Page 1
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6
Page 7
Page 8
Page 9
Page 10
Page 11
Page 12
Page 13
Page 14
Page 15
Page 16
Page 17
Page 18
Page 19
Page 20
Page 21
Page 22
Page 23
Page 24
Page 25
Page 26
Page 27
Page 28
Page 29
Page 30
Page 31
Page 32
ESPRIT Volume 4 2015 By Young Marines For Young Marines ESPRIT Page 1 National Headquarters Staff Mike Kessler National Executive DirectorChief Executive Officer William Davis Chief Operating 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 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 - 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 2015 Division Young Marines of the Year YMSgtMaj Charles Brian Fagan Division One YMSgtMaj Joseph Ambs Division Two YMSgtMaj Tyler Ward Division Three YMSgtMaj Kariel Mayer Division Four YMSgtMaj Lucas Ward Division Five YMSgtMaj Tyler Wermann-Jones Division Six National Young Marine of the Year YMSgtMaj Lucas Ward Combined Federal Campaign Number CFC 2141 A Few Brief Words of Farewell Page 2 ESPRIT Follow us on Facebook www.facebook.comusyoungmarines and our national homepage By Mike Kessler Young Marines National Executive Director I write this final column with a host of very mixed emotions.In fact I have written it sev- eral times and finally decided that short and sweet is best. I have far too many people to thank and far too many memories to share all of them good. I will be forever grateful to the organiza- tion its members and staff for the chance to be a part of something so very special. This is a program that delivers on its promises and forwards a message that really works. The proof of that lies in the hundreds of suc- cesses we have all seen as our Young Ma- rines age out of the program and go on to make contributions as valued members of our society. Our Alumni Association staffed and led by those who have made an impact while serving in the Young Marinesis all the proof you need. I was blessed to have an incredible staff past and present who had vision compas- sion and loyalty all in the name of making theYoung Marines a powerful youth program that would leave its impact on thousands. It was that same staff and the incredible hard work of our volunteers that allowed us to catch the eye of a United States Congress and their belief that who we represent and what we accomplish truly matters. To our volunteers thank you for your years of support.We have witnessed our fair share of ups and downs but you hung in there like the invested mentors you are and helped us through it all. Each time we made a change to anything you were the ones who had to adjust and you did so ultimately. Feel free to pat yourselves on that back because you deserve it. To the National Staffyou guys are the great- est. I wish more could see you on a day-to- basis as I have to be able to appreciate just how much work you put into enhancing the legacy of the organization. Each one of you brings a special talent that makes us who we are. And that most certainly includes the crew at XMM who have been the creative juices behind many if not all of our success- es. You have all performed at a level that would be hard to match in any corporation. And finally to the Young Marines continue the challenge.Nothing comes easyin lifebut it comes more easily to those who are pre- pared. The Young Marines does many things well but what it does best is to prepare you for increased challenges. Trust me when I tell you that if you continue the course you will progress at a rate much more signifi- cant than that of your peers. I am so thankful for having had this oppor- tunity. We will never forget the hundreds of friends we have made. On behalf of my wife Kim and me we would like to thank you for allowing us to be a part of your lives. Very Respectfully and Semper Fidelis Michael B. Kessler ESPRIT Page 3 From our New National Director From our National Young Marine of the Year By YMSgtMaj Lucas J. Ward National Young Marine of the Year 2015 After a busy summer and fall there are many things to cover as we wrap up 2015 and start pre- paring for next year. The past few months have seen Red Ribbon Week and Veterans Appreciation Week. It is important that everyone who partici- pated in these events gets a report in to their unit and write an article to submit as well so that others can share the experiences. One of the most important things to take care of at this time of year is our record books. As Young Marines it is our responsibility to review our own record books to make sure everything is in order. If your unit is like mine then you probably find that events in the winter time are less constant and sometimes things can even seem slow. This is the perfect opportunity to spend time on your record book. As we enter the last month of the year it means we are only a month away from the opening of application for SPACES and other summer events. Only Young Marines in good standing and with complete record books are able to apply for SPACES. Young Marines interested in summer events camps and academies need to make sure that their record books are completely caught up with all awards required hours and tests so that they qualify for the next years events. In addition it is important to check on the on- line database regularly for both adults and Young Marines. Changes come about regularly and it is important that all information is current. Several changes will be coming about from the recent Young Marine Leadership Symposium. These changes will be in the awards manual rank re- quirements and eventually in the guidebooks on every level so be sure to watch for updates. Lets take some time to square everything away now as we review an amazing year in 2015. We all know that Mr. Kes- sler will be officially retired as the National Executive Direc- tor. He will be dearly missed and none of us want him to go but I am also incredibly excited to work with Mr. Davis who is Mr. Kesslers successor. With Colonel Davis at the helm the Young Marines program has a bright futureand I cant wait to see where 2016 takes us. OOHRAH and Happy Holidays. Thank you all for the warm welcome I have enjoyed meeting our Young Marines staff vol- unteers and parents and I have been inspired by the enthusiasm passion and dedication shown by all. Your energies and focus are the catalysts to our continued success and I look forward to our future together. I am truly ex- cited to be a part of this impactful organiza- tion and am honored to be your new National Executive Director. Each of you has a significant role in our Young Marines family and I want to personally thank you for your part in this organization. With- out our staffs parents families and addition- al volunteers we would not have the support necessary to maintain our units. Furthermore without the personal dedication of each Young Marine who continues to participate in this de- manding programwe wouldnt have a program at all. Together our family inspires hope for our nations future - a future of positive citizen- ship leadership respect and the promise of a healthy drug-free lifestyle to those youth who claim the title of Young Marine. In the future