi- tion to presenting the colors our other Young Marines assisted at the doors and coat check. YMCpl Wohlleban pre- sented Mr. Dickman Commandant of the Conrad Kania MCL Detachment a plaque from our unit in gratitude for their support of our unit. A special sur- prise this year was the announcement of our former Unit Commander Mr. Gary Eichler as Marine of the Year an award well-deserved. - Submitted by Judy Link PaymasterAdjutant Western New York NY Western New York Observing Marine Appreciation Day Chino Valley Every Flag for a Hero on Veterans Day 2015 By YMCpl Destin Smith Chino Valley CA As I saw all the heroes graves I recalled the observation that freedom doesnt come free. All those buried here died so that we can be free to do things that people in other countries dont get to do. When my unit Chino Valley Young Marines visited Riverside National Cemetery we had the privilege of starting the ceremony with our Color Guard and after that we placed flags on graves. As we placed the flags we respectfully saluted. I realized that days such as Memorial Day or Veterans Day represent more than just fed- eral holidays or days out of school these days are set aside to remember those who put their lives at risk or sacrified their lives so that we can live in freedom. Im always willing to pay respect to those that have given their life for my freedom. At the end of the morning it became more personal as we all had the opportunity to lay flags at the grave of the grandfather of one of our very own Young Marines. This was very special to us and to the family. Veterans Day should be celebrated every day not just one day and Im glad that Young Ma- rines take the time to dedicate an entire week to thank all those who have served and protect- ed our country. A flag and a respectful salute. Young Marines Appreciating Remembering and Giving Back VETERANSTo Our Page 18 ESPRIT ESPRIT Page 19 By YMMSgt Dylan Jones Fall River MA I had the pleasure of helping out at the Three Harts Farm a farm dedi- cated to helping dis- abled veterans. This was created by Na- than Hart founder of the Nathan Hale foundation a service that provides disabled veterans free transportation to hospitals and doctors appointments. Their goal is to give dis- abled veterans a peaceful environment to escape the stresses of life and seek therapy from their injuries. Three Harts Farm is a small farm located in Plymouth MA where veterans can tend to plants in a quiet and calm environment. The farm gets its name from three genera- tions of the Hart family who have served in the military. The farm has wheelchair ac- cessible flower beds filled with various vegetables and other plants for the vet- erans to tend to.The farm has small fish ponds that help give the farm a medita- tive environment. Seeing the potential of this farm two other Fall River Young Marines YMGySgt Beckett Kiernan and YMLCpl Jeremy Vallon and I decided to build and paint five flower boxes. We placed them along a walkway in the farm.We also donated several other ma- terials and a small fish pond to go with the others. I am proud to help such an amazing organization because it gives me great honor to know that I have been able to give back to our disabled veterans. Fall River We Gave Back to Our Veterans at Three Harts Farm By YMGySgt Cooper Johnston Capital City NC America is a country founded upon the sacrifices made by those who serve. From the Minutemen to the military that is currently in the Middle East theyve fought and died to secure our freedoms . Unfortunately veterans sacrifices arent always recognized. The Capital City Young Marines put forth a strong effort when it came to Veterans Appreciation this year. One of the adult staff members was able to ar- range an event at a Home Depot where veterans employed there received a tri- fold flag in a display case. Compared to their sacrifices this was only a small token of our gratitude for their service to our country. You can receive an unimaginable amount of satisfaction from making someone smile this is just another way to do it. The disappointing part about the experience is realizing that appre- ciation is shown to veterans on only one day a year. It can be so simple to show and give thanks to our veterans I believe they have earned far more than just one day of appreciation. Where would America be without them Capital City We Presented Our Local Veterans with Flags A gift honoring their service. and give thanks to our veterans I believe they have earned far more than just one day of appreciation. Where would America be We Marched in Veterans Day and Christmas Parades in Florida Our Young Marines marched in the Brooksville FL Veterans Appreciation Parade. Our unit is proud to give recognition to our local veterans. We received many compliments from the sponsors and those watching the parade and we have been invited to attend next years parade. Our unit was also proud to march in the Brooksville Kiwanis Club Christmas Parade. Some of our Registered Adults Joseph Cook B.K. Tenaro and Jennifer Davis handed out more than 500 flyers with information about our Young Marines unit to spectators along the parade route. We are excited about the possibility of new recruits joining our unit. Our color guard for our unit included YMSSgt Zachary Tenaro YMGySgt Joshua McDow YMSSgt Jordan Poe and YMSSgt Jonathan Ricci. We participate in this parade annually. The parade route is a 2.7 mile hike down Howell Ave. in historic downtown Brooksville. - Submitted by Candi Cook Unit Adjutant LCpl. Brian R. Buesing Young Marines FL By YMPFC Mariela Cazares Eagle CA Earning the title Eagle Young Marine was difficult and also interesting. This is my story. I joined the Young Marines in August 2015 because I want- ed to secure my future get along with others and also join the fun. Its taught me how to work with others and work with those older than me.Recruit Training wasnt always funit was something that