Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46By YM/SSgt Jascha Ely East Valley (AZ) On April 9th 2016, Grand Canyon Regiment was privileged to participate in the Color Guard for the Concern Veterans of America, Defend Freedom tour stop at the Sheraton Grand Phoenix, Arizona. It was one the most memorable color guards I’ve been a part of. My responsibility was the left side rifle of the color guard, making my position march- ing out last. I was impressed by how well the Young Marines’teamwork ethic is operational and organized. As soon I arrived, Young Ma- rines briefed me on how the color guard was going to work, where we needed to go, when we were to start, and assigning my position and its responsibilities. I soon understood ev- erything and was ready to perform. The State Director for CVA, Matt Dobson, cued our team to march in front of the stage, then former NCAA basketball player and contestant of Season 5 American Idol, Ayla Brown, sang The National Anthem, as we turned into position. I was in a position with an umatched view. My head was straight, my eyes were focused,but nonetheless,I couldn’t help noticing the room, full of people, totally silent. All were quietly listening to The Na- tional Anthem, staring at the flag, the faces of the veterans and the families’ expressions were unforgettable. Seeing their respect and their love for our country was very moving. When Ayla Brown finished singing, we re- cited the Pledge of Allegiance, led by another EVYM, YM/SSGT Tyson Henry. As we marched off, I had a new regard for our Color Guard performances. While the CVA Defend Freedom tour event continued, Eastern Mountain, East Valley and Desert Young Marines had a chance to have dinner backstage with members of Madison Rising: Rio Hiett, Sam Fishman, Tom DiPietro, and AJ Larsen. We enjoyed meeting the band, and chatting about our goals. We played games and asked each other questions about our lives and theirs.It was like we were all good friends, and the time passed by quickly.The band told us they admire, commend, and are inspired by the Young Marines program and they con- firmed that they will continue to spread the word about the Young Marines during their tours. Towards the end of the event, Madison Ris- ing started singing, The Grand Canyon Regi- ment Young Marines stood in front of the stage and saluted, as the band was singing The Marines’ Hymn. Afterwards, the Young Marines took a break. We were assigned back in front of the stage, as Madison Rising sang their own version of The National Anthem. It took me by surprise when they paused in mid-song and gave the Young Marines recognition in front of crowd, thus finishing the song. This event was a very unique experience. I find myself enjoying performing Color Guards with a different view, with added praise and admiration. I thank our Registered Adults who helped us through the event and I espe- cially thank Mr. Rick Schmidt, our Regimental Commander. Arizona: A Color Guard Performance with Madison Rising Getting Dirty for a Good Cause in South Carolina On one Saturday last April, Upstate Young Marines volunteered their time helping Greenville’s Goodwill and St. Francis Hospital with its 16th edition Mud Run. The Young Marines were in charge of running the Kids’ Zone, a small obstacle course for the kids with 9 stages that kept them occupied while their parents ran the main course. Young Marines supervised each child to ensure their safety and motivated them along the way, providing an experience so enjoyable that some kids returned to repeat the course multiple times. Upstate Young Marines also maintained the area by disposing of trash and picking up loose debris. They have supported the Good- will Mud Run in this way since 2005, working the spring and fall events to make sure that the participating teams and their fami- lies enjoy this event on premises that are clean, safe, and fun for everyone. The event started at 7:30 in the morning and lasted until 4:30 that afternoon. After the last team started the course, it opened up and the Young Marines ran along with Registered Adults.The course was 3.5 miles long with 35 obstacles. The Young Marines started together and finished together, as always strongly standing behind the word team, and all that it represents. -- Submitted by Irina Kocsis, Upstate (SC) Young Marines ESPRIT ONLINE | Page 9