I will challenge each of you to strengthen our existing units while simultane- ously expanding our program into areas where we do not currently have a presence. Every young man and woman should have the op- portunity to be a part our wonderful program and with your continued support we will en- sure that opportunity exists. I would also like to express my personal ap- preciation to Mike Kessler for his incredible leadership and dedication his work on the program helped define a generation and Im grateful to have been chosen to continue on with our mission. We all share the same un- derstanding of what he has accomplished. We will strive to execute our collective vision for the future of our nation with Young Marines being leaders in every clime and place. It is with great enthusiasm that I take the reins as we propel ourselves into an exciting productive future for our Young Marines. In my eyes we are the premier youth program in this country. With our history and traditions firmly embracedI look forward to our tomorrow. Lets get started Semper Fi Colonel Bill Davis USMC Ret National Executive Director Young Marines ESPRIT Page 5 Some of the Dangers of Commonly-Abused Drugs By YMPFC Terrace Brooks Hamilton MD Drug abuse is one of the biggest threats to todays society. There are many different types of drugs but the most com- monly known drugs are alcohol tobacco marijuana cocaine inhalants hallucinogens and methamphetamines. All can af- fect your mind and your body. Alcohol is one of the more common drugs that people use and most people do not view it as being a drug. Alcohol aff- fects your self-control. It is a central nervous system depressantlowering your inhi- bitions and impairs your judgment leading to risky behaviors. Drinking large amounts of alcohol can lead to a coma or even death. A significant percentage of traffic deaths are alcohol- related. Tobacco is another common drug usually used in the form of cigarettes or chewing tobacco. Tobacco can damage your health because it affects your bodys development and can be very addictive. Smoking cigarettes and being around sec- ond-hand smoke is one of the most common causes of lung cancer. Tobacco is a leading cause of cancer in the mouth throat bladder pancreas and kidney. Cigarettes also contain a powerfully addcitive substance called nicotine. People who use tobacco often continue to smoke simply because they find it so hard to stop. Another group of drugs are commonly known as hallucino- gens which can affect your heart brain well-being and your self-control. Using them increases your heart rate as well as your blood pressure which can cause heart and lung failure. Hallucinogens can affect your well-being because they may change the way you feel emotionally and can interfere with your growth as well as your learning processes. Hallucinogens affect how your brain perceives your environ- ment. They also affect how you move and how you react to differrent situations. They can also make you think you are hearing voices or seeing things that do not exist. In conclusion these drugs are harmful to our generation and they have many different short-term and long-term side effects that can harm our minds and bodies. So stay safe and drug-free. Semper Fidelis By YMCPL Talla Aasved Milton Lewis FL Through Young Marines Drug Demand Reduction training I have learned about the dangers of many kinds of drugs. Some of the more common drugs can be very dangerous. Just because some may be legal this doesnt mean they are safe. Abusing these substances can create health problems and even cause death. These include hydrocodone prescribed for pain and alcohol marijuana and tobacco. Some individuals are more prone to ad- diction based on many factors such as a family history of addiction. A teenagers brain is still developing so abusing drugs is especially dangerous. The best advice for our peers and youth is to be aware and informed of the dangers and side effects of any of these drugs and substances. Stay Drug Free dont even begin to use or experiment with them. As Young Marines we can be a positive influence with our classmates or our friends. Below are a few of the facts we can share especially during Red Ribbon Week. Hydrocodone and Oxycodone These medications are pre- scribed by doctors for pain related to injuries or surgeries or even having your wisdom teeth pulled. CautionIt is so easy to fall into the trap of taking more than prescribed especially if you are in pain. Your body can become adjusted and you need more medication to control pain. However this may be the onset of addiction you are feeling. These are prescrip- tion narcotics you need to be slowly weaned off of. There are other medications that are not narcotic that can be recom- mended to control any pain or discomfort. Ask your doctor about other medications if you are ever in a situation where special medication is needed for pain. Alcohol Parts of adolescentsbrains do not fully develop until their mid 20s Alcohol may have consequences reaching far beyond adolescence. Alcohol can affect an adolescents brain development in many ways. The effect of underage drinking on one specific brain activity is memory a person may find it hard to learn and to hold on to knowledge and risks damag- ing the frontal lobes of the brain forever. Alcohol also im- pacts the bodys automatic actions such as heartbeat and keeping the body at the right temperature. Its possible to die from alcohol poisoning. Drinking quickly and drinking too much you can lose con- sciousness and your body can shut down and death can result. Addiction to alcohol is common. A per- son often has to be placed in a medically-controlled environ- ment to be treated and weaned from alcohol. Marijuana Marijuana use is very common. THC Tetrahydro- cannabinol is the active ingredient. Marijuana gets in the blood stream and flows to the brain. Marijuana has both short and long-term effects on the brain. Long-term use af- fects brain development. Frequent use can reduce thinking memoryand learning functions and how the brain builds con- nections necessary for these functions. Marijuanas effects on these abilities may last a long time or even be permanent. Marijuana can lead to other drug use. The question of legal- ization does not make marijuana safe It is not safe and can impact your health and have permanent effects. Drugs That are Legal But Legal Does Not Mean Safe Abusing these substances can create health problems and even cause death Page 6 ESPRIT By YMCpl Jake Flynn Upstate SC Each year we celebrate Red Ribbon Week and each year I speak to a local elementary school on the importance of living a drug-free lifestyle. I speak from that heart hoping that my mes- sage to the students I encounter is clear and something they will remem- ber. This year I decided that I would seek a proclamation from the city where I live and go to school. So I requested a proc- lamation for the City of Easley SC from Mayor Bagwell. In my request I told him about Young Marines our beliefs our mission and why Red Ribbon Week was important to me and the community. I was able to receive the proclamation just as many