Id never do for anything or anyone else. Re- cruit training was the most intensive activity I have ever done in my whole life. The adults teaching were demanding and had a very busy schedule for us. The morning waking up or reveille came very early and was the hardest for me especially since I had never slept anywhere elsewhere else besides my parents home. My first night at Recruit Training I couldnt sleep. Running in the morning was a lot for me to take but I got through it because I would tell myself just take it little by a little. All of the physically challenging things like exercis- ing taught me how to get rid of my anger by working with others and doing things for one another this is also known as teamwork. At first getting dropped off every Friday eve- ning was a scary nervous feeling that I didnt especially like. I was so scared of making a mistake and afraid of having to take responsibility for any of those mistakes. But after several weeks I was not making mistakes. I started looking forward to Fridays and going to recruit training It felt good after that. On the morning of graduation day we had a Firefighters 911 Remembrance Hike. We were hiking with the City of Fallbrook CA firefighters that were carrying stretchers up to the top and back down the hill that had an elevation that matched the height of the World Trade Center Towers in New York. We helped each other not leaving anyone behind. The firefighters kept motivating us.Firefighters just like U.S. armed forces are trained to leave no one behind. After the hike there was a ceremony a Final Roll Call naming all the firefighters who lost their lives on 911. Then it was time to put on the Young Marine uniform.As I put my uniform on I felt very proud of myself for my accomplishment I know I might have quit if I didnt have my teammates support. I really enjoyed learning about map reading and compass navigation. Ive also learned how to cope with bullying and peer pressure at school and in my neighborhood. I thank my parents for allowing me to join. I thank Mr. and Mrs. Siegmann for all of their support and confidence in me. Earning the Title of Young Marine A Recruit Tells Her Story By YMCpl Theodore Burns Oregon Cascade OR This year I began my last full year in the Young Marines. Over the past three years I have been involved in more things than I could possibly imagine from volunteering at the local VFW to taking part in community anti-drug events such as Red Ribbon Week. Ive had a chance to get out in the commu- nity in this outstanding program. Even at regularly scheduled drills I have the opportunity to learn and grow as I never have before. Everything that happens during the day from teaching DDR classes on the fly to leading morning PT to helping train new Young Marines as an Assistant Recruit Instructor leads me to live by the Young Marine core values of disci- pline leadership and teamwork. Most importantly I have found not only friendship but family in the Young Marines. It doesnt matter how old they are or what rank they hold or if Ive nev- er seen them before. At Junior Leader- ship School I was surrounded by three hundred fellow Young Marines of differ- ent ages ranks and units. Most started out as complete strangers but when I left I felt as if I were leaving part of me behind. All of this the unique life experiences the leadership skills and self-discipline and the close bonds I have formed over my time in the Young Marines will help me as I grow into my adult life. No matter what I choose to do or where I go I will always be able to look back on my time in the Young Marines and draw from these experi- ences as I move forward to accomplish my goals. Semper Fi Young Marines My Last Year as a Young Marine Preparing for a Full Life GRADUATION SEPARATION From To Looking forward and taking a look back Page 20 ESPRIT ESPRIT Page 21 The Jacksonville NCYoung Marines recently retired two of their senior Young Marines YMMSgt Kyle Byrd and YMMSgt Alexan- dria Lexie Cline. Upon the celebration of high school graduation they both were officially retired surround- ed by fellow Young Marines staff and family members. Kyle Byrd graduated from Southwest High School and will be leaving for Parris Island SC in August 2016 to serve proudly in the the United States Marine Corps. Al- exandria Lexie Cline graduated from White Oak High School. Af- ter 3 months of training in Parris Island SC Lexie officially became PFC Cline USMC on 31 October 2015. She has graduated from Marine Corps Basic Training and is currently preparing to begin her next journey in her Marine Occu- pation School for three months and soon thereafter will be posted to her first duty station. So Kyle and Lex- ie know that your Young Marines fam- ily and friends are very proud of all of your accomplish- ments. We KNOW you both will do great things in the journeys ahead of you. Semper Fi - Submitted by Missy Cline Unit Adjutant Jacksonville NC Young Marines Jacksonville Retires Two Accomplished Young Marines Kyle and Lexie as Young Marines PFC Alexandria Cline USMC A Young Marine From Texas Bids His Farewell to the Program By YM1stSgt Isaiah Thompson Tarrant County TX Sometimes you ask yourself What does it truly mean to be a Young Ma- rine As you look back on your career in the program you realize how far youve come. Its al- most like writing an essay for an English class. When you put so much time into writing that paper to include every de- tail describing ev- erything you try to paint a picture for the reader. You soon reach the last few lines and you simply write the two wordsTHE END. Looking back on myYoung Marines ca- reer is just like composing that essay for English class except I realize that writ- ing those last two words isnt as easy as I thought it would be. Sometimes those last two words mark the end of one story but the beginning of another. I can say Im truly thankful for all the amazing gifts I have been blessed with