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 46Midwest Central: A Special 100th Birthday Celebration By YM/Sgt Dougald MacDougall Midwest Central (IL) On April 1st, 2016 in Macomb, IL the Midwest Central Young Marines had a detail that was no ordinary detail. We picked up plates, cups and provided a color guard. This detail was for U.S. Marine PFC John Moon’s 100th birthday party. It was an amazing experience being able to shake hands with him because PFC Moon was among the first Marines on Iwo Jima in 1945.To shake hands with such a brave man is an amazing experience. The Midwest Central Young Marines were proud to have William Smith, Chairman of the Young Marines Board of Di- rectors, Bill Davis,Young Marines National Executive Direc- tor and YM/SgtMaj Lucas Ward, 2015 National Young Ma- rine of the Year present. All had recently returned from Iwo Jima for the Reunion of Honor. The island of Iwo Jima has grown 25 meters since World War II; The contingent from the Young Marines hiked inland 25 meters to collect sand from the same beach PFC Moon had crawled on under heavy enemy fire in 1945. YM/SgtMaj Alfredo Mercedes was visiting from his unit in Cleveland, Ohio to be a part of this event. YM/PFC Parkherst from our unit,the youngest Young Marine in attendance,helped Mr. Moon cut his cake as a ceremonial passing down of knowl- edge. It was a fun time and a distinct honor. It was an invitation we couldn’t turn down. It was an opportunity of a lifetime for our Midwest Central Young Marines. Birthday parties are always special, but this one was for a 100 year old retired Marine Corps Veteran. Mr. John Moon is one of the oldest living survivors of the first day invasion of Iwo Jima. We had the honor to be a part of his birthday celebration at the VFW Post 1921 in Macomb, IL. Young Marines Chairman of the Board, Bill Smith, received word of this cel- ebration. Young Marines National Executive Director Bill Davis and Mr. Bill Smith, Chairman of the Young Marines Board of Directors, attended this celebration, along with National Young Marine of the Year YM/ SgtMaj Lucas Ward. Mr. Moon was presented with a beautiful memory box with a flag that the Young Marines flew on Mt Suribachi, along with a banner signed by those YMs on the trip and a photo. To me, the most special item in the box was a vial of sand that was taken from the very beach Mr. Moon landed on all those years ago. A spry 100-year-old, when speaking to the crowd he joked, “I never thought I’d get so much attention from crawling on my belly on that little island.” It was an honor to be a part of this memorable evening. Ten Mid- west Central Young Marines in attendance helped serve dinner and birthday cake and visited with Mr. Moon, along with the other two hundred or so in attendance. Mr. Moon is truly a sweet soul (yes, I said a Marine is sweet!) who still bowls twice a week and can probably put some of our Young Marines to shame doing push-ups! Happy Birthday Mr. Moon! --Submitted by Lori Lewis, Public Realtions Officer, Midwest Central (IL) Young Marines Happy Birthday, Mr. Moon! John Moon with former YM Cassidy Bagwell. Mr. Moon with the memory box and flag that were pre- sented to him. Mr. Moon and YM/Pvt Rowan Parkhurst. Honoring Our Veterans (left to right as all photos) YM Pvt Rowan Parkhurst, YM Sgt Zach Orozco, YM Pvt Emil Elsayegh, YM Cpl Dougald MacDougall, YMOY SgtMaj Lucas Ward, Mr. John Moon, YM MSgt Alfredo Mercedes (Greater Cleveland), Former MCYM Cassidy Bagwell, YM Pvt Jaecob Watson, YM SSgt Zach Taylor, YM Cpl Dakota Wilson, and YM Cpl Nathan Mitchell. ESPRIT ONLINE | Page 25