other Young Marines do each year However this was not just a piece of paper to me. It was a learning experience. It was a chance to be involved on a larger scale with my community. I believe in everything that the Young Marines do to promote Red Ribbon Week but this year I understood that the words on the paper were important in bringing together young people and city leaders to address the nations drug problem and bring awareness. If I were not involved in the Young Marines I may have never spoken out on behalf of the youth of my city. It was an honor and an unforgettable experience. I Was Working For More Than Just A Piece of Paper OPSO YMs Receive a Proclamation Last November was special for the Orleans Parish Young Marines who were presented with a Proclamation for excellence in drug prevention and youth services by the City of New Orleans. This was presented by Julius Feltus Senior Advisor for community relations to Latoya Cantrell Council Member District B. Our Young Marines and staff were very motivated after receiving Procla- mation from Mr. Feltus and the City Of New Orleans as proof positive that we are contributing to our community. -- Submitted by Jamil Champagne Unit Commander OSPO 2 LA Young Marines Self-Respect A Key Part of Living a Drug-Free Lifestyle By YMSSgt Tyler Smith Chino Valley CA Self-respect is very important and something everyone should have. I be- lieve that for many teenagers self-re- spect is something they struggle to find. When you are young you try so hard to fit in or be accepted by your peers that youll do anything at all even drugs in order to fit in. Often you forget about the values that matter and if you lose sense of these values its difficult to have self-respect. This year as units across the nation participated in Red Ribbon week activi- ties I brought an idea to my dad and with his help we began working on implementing the idea. When this project started I was with the Tustin CA unit and within the unit there are Young Marines from many different cities. My idea was to contact each mayor of each city that our Young Marines represent and ask the mayor to support us with a proclamation. We saw each mayor and their cities learning about our efforts at Closing the Gate on Drugs. By the end of Red Ribbon Week we were able to get the following mayors and their cities to support the Young Marines with their proclamations May- or Tait City of Anaheim Mayor Brown City of Buena Park Mayor Simonoff City of Brea Mayor Mensinger City of Costa Mesa Mayor Nguyen City of Garden Grove Mayor Pulido City of Santa Ana Mayor Puckett City of Tustin Mayor Ta City of Westminster Mayor Hernandez City of Yorba Linda. For me Ill always remember attend- ing these city council meetings and per- sonally receiving the proclamations. It showed me that our public officials are willing to make a difference in the war against drugs. It was a pleasure to stand together with my fellow Young Marines not only in my unit but across the nation in hon- oring Enrique Kiki Camerena his sac- rifice was the reason why Red Ribbon Week began. Since then Im now with the Chino Valley CA Young Marines. This unit worked very hard in putting to- gether a video that is very moving The video can be seen on YouTube Chino Valley Young Marines Red Ribbon Week Project Be a Hero not a Zero.I hope that everyone will view it. So respect your- selves and continue to live a drug free lifestyle. Just two of many proclamations from communities in California. By Judy Link Western New York This year we actually conducted two Red Ribbon Week events. In addition to the one in June a D.A.R.E. event hosted by the Ni- agara County Sheriffs Department we also combined a Red Ribbon Week Blitz with a Country Meats fundraiser outside of Gan- der Mountain Sports. The credit for this brainstorm idea goes to staff member Mrs. Rider. We call it a brainstorm because she was able to secure space at Gander Mountain Sports during the last weekend for hunters to ob- tain permits. It was an extremely busy weekend with hunters lined up outside Gander Mountain early both Saturday and Sunday mornings waiting for the store to open. They had no choice but to see our tables set up with both delicious Coun- try Meats items and Red Ribbon Week materials. We split the unit into two groups to cover both doors so there would be no escape from us. Each of those groups were split into two groups one handling the sale of meat sticks very popular with hungry hunters and the other group discussing the benefits of living a drug-free lifestyle. Many hunters brought their sons and daughters with them to obtain these permits and even those without chil- dren took some of the DDR items. At one point our Young Marines got a little silly with the slap braceletscovering themselves in them and although the staff wasnt at all sure it was a good ideathey did seem to draw at- tention and smiles from everyone who saw them. We showed people that you dont need drugs and alcohol to have fun. The weekend was an amazing success. Our message reached at least 500 people. Western New York A Great Opportunity to Reach a Large Audience The success of our Drug Demand Reduction efforts are assured by the hard work and dedication of many of our Adult Volunteers. We recognize six of these outstanding individuals here Edward Mitrook from Division 1 from Division 2 Rebecca Anderson and from Division 3 Linda Gionet Division 5 Chris Friedhof and Division 6 Holly Lewis. Division 4 Volunteer will appear in our next issue. Division 1 Edward Mitrook Ed Mitrook became a Registered Adult Volun- teer in 1997 with Westover Young Marines. Ed has been the Unit Commander since May 1999 and was the Southern New England Regiment Commander 2003 to 2010. I became involved with YMs when another Marine and I were invited to attend a drill with Westover Young Marines and were very impressed at how locked-on and polite these youth were how they fell in and took orders. Westood back and observed the active and reserve Marines train these youth for about an hour and by then we were hooked. What I like teaching an 89 year old is what we were taught about camaraderie dedication drill Esprit de Corps and watch them grasp hold of this knowledge and expand it toleadership positions within their unit and the programup to a national level. Then having these former Young Marines return and join up as Adult Volunteers to pass on knowledge to the next generation. Thats the best compli- ment any leader could get. Division 2 Rebecca Anderson Rebecca quickly learned the value of YMs by watching her son learn lessons and leadership skills as he completed Recruit Training. Seeing the value and importance Rebecca became an Adult Volunteer in 2012 with Jarrettsville MD Unit. In 2013 Rebecca became unit Adjutant. She has been diligent keeping the database up to date and tracking hours for YMs and adults to earn the Presidential Volunteer Service Award. In March 2014 Rebecca became Executive Officer for the 3rd Battalion Maryland Regiment and has been very active in the planning and executing the Division 2 Winter Encampment in 2014 and 2015. Commit- ment to learning to enhance