from being in this program. Since the first day of recruit training I was told The Young Marines makes leaders. I know how true that state- ment is today and it will remain so. I also found that being a leader brings forth opportunity I have been given the opportunity to meet new people people who I will consider my family forever. I call them family not just be- cause we wear the same uni- form or because we marched in the same platoon but be- cause we share the same love of something big. Something I was told as I progressed through my ca- reer is that I should aspire to inspire others. Thats one major key to being a leader. Its such a humble feeling when somebody you taught at Leadership School says theyre going to go home and tell their unit all about youand how much youve helped them. Thats a rare gift that is given to you by putting every ounce of motivation into everything you do. Thats what inspires that little 8 year old to want to be like you. Thats what makes your entire unit want to listen to what you have to say. As Young Marines you should be do- ing this every daybecause the only easy day was yesterday.Always look to better yourself. Now you can fully understand why writing these last two words can be so hard. When youve put all you have into an amaz- ing program like this the Young Marines will always give you something back always So I thank my Tar- rant County Young Ma- rines Unit for allowing me to expand my family. I will stay humble for all that I have achieved with you and I will look forward for all there is to come. With that said I can now say I am ready to write... THE END I would now be able to graduate and become a Young Marine By YMPFC Efren Rodriguez Jr. Capital City NC This past fall my fellow Young Marine recruits and I went on an encampment in Mt. Olive NC. The first night I was on fire watch with a buddy and we had to walk around our tents and make sure that there were no disturbances on the camp site so that everyone could get a good nights rest. The next morning we exercised and ran a mile on a trail through the woods. We also completed an obstacle course. It was very hard because we had to cross a creek and swing on a rope from one bank across to the other. I really enjoyed singing all of the cadences with my fel- low Young Marine recruits on the encampment. I was very excited to see my family waiting for me when we returned home. They were proud that I completed my Young Marine encampment. I would now be able to graduate and become a Young Marine. A Young Marine Attends the Military Youth Caucus Kick-off By YMSgtMaj Michael Borka Fairfax County VA On WednesdayNovember 18ththe Young Marines Sea Cadets and various members of Congress came together for the official kick-off of the Military Youth Caucus. This organization has been established to help secure federal funding for both programs and will also bring the two youth organi- zations together as sister programs. We came together at the Sam Rayburn build- ing in Washington DC for the event with four Sea Cadet units and three Young Marine units Manassas Fairfax County and Nations Capital along with National Headquarters staff all in attendance. We opened with a joint Color Guard made up of members of both the Young Marines and Sea Cadets who did a phenomenal job. Additionally two twin Young Marines led the Caucus in the Pledge of Allegiance as well as a Sea Cadet singing the National Anthem. Next the two leading Congress members addressed the Caucus. First was Congressman Duncan Hunter a Marine Corps veteran along with Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo who both are incred- ibly excited to see what we can do with this new Caucus. Finally two testimonies were given one from myself and one from a senior ranking Sea Cadet.We both talked about our experiences within our respective programs and how they have made such an impact that will affect us for the rest of our lives. Thanks to this Caucus both of our programs will be able to achieve new heights that we never thought possible giving both organizations a bright future ahead of us. By YMSgt Christian Segoviano Santa Clarita Valley CA Last October staff member Mark Sears received an urgent phone call from the president of one of the non-profit or- ganizations our unit partners with for a lot of community service projects. Su- zon Gerstel president of Prayer Angels for the Military had requested an honor guard from the U.S. Army because her uncle a Korean War veteran had passed away and they were having a celebration of life service. Mrs. Gerstel tried to work with the lo- cal U.S. Army recruiting office but over several days was not able to get a re- sponse or confirmation. Staff member Mark Sears got a call from her asking if it was possible for the Young Marines to do an Honor Guard for the event to be held the next day. He contacted a unit staff member Mr. Gallegos to help out. Mr. Gallegos had contacted me to ar- range for two Young Marines to honor this fallen hero. I called YMSgt Christopher Chandler to see if he was available to do the event. Luckily he was.I informed him to dress in his Charlies with ribbons. We were both picked up by Mr. Sears and arrived at the event at approximately 1230 hours. We were given the flag to be presented to the widow and rehearsed the proto- cols for folding the flag. The ceremony was held at a community center near where Mrs. Gerstels uncle lived and was attended by a large number of his fam- ily friends and neighbors and two Young Marines dressed in Charlies. When the ceremony started nerves kicked in YMSgt Chandler and I got a little nervous as neither one of us had ever done anything like this before. I had been told to present the flag to the widow so I was a bit more nervous.I had practiced what to say all the way to the event. We were finally called to the front. We unfolded the flag presented it then refolded it keeping it taut and respected. It was so