the Young Marines experience she makes opportunities with other unit and command level venues for her learning and herYoung Marines. Her commit- ment and leadership recently lead to her being voted the unit Executive Officer. Division 3 Linda Gionet Volunteers are the heart of the Young Marines pro- gram and Linda Gionet affectionately known as Young Marine Grandma is no exception. A volun- teer with Orlando FL Devil Dogs Linda has tak- en the initiative with a whole range of volunteer tasks--everything from setting up unit meetings giving classes taking photographs and ensuring scrapbooks are up-to-date. During the recent Young Marines National Encampment she volunteered to take care of two registered adults and their families while they were admitted to a local hospital and kept family updatedallowing the Young Marines National Encampment staff to focus on the 300 Young Ma- rines and Registered Adults in attendance. Lindas generosity and support are deeply appreciated by all of us Division 5 Chris Freidhof Since Chris Freidhof joined the Young Marines as an Adult Leader in September of 2012 he has been committed to promoting the Young Marines Core Values of Teamwork Leadership and Discipline. The value that stands out most is Mr.Freidhofs Leadershipnot just because he is the Unit Commander but because of the way he leads. Continued next page Spotlighting Young Marines Division Volunteers ESPRIT Page 7 What it Means to be Unit Commander in New Orleans By Jamil Champagne Unit Commander OSPO 2LA Im a former active duty Marine and also an 8-year veteran Or- leans Parish Sheriffs Deputy. Being from Brooklyn NY and witnessing drug abuse inflict its damages on a generation has afforded me insight into the sometimes cruel streets of the Big Easy or New Orleans. When I took this job I was aware of the realities of what drugs do to a community. I started out in the jail system and while interacting with so many young people in the system Ive come to the realization that most have similar reasons for why they are in their situation a lack of education lack of extra curricular opportunities after schoola lack of discipline in the home and drugs. It was at this time I was introduced to the Young Marines program and its core values towards Strengthening the Lives of Americas Youth. Orleans Parish Young Marines and surrounding units in Lou- isiana are supported by our local Sheriff Departments.Sheriff Marlin N. Gusman has given his unwavering support for our program his entire time as the Sheriff of Orleans Parish by providing meals for drill and providing for many of our units expenses as well. After working in the jails for more than two years I was most fortunate to join the Orleans Parish Young Marines. Working as a Sheriffs Deputy and a Unit Commander affords me the best of both worlds. With my experiences among in- carcerated youth it was easy to pinpoint and correct where a lot of other youth could go wrong. Under the direction of Capt. Jack Bettis a 39-year Command SgtMaj of the United States Marine Corps we have received various awards from Unit of the Year to several Proclama- tions from the City of New Orleans. Annually the Young Marines perform no less than 100 hours of community service by marching in parades providing Color Guards at various events and also speaking at youth symposiums. More importantlythe Drug Demand Reduction program is a key component in keeping our kids out of trouble and being a Sheriffs Deputywe have first hand knowledge of situations that impact youths in a negative way. Seeing so many of our kids graduate high school and the Young Marines program then moving on to better things is so rewarding that it cannot be described in words. We are impacting lives in the most positive way and I am extremely lucky to be part of this team. Our program is described as a Youth-Led Organization and that is exactly how the Greater Cleveland Young Marines Unit operates. As the Unit Commander Mr. Freidhof appoints Young Marines to serve as assistants to many of the Adult Leaders and encourages the Senior Young Marines to per- form those duties. This goes a long way to instill the confi- dence in todays youth to go on to achieve. Mr. Freidhof puts forth many hours outside of drill to get things for the unit or regiment done in time. Chris Freidhof will always be a model of leadership. He doesnt stop trying to improve himself or the Young Marines. He pushes them to be the best they can be. He sets the ex- ample in what to do and is always available to help guide the Young Marines whenever they need it. Division 6 Holly Lewis Holly Lewis is a wonderful role model for all Young Marines commanding their respect and trust. A former Young Ma- rinethe youthknow that she understands their perspective. Asfemale advisor she helps mentor the female Young Marines. She sets standards high and encourages all to reach that standard. She is young enough that the female Young Ma- rines relate to her and mature enough to have an adult outlook. Holly is able to interpret Young Marines behavior based upon current youth culture and is able to help staff understand todays youthculture She is able to see things through the eyes of the Young Marines. Ms. Lewis organizes special events that keep Young Marines engaged includ- ing female overnighters 13 and over events and a mother daughter tea. Holly also serves as AMO and looks after the health and safety of our Young Marines and staff. She is always prepared and on alert for potential safety issues. In other words Ms. Lewis teaches leads andsupports our Young Marines and staff in many areas. She is dedicated and loyal to thevalues of the Young Marines and aworthy candidate for Adult Volunteer in the spotlight Spotlighting Young Marines Division Volunteers Red Ribbon Week in Music City Music City TN Young Marines were very much in tune with Red Ribbon Week even wearing red moustaches along with bracelets lanyards and assorted neck wear Page 8 ESPRIT By YMGySgt Aidan Yeung Tustin CA Nihizaad Nihidziil doo Nihisihasin Our Language Our Strength Our Hope. Seventy two years ago the most hor- rific war in the history of mankind was taking place. During the war Navajo Marines used their language as a mili- tary code and saved thousands of lives. After the war the Navajo Code Talkers were never to speak a word of what they did. But decades later they were finally recognized. For the past decade the Young Marines have participated in National Navajo Code Talkers Day to thank the Navajo Code Talkers for their role in World War II. This year approximately 200 Young Marines traveled from all over the country to take part in this event. Our role is not only to thank them but to help ensure their place in history is not forgotten. A few months before the event I saw an internet posting that applications were being accepted for billeted positions. There is an approval process but once you have obtained a billeted position you are assigned certain responsibilities for the event. I saw one position calling for an Event Scribe. The position is to basically be the personal assistant to the event coordinator Brenda McNulty and take notes of what she needs. I applied for this job. A few weeks later I received an email inviting me to take part in a video conference call. When I signed on I was told that I had been selected The next few months flew by and the next thing I knew my mom pulled up into the parking lot in Arizona. I ran to catch up with the rest of the Young Marines and I heard SCRIBE Mrs. McNulty called me to the front of the Young Marines and immediately started to say what she wanted done. For the next few days I would be writing down everything she said. Our first day there we began preparing for the event. We had a large part to play. Among many other tasks we cleaned up the monumental parkset up the huge tent where the event was to take place and prepared gift bags for the Navajo Code Talkers . When we finished our tasks we went to our hotel and ei- ther rested from a days hard work or prepared our uniforms for the next day. After evening chow the Color Guard and a platoon of guides practiced for the parade. The next day was going to be a big day. Continued next page YMPvt Dick YMPvt Garcia YMSSGT Righthouse YMPvt Popiela and YMPFC Arthur with Navajo Code Talker Mr. Begay at Window Rock AZ. YMPFC Arthur YMPvt Garcia YMPvt Dick YMSSGT Righthouse and YMPvt Popiela with a Navajo veteran . Left Young Marines listening and learning about the history of the Navajo Code Talkers from a Navajo veteran. National Navajo Code Talkers Day 2015 Young Marines ESPRIT Page 9 We woke up early the next day ate chow and dressed in our uniforms. Many of us would march in the parade while some of us including me would go behind the scenes and finish what preparations were left over from the day before. As the parade endedwe escorted the Code Talkers to their seats and the event began. During the ceremony the Young Marines lined the sidewalk to the monument. As the wreath passed by the Young Ma- rines saluted and ever so slowly cut their salute. When the wreath had passed before everybody it was placed in front of the monument the guides dipped the guidon flags and one final salute was given by the National Young Marine of the Year and the event First Sergeant. Afterwards we went back to the hotel ate chow and we crawled onto our racks and rested for the upcoming Genera- tions of Honor 5K run. When we woke up the next day we stretched for the big run. I decided I wasnt going to stop for water breaks. My legs were in pain but once I could see the finish line I sprinted as fast as I could. I ran straight through and surrounded by my fellow Young Marines I felt a feeling of accomplishment and achievement that I will never forget. Editors Note From Brenda McNulty In years past I have had the pleasure of working with many notable Young Marines who were billetted as my personal Scribe for Navajo Code Talkers Day NCTD. This year it was my utmost pleasure to work with this Young Marine who shared my passion for the Navajo Code Talkers. Although I can be brutal at times Scribe kept his cool and was always there when I needed him. He answered my every call or scream in some cases and remained professional throughout. It is one of the hardest billets to have at the event and I was extremely proud of his performance. Next year my NCTD Scribe will have some major boots to fill and I can only hope that YMGySgt Yeung is able to give them some pointers to make the event a success. Young Marines ready for the Generations of Honor 5K Run.Young Marines with USMC BGen Daniel D. Yoo. Plan to Attend Next YearYou Wont Regret It By YMSSgt Laree Osteen Orlando FL Devil Dogs This year I had the opportunity to go to Arizona for Na- tional Navajo Code Talker Day for the very first time. It was an amazing experience for me and every other Young Marine that was there. I was able to meet some of the Code Talkers which was an honor. Also learned some of their language and enjoyed some of their amazing food. I had such a fun time and would love to go again next year. And for any Young Marines that havent been I highly suggest to try and make it next year too... you wont regret it Young Marines Proud to Take Part in a Special Honor Young Maries were asked to refold a flag used the previous week at a Navajo Code Talkers grandsons funeral Participating in this solemn ceremony were YMGYSgt Brian WolfeYMGySGt Richard CaseyYMGy Sgt Hannah Witham and YMSSgt Zach Taylor. Page 10 Young Marines ESPRIT By YMMSgt Hannah Witham Desoto FL I went to Window RockAZ for the ob- servance of National Navajo Code Talk- ers Day and I participated in a number of activities such as visiting and volun- teering at the Navajo Nation Zoological and Botanical Park and the Navajo Vet- erans Memorial in addition to running in the 5K event. I had the pleasure of meeting and assisting some of the the Navajo Code Talkers and other special guests. I was assigned the billet of Special Guest Es- cort. It was my responsibility to accom- pany SgtMaj Gene Overstreet the 12th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps. When I was introduced to him the day of the event my heart just dropped but that feeling was soon replaced with a big smile as we spent the day walking and talking about how much the Young Marines program means to us. Meeting SgtMaj Overstreet made my whole week. Going on this trip to Ari- zona for this event was a memorable experience and I am glad to have had the opportunity to participate. Meeting the 12th Sergeant Major at Window Rock With SgtMaj Overstreet and Mrs. McNulty. The Generations of Honor 5K Thanks to Our Guide By YMPFC Chantai Earl Temecula Valley CA I attended National Navajo Code Talk- ers Day and it was a great experience. But when it came to the 5K Run I felt discouraged and I thought about volun- teering instead.I had never participated in a 5K run beforeso I didnt know what to expect.When I found out my unit was running together as a platoonI thought that would be fun. We fell in and went to the starting line with our guide. We started off well but after about a mile people in our platoon started falling behind. We kept going but they were still walking.Then our guide came out of formation while we were running and he went back to get the others in our formation who had fallen behind. He ran about a quarter mile back to get the others and he started motivating and pushing them to keep going. Everyone finally formed up and we kept running. Apparently we ran too far as a lot of people did but I didnt notice. We followed our platoon leader and we kept running. About halfway through people started falling back again and once again our guide went back pushed and motivated them but some of them had injuries. They formed their own platoon and we kept going. In the last mile I started to fall back but again our guide came back. He told meThis is our momentyou see behind those buildings is the finish line you wont quit here you will quit there. His words motivated me so I sprinted all the way to the finish and when I crossed I felt like I was on top of the world. My legs were really sore but I didnt care. After the 5KI actually figured out I had run a 6K instead of the 5K as a lot of other people had done. I thought Wow that