quiet that the only thing you could hear was the click- ing of cameras as we made each fold. When the folding was complete YMSgt Chandler presented it to me. I accepted it in crossed arms. He rendered a hand salute then stood at attention. I performed a left face and slowly approached the widow who was seated in the front row. I knelt on my right knee placed one hand on top and one hand below the flag. On behalf of the President of the United States and a grateful nation I present to you this flag in honor of your loved ones service to this great country. That phrase was one of the hardest phras- es Ive ever had to say in my life. The most difficult thing was maintaining my bearing not showing emotion at a very emotional moment. After the event many of the retired mili- tary there complimented us on our profes- sionalism. I overheard one man say it was one of the most professional presentations he had ever seen. When Mr. Sears was asked how he thought the ceremony went he said I have never been more proud of these Young Marines than I am right now. I will never forget this day. One of the Hardest Phrases Ive Ever Had to Say in My Life... The most difficult thing was maintaining my bearing not showing emotion at a very emotional moment. Page 22 ESPRIT CONNECT ENGAGE INSPIRE WWW.YOUNGMARINES.COMALUMNI TYPE OF MEMBERSHIP COST BRONZE 25 SILVER 40 GOLD 50 ASSOCIATE 99 MISSION The mission of the Young Marines Alumni Association is being a vital partner in the success of Young Marines Through meaningful engagement and support of lifelong connections the Young Marines Alumni Association aims to strengthen all Young Marinespastpresentfuture. VISION Creating lifelong connections to engage alumni and inspire Young Marines. WHO CAN JOIN The Young Marines Alumni Association is open to former youth members of the Young Marines national youth organization. Current and former Regis- tered Adult Volunteers are invited to join as Associate members. VISIT US ONLINE FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT US ONLINE FOR MORE INFORMATION CORE VALUES Connect Fostering alumni relations and mentoring Young Marines. Engage Providing opportunities for both alumni and Young Marines. Inspire Inspiring Young Marines and its alumni through shared experiences. WHY JOIN Join the thousands of alumni in supporting the Young Marines youth or- granization with further building the network of alumni staying connected with Young Marines engaging again in the program to continue inspiring and motivating Young Marines as we once were. JOIN TODAY 5th Battalion California Encampment Beauty and Obstacles By YMLCpl Keira Base Eagle CA This Summer our unit had the privilege of attending the 5th Battalion Beach Encampment. This was my first Battalion Encampment. The units that attended included San Gabriel Valley LCpl Kenneth Worley Southland and Eagle. My first thought was this will be fun and will be very testing because I saw the obstacle course just next to the encamp- ment site.The first thing we did that day was set up our tents. In the evening we received our Encampment brief discuss- ing rules and regulations on how to conduct ourselves. Then we were assigned Firewatch. I stood watch at 0100-0200 with several other Young Marines from the other units. As we performed our duties we looked at the stars the Big Dip- per and other constellations we also could hear and see the Pacific Ocean. The sound of the waves hitting the beach was truly beautiful. The next day we had a demonstration of the Marine Corps Obstacle Course. The Marines helping us taught us that 50 percent is technique for overcoming each obstacle. Then we were formed in groups of four each from different units. We started from the Pushup Position. The four of us soon found out that we needed to work together to climb over and through each obstacle I had trouble on the last obstacle. All Young Marines were so motivated that the Battalion Com- mander gave us the opportunity to go through the Obstacle Course a second time. We were rather tired by the time we reached the last obstacle the second time.We were also really hungry. We said our prayers and our breakfast really tasted good. After breakfast the Battalion Field Meet started. The Senior Young Marines picked teams from each unit and then we had the O-Course Competition. All the Young Marines were motivated and cheered on their team mates.After we were donewe got our swim gear on and went to the beach. We started the rest of the Field Meet. We had Volleyball Tug of War and Firemans Carry. Each unit had teams competing for several hours. The adults prepared the burgers and hot dogs. Then we had time for swimming and building sand castles. I learned that for many of the Young Marines this was their first time at a beach. In the evening we ate more chow and cleaned up the beach site. I was excited to get assigned Firewatch again. It is so beautiful on the campsite on the beach. The last day we con- ducted a police call and packed up our tents. After breakfast we had the announcements of winners of the 5th Battalion Field Meet. The LCpl Kenneth Worley Unit won most of the events and were the 5th Battalion Field Meet Champs. It was wonderful to meet other Young Marines from around other parts of California. I am grateful that my parents enrolled me in the Young Ma- rines and thankful for all the volunteer adults for everything they do for the Young Marines. Sixth Division Units Assemble for a Day of Competitive Events By YMGySgt Tyler Smith and YMCpl Destin Smith Chino Valley CA Last February a Sixth Di- vision competition was held. The units present were South- land Santa Clarita Southeast County Tustin San Gabriel and finally my unit Chino Val- ley Young Marines. We started the day by watch- ing my units first place Drug Demand Reduction video. Af- ter that Young Marines from each unit could choose between taking an academics test based on Marine Corps history or competing