wasnt too bad and on our units bus ride home thats when I realized we couldt have done it without our guide. Thanks For An Event That All Young Marines Enjoy By YMSgtMaj Brian Fagan Blackstone Valley MA One of the many adventures I ex- perienced this past summer with the Young Marines was Navajo Code Talk- ers Day. It started in Colorado with a long long bus ride picking up Young Marines along the way. We finally reached Window Rock AZ. We began with some community ser- vice cleaning up around the monu- ment next to Window Rock and also cleaning up the Navajo Zoo. Our first night in Arizona we met Young Marines from different units and different parts of the country and got to know each other. To the surprise of many Young Marines LtCol Mike Kes- sler showed up bringing along a new face many of us did not know yet Colo- nel Bill Davis incoming National Ex- ecutive Director of the Young Marines. The Young Marines were happy to see them. The next day was the day for the pa- rade and the ceremony for the Navajo Code Talkers. The Parade started off with a speech from Maj Gen Daniel Yoo Commander of 1st Marine Division. We later visited the Code Talkers Monu- ment.There was a ceremony dedicated to the brave men of the Navajo Nation who answered Americas call. One part of the ceremony was the performance of traditional Navajo dances. Like many Young Marines there I had never seen this before and I was fascinated by it. The final day featured an event that many Young Marines were anticipating the 5K Run. The Young Marines along with many locals were very excited and everyone had fun. It was finally time to go home. This is the part of the event that everyone loves because they get to go homeand hates because we have to leave behind some great friends. All of us had fun at this event because of the efforts of Young Marine Staff YM Sgt Maj Tyler Jones and YM1st Sgt Josh Borka along with the rest of their staff. We also thank all the adult staff who make these events possible. Specifically two people who should be recognized are Mrs. Brenda McNulty and Mr. Joe McDonough who both play a vital role in making this event a suc- cess every year. National Navajo Code Talkers Day 2015 Young Marines ESPRIT Page 11 UNITMYYM On May 30th the Rocket City and Ca- haba Valley Young Marines teamed up to support the 2015 Aviation Heritage Fly- in at the Huntsville Executive Airport in Meridianville AL. This event was held to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War. The main attractions were a UH-1 Huey and two AH-1 Cobra helicopters restored and operated by the Wiregrass Chapter of the Army Aviation Heritage Foundation. Visitors were lined up throughout the day to take advantage of the unique opportunity to ride in these historic aircraft used during the Vietnam War. The fly-in also included static displays of several other military aircraft as well as amateur-built and general aviation aircraft. BGen Robert Stewart Ret. the first U.S. Army Astronaut was on site signing au- tographs. The Young Marines assisted in directing visitor parking preparing hot dogs and hamburgers for the volunteers and guarding the flight line. Their favorite job though was escort- ing excited visitors across the tarmac to the waiting UH-1 Huey and AH-1 Cobras. Their hard work was rewarded with a ride in the UH-1 Huey at the end of the day.The Rocket City Young Marines give thanks to the Cahaba Valley Young Marines for making the arduous journey from south of Birmingham to join us at this event. -- Submitted by Sheryl Herron Executive Officer Rocket City AL Alabama Units Join Assist at Aviation Heritage Event Two Young Marines units exceptional teamwork. Every June for the past 4 years Foothills Young Marines have participated in the WWII Era Ball in Boulder CO. We have sup- ported this event with a Color Guardparking detailgreeting and assisting veterans into the event which grows larger every year. This year the Color Guard was featured in two magazines and lots of social media. It is a great event and the Young Marines look forward to it every year -- Submitted by Stacy Anderson Public Relations Officer Foothills CO Foothills A WWII-Era Ball One of our youngest Young Ma- rines YMPFC Richard Newman salutes at the grave of CPL Milton Lewis the units namesake. CPL Lewis was the first WWII casualty from Alachua County FL receiv- ing the Navy Cross and the Purple Heart. The unit honors him each year with a ceremony. A Salute to our Units Namesake Our Staff Back in Time Two of our staff members in the Milton Lewis FL unit are veterans.Pictured are left Cary Hill our Unit Commander and right Registered Adult Volunteer Bob Gasche a veteran of the Battle of Iwo Jima and a Purple Heart Recipient. -- Submitted by Jamie Hill Milton Lewis Young Marines Cary Hill Bob Gasche Last May Foothills CO Young Marines held a Retirement Ceremony as we said farewell to YMMSGT Andrew Wharton YM1stSGT Jacob Chado YMSSGT. Morgan Putbrese YM SGT Brandon Signarvic and YMSGT Brian Hanagan who completed their Young Marine careers. Good luck to all in your future endeavors -- Submitted by Stacy Anderson Public Relations Officer Foothills CO A Retirement Ceremony in Colorado Page 12 ESPRIT By YMLCpl.Austin Gammon Granite Mountain AZ This past summer the Granite Mountain unit participated in a battalion encampment. It was very fun and the weekend ended too quickly. The first thing we did was get to know Young Marines from other units. Then we had chow and closing colors. Next morning we rose early for a motivational run about a mile and a half but it seemed shorter. All senior Young Marines called cadence. Later that night we took part in a night map and compass course. It was pretty fun. that next morning we did stations of team-building games. The Granite Mountain unit also had a blast when we at- tended Drill Competition. Four other units participated Des- ert East Valley Eastern Mountain and Chandler. Granite Mountain won a lot of trophies in each category. We were the only unit that did armed monkey drill . YMSgt Pen- rod took first place and I took second place.. The Granite Mountain unit took home Steve which is the eagle engraved with all the years we have competed.We have held Steve since 2011 and we were very glad to take him back. We cant wait until next year to compete again. Granite Mountain A Battalion Encampment and Drill Competition YMCpl Abigail Islam was awarded 2nd Place in the Florida VFW Dept Award Ceremony 2015. The Essay Topic was Why I Appreciate Ameri- cas Veterans. Young Marine Islam received a plaque and a cash prize. She competed at the local level and won 1st Place by the local VFW Post 2811 and ad- vanced to the State Level. YM LCPL Nathan Crawford of Milton Lewis won 2nd Place by the local VFW Post. The Milton Lewis Unit is very proud of these out- standing Young Marines We would like to challenge and encourage all Young Marines to connect with your local VFW and enter the VFW Patriots Pen Es- say Competition. -- Submitted by Jamie Hill Milton Lewis FLYoung Marines Editors Note Writing about our veterans can get you college credit too Check out Young Marines Universitys Academic Credit