in the half mile relay race. The race was a lot harder than I expected since we had to carry our units guidon which slowed us down. After the race we all got 15 minutes to relax for the bike Relay which included all the senior Young Marines in each unit. Addi- tional competition events that day included a tricycle race between the units seniors in charge and a free for all dodge- ball competition. Finally six Young Marines had the privilege of playing the Police Explores in a game of basketball while other Young Marines who werent able to play cheered them on. Of course the Young Marines won The final score was 41 to 20. YMGySgt Tyler Smith was named MVP. Throughout the day the Young Marines encour- aged and supported each other. Every Young Marine strength- ened each others knowledge and abilities to do more. After the game all the units gath- ered together to accept our medals. Southeast County Young Marines took honors in every cat- egory and had all the trophies but at the end of the day we all held our head up high with big smiles.Young Marinesyou all rock and it was a fun and exciting day meeting old friends and making new ones. We had the opportunity of meeting our Young Marines Na- tional Executive Director Mr. Bill Davis who I believe had a great time with us. Spirited competition among Sixth Division Young Marines. Page 24 ESPRIT Camp Chesty Puller Full of Instruction Ceremonies and Fun By YMPFC Youssef Tomas Music City TN Last October we attended Camp Chesty Puller in Tennessee. Mr. Mercer our Unit Commander placed a portrait of Chesty Puller near the sick bay signsarea and explained to us that Puller was the most decorated Marine in Marine Corps history. We were incredibly busy at this camp Friday afternoon the moment we placed our sea bags down we got into formation with roll call and Young Marine promotions were announced. Our parents stayed to watch and a retirement of colors cere- mony immediately followed.This really seemed emotional for some with most never seeing this type ceremony or knowing just how unserviceable flags are properly disposed. Our YMLCpl Boswells dad is an accomplished bagpipes player. We are so fortunate to have him play during the flag ceremony. Many of my fellow Young Marines including me are very proud to have such a talented musician associated with our unit. Afterwards our parents stayed for a pizza party and two birthday celebrations one for a Young Marine PFC and the Young Marines 50th Birthday Saturday included a CPR class which all Young Marines and recruits passed. We were cer- tified by Mark Riley a retired Air Force SSgt and a certified EMT. Our recruits also received basic first aid class from Mr. Mercer our Unit Commander. YMGySgt Northcutt went over rank structure and leadership traits using JJDIDTIEBUCKLE. YMCpl Ducatman taught all Young Marines and recruits knot tying in accordance with the guidebook. He then gave us examples of situations where a young person would need to know these skills. Ms. Northcutt our female adult leader kicked off Red Rib- bon Week. She got us fired up for the late October event with Red Ribbon Week handouts and a lot of fun items. With Red Ribbon Week handouts and a lot of fun items. Ms. North- cutt even hand made a Red Ribbon flag to hang on the flag pole under our National colors... well how cool is that We had so much fun taking pictures by the camp banner Drug Free for Kikiwith us all adorning Red Rib- bon Week items. We watched a video that told Kiki Camarenas story. Saturday night Ms. Northcutt announced the Red Ribbon Week Young Marine of the week who took a strong interest in Red Ribbon Week ideas and asked for stickers to take to his school. YMLCpl Ricardo Ruiz has the title RRW Young Marine of the week until next year. Later in the day we had fun in the woods learning Map and Compass Land Navigation and Orienteering Mr. Mercer and YMGySgt Northcutt had set four different courses through the woods for four teams. We learned to use a map and a com- pass to find ten stations in the woods. I was on team Four last place but Ill be ready next time. While in the woods YM GySgt Northcutt and YMCpl Ducatman instructed us how to build a lean-to shelter from sticks and string to survive in the woods against elements a useful thing to know. When we gathered around the campfire we went over our General Orders leading up to fire watch on Friday and Saturday nights. Mr. Albert YMRecruit Scotts dad brought MRE meals ready to eat for Saturday lunchWhile they are good we were really ready for burgers and fries Saturday night. Our adult lead- ers worked really hard on the food for camp cooking pan- cakes very early in the morning.Yes food at camp is a favorite among us Young Marines but my question for is can YOU top all the great activities we did this weekend I cant wait to go back to Camp Chesty Puller in Spring of 2016 By YMLCpl Jacob Smith Space Coast FL This past October I was given the opportunity to attend the First Florida Regiments Adult Leader- ship Conference representing my Young Marines unit. I learned so many new things about my regi- ment its leaders and my regiments amazing Young Marines. For an entire weekend I learned alongside numerous Young Marines and adult staff members in an ef- fort to make our regiment the best that it can be. Being from the smallest unit in my regiment I was proud to be chosen to attend such an event and learn new things such as the amaz- ing history of our regiment and new ways that the units can combine fun activities and Drug Demand Reduction lessons. I worked with the other Young Marines to find new ways to bring the regiment together and give Young Marines opportunities to gain new experiences through the program. Because of this conference I now realize so much more that I can do through this program as a Young Marine to benefit my unit and even the entire regiment and I was honored to see a Staff Sergeant from my unit be announced