Opportunities Florida YMs Take 2nd Places in VFW Patriots Pen Essay Competition Abigail Islam On August 2 2015 the Foothills Young Marines celebrated their 20th Anniversary at the Lamar Street Center in Arvada CO. Congratulations and thanks to Mr. John Fitzgerald for starting the unit 20 years ago. Mr. Fitzgerald has seen many Young Marines pass through the program and many changes along the way but through it all he has stuck with Foothills Ooh-Rah Mr. Fitzgerald and Semper Fi Foothills -- Submitted by Stacy Anderson Public Relations Officer Foothills CO Foothills A Young Marines Unit Celebrates its 20 Year Anniversary YMCPL Melody Conde Foothills CO You dont always see all-female color guards but then they dont happen very often. On many oc- casions here in Foothills people are beginning to notice more all-female color guards. It is nice that more females are being recognized. Because even if there arent that many females in units females should be able to make the females in their unit known. People might think that color guard isnt really a female activity but we prove that wrong. We are proud of our females and everyone knows what the females in Foothills are capable of doing. So if you are a female in a unit and you feel like your females arent able to participate in color guards or they dont have enough opportunities speak up. Talk to someone in your unit make your females known All-Female Color Guards Were Getting to be Known in Colorado Foothills CO Young Marines and Adult Volunteers celebrating two decades of activity. ESPRIT Page 13 By YMGYSGT Carlton Greenley Foothills CO I have done a lot of cool things and I have been camping my whole life but National Outdoor Leadership School by far has been the hardest thing I have ever done. Although it was difficult it was still the greatest two weeks of my life. I knew I was in for an adventure but I never expected to be so close with elev- en strangers. We were the first Young Marines to experience this adventure in the Young Marines program. I consider NOLS not just a SPACES event or leadership academy it is in a category all its own. Somehow eleven strangers bonded through cold rain miles of hiking the heat the mosquitoes and my singing and we became a family on this journey. I know some of you have seen the so- cial media photos heard some stories and have tried to understand what we were doing and why. Mr. Hendricks put together a fantastic event. We learned how to start fire with a bow drill make shelters using branch- es blend with our environment make cordage from the bark of trees track animals make stone tools and we even practiced some first aid skills. I just want to say thank you for the best two weeks of my life. Thank you to Mr. Henricks Mr. Guiles Earthworks pro- gram and all the other adults who made this event possible. A note to all the Young Marines When you leave National Outdoor Leadership School you will come back a changed person.To all my NOLS brothers and sis- ter I want to thank you so much for hav- ing my back throughout our adventure and helping me change for the better. Think of me every time you hear Carrie Underwood sing and I hope it brings a smile to your face. Ductus Exemplo Lead by example Young Marines. National Outdoor Leadership School NOLS ...The Greatest Two Weeks of My Life Whitewater rafting photo from Swans- boro NC units summer trip to Nantaha- la Outdoor Center in Bryson City NC. Some Scenes from Swansboro Young Marines Sensational Summer Young Marines from 1st NC Regiment with Dave Bray lead singer of Madison Rising at Defend Freedom Tour 2015. Right Lisa Farmer 1st Bn Commander after a Mud Race Page 14 Young Marines ESPRIT Palmetto Young Marines and the Parris Island Young Marines collaborated for color guard service for the Defend Freedom Tour with Concerned Veterans for America in Charleston SC on July 11 2015. They had the privilege of meeting Lt. Col. Oliver North USMC Ret. recording artist Ayla Brown and Dave Bray lead singer of Madison Rising. -- Submitted by Christy Kennedy Unit Commander Palmetto SC We Got to Meet Madison Rising Ayla Brown and Lt. Col. Oliver North With Lt. Col. Oliver North USMC Ret. With Dave Bray and Ayla Brown. While YMPFC Joe Julian may be the young- est and smallest member of the Mountain View Young Marines at 8 years old his heart is bigger than most. Each week he sets aside part of his allowance for charity. Lovingly referred to as Little foot in the unit he is already leaving a mark as an outstanding Young Marine. Finding out that he would be in downtown Denver participating in the Veterans Day parade this year he decided to use that money he had been saving. He knew there were homeless that were hungry and wanted to help and help he did. He took his savings and went to to the grocery store and bought all the fixings for sack lunches. He then made 18 lunches by himself and packaged them up for the trip downtown. As he delivered each lunch to some of the many homeless in Denver he was greeted with warmth and gratitude. YMPFC Julian is a fine example of selflessness and compas- sion. The future is in great hands with Young Marines like PFC Joe Julian. -- Submitted by Traci Waters Mountain View CO A Young Marine Chooses to Help the Homeless in Colorado Last October the Orleans Parish Young Marines con- ducted their annual Veterans Stand Down where local veterans in the area were served by a clothes drive a job and housing fair health screenings and were treat- ed to some excellent Louisiana cuisine. Veterans were escorted to the different stations and shared their stories of their exploits while serving our country.Young Marines appreciated their sacrifices for our country and would not soon forget the stories that entertained them all day long. The veterans truly ap- preciated having our Young Marines there and look forward to seeing them again and cheer them on as they develop into our future leaders. --Submitted by Deputy J. Matthew Registered Adult Volunteer OPSO 4 LA Orleans Parish Young Marines Conduct Veterans Stand Down Just a Reminder Young Marines June 14 is FLAG DAY By YMPFC Elijah Degado Eagle CA I am surprised that so many Americans dont know that Flag day is June 14th.SoI want to help spread the word. The Eagle CA Young Marines went to LaMesaCA to participate in the Flag Day Parade. We performed color guard and marched for three miles carrying the large American flag. We arrived and unpacked our flags and rifles. We then started practicing color guard because as our Unit Commander and our Excecutive Officer told us practice makes perfect.We practiced be- cause we wanted to be the best in the parade. Then it was time to begin. We each picked up the big American Flag and started marching. We had Police and Firefighters help carry our Flag. They would stand up and salute as we marched by. There were more than 100 groups in the pa- rade and we were the only group carrying the big flag. It was a real honor. Remember Flag Day is June 14th and spead the word ESPRIT Page 15 Saturday August 15th was a perfect day for a picnic and the Young Marines were there to help. The Vets Helping Vets HQ organization had a picnic