as the Regimental Young Marine of the Year. I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to attend this con- ference and I look forward to doing so much more with my unit and the other Young Marines around the regiment and nation. Gaining New Insights at a Regimental Leadership Conference ESPRIT Page 25 Eagle What We Saw at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library By YMLCpl Santiago Robles YMPvt Aaron Robins and YMPvt Ian Bryant Eagle CA Last April the Eagle Young Marines unit went to the Ronald Reagan Presi- dential Library in Simi Valley CA. The Library was a walk through Reagans life and presidency. We saw exhibits about Reagans childhood years in high school and later playing football at Eureka Col- lege in Illinois. We then moved on to an exhibit de- scribing his political activities leading up to his election as Governor of Califor- nia. It showed the wonderful things that make California great. We then learned about his campaigns for presidency of the United States of America. In 1980 he was elected to the presidency and began to work on his campaign to lower national debt and improve the economy. The Presidents personal airplane Air Force One is also at the Library. When we entered Air Force One we walked through his personal office a security detail station his workspace and the secre- tarial work area. Then we entered the Berlin Wall historical exhibit. As we entered we watched a video of how his actions helped bring down the wall and strengthen Americas role as a world leader. President Reagan worked for freedom across the world. President Reagan was a respected president who valued freedom and in- spired the people with hope. His lasting legacy was raising America out of debt and calling for the destruction of the Berlin Wall in Germany. First Lady Nancy Reagan also was in- volved with Drug Demand Reduction. She started the Say No to Drugs movement which worked to fight drug abuse in grade schools and high schools across the country. She spoke from the heart and gave hope to children in America and the world. When we have an opportu- nity to learn about our former presidents we want to thank our God our countrys lead- ers our many services mem- bers who have served and those now serving who have allowed us to live in freedom in this great nation. We would also like to thank our adult mentors for the many hours they work. And thanks to our parents for allowing us to join the Young Marines and inspiring us to have a better life. Ronald Reagan 1911-2004 40th President of the United States. Our Visit to Floridas Big Cypress National Park Preserve By YMPFC Abygail Gonzalez PFC Bruce W Carter FL Our unit went on an exciting wa- ter hike through the swamps of Big Cypress National Preserve in Ochopee FL last July. Big Cypress National Park Pre- serve was the First Preserve in the Nation. We were wondering what was going to be lurking beneath our feet was the water going to be muddy. As we ventured into the swampsto our surprise the water was clear and trans- parent all around us. For a few hours we became one with nature pointing out exciting new sights taking in the experience learning about cypress trees the devastation caused by the ambrosia beetle that is destroying all the Bay Leaf Trees in South Florida with a high risk factor of infecting all Bay Leaf Trees in the United States. Along with sighting birds grass- hoppers crayfish we enjoyed walking into thigh high water and experiencing the muddy surface beneath our feet. This was a great opportunity we all shared YMGySgt Troup YM Sgt Lopez-Kebreau YMLCpl McAr- thur YMPFC Cseko YMPFC Lopez- Kebreau YMSgt Villalobos YMPvt Bryant and I YMPFC Gonzalez and it is one that will help us with our Conservation Projects. The best part of our trip was enjoying ourselves as a group making memories that will last a lifetime.It was an amaz- ing experience. Our unit enjoys its time together in the swamp. By YMCpl Jeremiah Thomas Capital City NC Earlier this year I had the opportunity to take a trip to the mountains of Tennessee with the Capital City Young Marines. We arrived on Friday night where we set up our campsite. The next day we went horseback riding. Later that day we hiked up Roan Mountain which was actually very relaxing once we got to the top. After that we headed back to the campsite for dinner and enjoyed some free time before we hit the rack. We were up bright and early the next morning to go to Julian Price Memorial Park where we hiked a short ways to a waterfall that was shaped like stairs. That was really cool because I dont think Ive ever walked down a waterfall We were there for a couple of hours and we all got to know each other a little better. After that we packed up and started the drive back home. Overall it was a pretty amazing trip and one I would recommend that you take. Hiking up Tennessees Roan Mountain Page 26 ESPRIT By YMGySgt Kendra Base Eagle CA There is great significance in being named a Jimmy Trimble Scholarship recipient. It be- comes evident when sitting with individuals of great stature and achievment such as Apollo 11 astronaut Edwin Buzz Aldrin and Hershel WoodyWilliams a Medal of Honor recipient. Leaders and trailblazers sur- rounded YMSgtMaj Jonathan Jimenez and me. Elinor Otto WWIIs Rosie the Riveter a Doolittle Raider and distin- guished guests sat on either flank of our table. One by one they rose to receive their honors and shared the stage as a U.S. Navy Heritage Center Official told their stories. During our trip to Washington DCvet- erans and active military duty personnel presented us with the Jimmy Trimble Scholarship. On that day some of the most incredible individuals presented us with a college scholarship. We will also accompany Reunion of Honor Vet- erans to walk on the black sands of Iwo Jimas beaches and climb to the top of Mt. Suribachi. Learn- ing history directly from those who fought for our free- doms is an honor and a privilege. We will see their emotional faces as they recall the battles fought on sacred ground where both Americans and Japanese fought and died. This March will be a personally transfor- mative experience for us and a healing one for the veterans whom we will accom- pany. As we looked around us at the Veterans Center it oc- curred to us that these people looked like normal well dressed individuals - until they were invited on stage and their heroic stories were told. It was ab- solutely enthralling and surprising at the incredible people we had talked to at the reception. Some have given ev- erything to their nation while one en- deavored to reach the stars literally Being given an impactful insight into our Nations past comes with the re- sponsibility to tell their stories to future generations. At the end of our Young Marine career we are being given great opportunities to help set us on a path to becoming effective leaders and con- tributing adults in our society. Our countrys heroes lead their lives with purpose and service which we can only hope to emulate. The Young Marines program teaches us to honor those who have served so dont be shy to shake the hands of vet- erans and thank them for their service. Jimmy Trimble Scholarships Presented to Two Young Marines YMGySgt Kendra Base and YMSgtMaj Jonathan Jimenez Receive Honors YMSgtMaj Jonathan Jimenez and YMGySgt Kendra Base. YMSgtMaj Jonathan Jimenez and YMGySgt Kendra Base with Medal of Honor recipient Hershel Woody Williams. By YMSgt Brooke Montgomery Mountain View CO It was my first time to participate in National Navajo Code Talkers Day and it was truly a blast I met some amazing people. But one of the best parts of this very special event was getting to know other female Young Marines On the bus ride thereI had a chance to get to know a lot of female Young Marines from different units and grew closer with the few from my unit. I met an amazing Lance Corporal on the bus ride. We ended up talking for about an hour and a half its amaz- ing how much you can learn about someone when youre on a long bus ride with them. After we arrived we received our room assignments and we were told to go to our rooms and relax. I was the first one there and got all my gear laid out. Soon two more girls walked in and introduced themselves. I had met one of them earlier that day.The next day we all en- joyed the time we spent with the Navajo Code Talkers. We sat by one another while watching Navajo people dance to music.We were able to learn about their culture. Next was the 5K Run.Some girls dont really enjoy running but for those who signed up to run we came up with a new way to get motivated. It all started when we were talking with an adult leader we were teaching her how to do the duck and fierce facesymbol. When one of the female Young Marines said duckie face we all laughed then came up with the fierce duckies. Later on the adult leader came back and showed us all the double fierce duckie face and we were definitely ready and motivated to attempt the 5K.As we were all running through the finish line we were all think- ing Fierce Duckies After it was all over we received a medal for our accomplishment. Soon the trip came to an end and everyone had to say goodbye. We all exchanged contacts and hugs. I will never forget my first visit to National Navajo Code Talkers Day. Getting Motivated at the NCT Day 5K Run with My New Friends ESPRIT Page 27 Walking Across America for Wounded VeteransAwareness By YMSgt Spencer Northcutt Music City TN Earlier this past year when Music City Young Marines unit were sent some in- formation about a retired Marine walk- ing across America we were intrigued. We read that he was walking across America to bring a better understanding to Americans of the Combat Wounded Veterans program to include veterans from all wars past and present. I pon- dered how can he be doing this physi- cally and mentally I was fortunate to meet Roy Brady Jr. Gunnery Sergeant USMC for dinner. Mr. Bob Cook com- mandant of Music Citys Marine Corps League Detachment had also been con- tacted and knew Gunny Bradys sched- ule. Music City Young Marines had the opportunity to meet GySgt Brady and discuss his walk across America at din- ner that evening. Upon Bradys arrival in Nashville we met him in the lobby of his hotel and Gunny Brady immediately assisted with a slight cor- rection of my Alpha tie. He was very de- tailed from that point on. Over dinner we discussed his motivation for the walk he stated that the Wounded Veterans pro- gram does not get enough support or recognition and he wanted to give back to veterans. Since departing from Charlotte NC at the beginning of Marchhe has met with many people and he told us of the sup- port he encounted along the way. He walks with the USMC flag draped over his back. In fact he never walks without it and many conversations are started as a result of people seeing the flag. His goal is to raise 35000 for the wounded veterans program. I asked him about the weather. Up to that point it had rained every day but three but he said that weather has not deterred him from his mission. His walk through the Smoky Mountains was a bit edgy many roads were so narrow and he needed some vehicle assistance. He packs only his large backpack. Look- ing ahead to crossing the desert hes made plans to carry more water a larger amount be- yond his canteens. We dis- cussed his shoes he will change to higher temper- ature shoe for the desert walk as well. He is his sole means of support but has the Tarpon Springs Florida staff at Combat Wounded Veterans Challenge assist- ing him with communica- tions. He has participated in numerous television interviews along the way. In talking about his career with USMC he says it went so fast retirement seemed so quick. He asked many questions about Mu- sic City Young Marines. When we spoke about the Silent Drill Team he said that brought back so many vivid memories. He asked about our upcoming Saturday drill.I explained to himwe work directly with our Unit Commander he always has the plan for the next week at final formation. He asked my future plans in life and I soaked in his advice for me If I remem- ber anything from Gunnery Sergeant Brady it was always have a backup plan in everything you do. It was price- less time well-spent with a knowledge- able former United States Marine. More about Gunny Bradys trek thru Nashville He surprised our unit and visited our drill Saturday. He spoke with the entire Music City Young Marines telling stories of his whole career in the Marine Corps plus his adventure across America after 21 days. He answered questions about the Marine Corps and told us some of some of his personal stories and his current objective I remember him saying the most memorable part about joining the Ma- rines is boot camp because thats where your adventure starts. He also talked to us about duty stations. When he talked about being on active duty I could see all the Young Marines were very in- trigued by his stories. Our Music City Young Marines silent drill platoon performed for him. After- wards he told us that our drill perfor- mance was on the level of U.S. Marines He was extremely impressed and told us that has been one of his favorite parts of his trip. When we presented Gunny Brady with a Music City Young Marine unit T-shirt he grinned and said Thank you for all you have done for me while in Nashville. GySgt Roy Brady with Music CIty UC Harry Mercer. Spencer Northcutt with GySgt Roy Brady. Brady spoke and answered questions. Watching an impressive drill performance. Gunny Roy Brady accepts a gift T-shirt from the Music City Young Marines. Page 28 ESPRIT By YMPvt David Fitzgerald Jr. Manassas VA The reason I got my perfect PFT score is because I believed in my God trusted in my Lord and practiced every day. I wanted to prove I could do it even though I have Cystic Fibrosis or CF. Cystic Fibrosis affects my breathing and digestive system. I have to take nebulizer treatments extra salt lots of pills and eat a lot of food in order to keep my weight up. I have to go to doctors often for checks on my breathing and weight. I want to keep getting perfect PFT scores to show other CF and physically-challenged young people that they can do it too. Motivated to Earn a Perfect PFT Score David receiving award at graduation for highest PFT score of recruit class.David Fitzgerald Jr. Two of our Young Marines were promoted at the Marine Corps League 708 Birthday Ball by Major General Scott Hartsell. Congratulations to YMMGySgt Isaiah Davis and YMSSgt Jordan Poe. - Submitted by Candi Cook Unit Adjutant LCpl. Brian R. Buesing Young Marines FL YMs Promoted by a USMC Major General Young Marines Graduations Unit Westover MA Date January 22 2016 UC Edward Mitrook Honor Grad YMPFC Aylei Connolly A Salute to Young Marines Achieving Perfect 500 PFT Scores YMPFC Jaiden Saltsman Southern Maryland This is Jaidens 3rd Perfect PFT in a row YMPvt Elizabeth Howl Southern Maryland YM PFC Walter Howl Southern Maryland Elizabeth and Walter are brother and sister. Older brother YMPFC William Howl almost scored a perfect PFT with a score of 480 YMCpl Katelyn M. Kiser Camp Foster Okinawa YMMSgt Jared E. Baker Columbus IN This is his sixth perfect PFT score YMGySgt Matthew J. Carr Columbus IN Matthew Carr is also the Division 5 Young Marine of the Year Congratulating YMPFC Harris is YMGySgt Spencer Northcutt. Proudly looking on is mom Marilyn and dad Bobby. Unit LCpl Brian R. Buesing FL Date December 5 2015 UC Christopher Tenaro Honor Grad YMPFC Dakota Barlow Unit Music City TN Date December 19 2015 UC Harry Gunny Mercer Honor Grad YMPFC Mitchell Harris Unit Mecklenburg County NC Date December 19th 2015 UC Jon Henderson Honor Grad Not Specified Unit Poudre River CO Date November 20 2015 UC Marlo Wacker Honor Grad YMPFC Jacob Downer Congratulations to all our new Young Marines and to all those who taught and nurtured them. Good Work ESPRIT Page 29 In Our Next Issue of Esprit Headquarters Young Marines P.O. Box 70735 SW Station Washington D.C. 20024-0735 Young Marines Registered Adult Volunteers and Parents we have changed a few things in our online store and are now making most of the items available to you. All pur- chases in the Gear Store or in Chesters Supply Depot will be made using a debit card or personal credit card. We are continuing to develop new items to add to the store so please return from time to time to see what is new. The new polo shirts one is black and one is red are really nice and the price is less than the older polo shirts we have listed. Chesters Supply Depot is accessed by logging into Fall In or Adult Leaders on your units home page at 1. Go to 2. Click on My Unit it is small picture of the United States colored green beside the Twitter icon. 3. If you do not see My Unit on a green U.S. map you need to click on Find a Unit on a red United States map beside the Twitter icon. Put in your zip code and select the website for your unit.At this point it would be good to place a check mark in the box to save this unit as My Unit. 4. Scroll to the bottom of your units homepage and you will see the icons for Fall In and Adult Leaders.The Fall In site is for Young Marines and their families. 5. Log In using your first name last name and last 4 of your SSN. 6. Click on the Chesters Supply Depot link on the left. Units are encouraged to pass this message to the Regis- tered Adults Young Marines and Parents of your unit. We hope you enjoy shopping at Chesters Supply Depot. Semper Fidelis Headquarters Young Marines Division Young Marines of the Year traveled to Guam and Iwo Jima this March. Well have photos and stories about this remarkable journey. The selection of National Young Marine of the Year will take place at the Adult Leaders Conference in Las Vegas this May. Watch for a cover story in our next issue.