in Albany Oregon for all veterans and their families. Fantastic food prizes and displays were all around. The Young Marines peformed Color Guard assisted visi- tors with parking helped with set-up and take-down and helped veterans in wheelchairs and others with their food and getting around. The old- est veteran was a 95 year old World War II veteran the youngest was a current Marine Corps Staff Sergeant from Florida. We had a great time and learned a lot of history. --Submitted by Peggy Austin Adjutant LinnBenton OR LinnBenton Helping Vets Helping Vets HQ Young Marines serving those who served us. Volunteering and DDRAll in a Days Work Every year the Elizabethtown PA Young Marines give of their time for a day at the Occupational Development Center. This year the Center gave the Young Marines a space to set up their new Drug Demand Reduction game. -- Submitted by By Michele Keener Unit Commander By YMLCPL Sidney Hague with YMCpl Carson Hague YMCpl Casey Hague and YMCpl Riley Hague Douglas County CO In May our family had the privilege of representing Douglas County Young Marines during a Memorial Day Dedi- cation Ceremony at Englewood High School in Englewood CO. I am YM LCpl Sidney Hague and I am 12 years old. I have one brother in the unit YM Cpl Carson Hague and I also have two sisters in the unit YMCpl Casey Hague and YMCpl Riley Hague. We were all involved in the color guard ceremony at this event.Englewood High School was dedicating an area outside their school in honor of veterans.A bald eagle and patriotic music was part of the ceremony as well. Veterans from all over Colorado came to view the monument. There was a great turnout to this event and veter- ans from all branches of the military were recognized. My sister and brother were respon- sible for Joint Color Guard and Color Guard. I was responsible for taking the microphone to each of the veterans so that they could introduce themselves and tell their stories. We recognized their service and sacrifices. It was a very emotional experience for many of the veterans. We were so proud that Douglas County Young Marines were invited to honor these veterans and glad that we were able to take part in such a beautiful ceremony. Being involved with Douglas County Young Marines gives my family the op- portunity to take part in so many won- derful events honoring our veterans and share the experiences as a family. A Young Marines Family Shares an Experience on Memorial Day A Colorado ceremony honors veterans. By YM Cpl Austin Miller Oregon Cascade OR During the Great American History Ad- venture trip we traveled to Boston MA Philadelphia PA New York NY Rich- mond VA and Washington DC. My expe- rience of participating was something I will not ever forget. I learned so much about our nations history and I also got to see it with my own eyes. This is something I will prob- ably not be able to fully comprehend or appreciate until I am much older. Something else I could never forget are the friends I made on the trip the wonderful tour guides our bus driver and the adult staff. You could ask any- one in our group and they would re- spond withcouldnt agree more GAHA is an amazing opportunity be- cause learning history from reading or in school is not the same as learning it by seeing it where it happened and learning from people who are passion- ate about it and tell you stories you would never read in a book. Additionally there are the memories and pictures you will have that will last forever. I can never fully explain nor ex- press as to how amazing the GAHA trip was or how worthwhile it is to learn our history in this way. Experiencing the Great American History Adventure Page 16 ESPRIT Last October YMLCpl Ryan M. Colling- sworth was chosen as the Unit Young Ma- rine of the Year. His dedication through- out the year demonstrated exceptional performance and outstanding leadership. Since his Basic Recruit Training gradua- tion he has worked to move up in rank and was promoted to his current rank of LCpl in April 2015. He leads by example and participated in the Division 6 Encampment. Recentlyhe led his fellow Young Marines by reciting the Red Ribbon Drug Free Pledge at a recent Red Ribbon Drill at the Excelsior High Desert Young Marines. One of his many ac- complishments is that he also received the Gold Level Presi- dential Service Award for volunteering 250 hours or more throughout the year. In addition to being recognized as Unit Young Marine of the Year he received a personal letter from Commander Tim Hille of the High Desert Marines a local non-profit veterans organization in the High Desert. This Young Marine continues to be an active leader in his community. The Excelsior High Desert Young Marines Staff are very proud and honored to have him in our ranks and look forward to seeing what he accomplishes in the future. -- Submitted by Jeffrey A. Velasquez Sr. Unit Commander Excelsior High Desert CA YMLCpl Collingsworth Excelsior High Desert YMs Select Their Unit Young Marine of the Year By YMSgt Joshua Paquette Fall River MA Young Marines have the oppor- tunity to drill in some unique lo- cations. Some in schools military bases or local VFW facilities. The Fall River Young Marines are hon- ored to be drilling weekly on the decommissioned battleship the USS Massachusetts BB-59. This vessel nicknamed The Big Mamie by its original crew is a part of the South Dakota Classand is only one of two South Dakota Class battle- ships still preserved. Since 1965 The USS Massachusetts has re- sided in Fall River Massachusetts at the United States largest World War II maritime museum Battle- ship Cove. This museum includes not only the USS Massachusetts but the USS Joseph P. Kennedy the USS Lionfish the German WWII vessel the Hiddensee and several U.S. P.T. Patrol Torpedo boats from World War II. Visiting the museum is like step- ping into the pastwhen these ships were new and sailing the seas dur- ing World War II. The Fall River Unit practices close order drill on the rear deck of the ship called the fantail and physical training at a local park just a minutes walk away. Classes are taught in vari- ous classrooms on the ship that all served different purposes in WWII. Sometimes we are lucky enough to have overnight stays on the battle- ship and these are really fun times. Overall I think our unit has the coolest place to drill as we learn to be future leaders. Fall River Our Drill is Conducted on a Historic Battleship from WWII Fall River Young Marines snap to attention on a historic battleship. On November 7 2015 our Young Marines Unit was asked to assist with the joint Marine Corps Birthday Ball of the Lewis B. Puller Leather- neck Square and P. W. Milano Ma- rine Corps League detachments. Our Unit has participated in their Birth- day Ball in the past by providing a Color Guard. This year our responsibilies ex- panded. In addition to presenting the colors our Young Marines served as side boys as the special Guests of Honor were presented. We were honored when we were asked to car- ry out the duties of the ceremonial cake escorts. In attendance were the MCL National CommanadantRichard Gore Sr. National Excutive Diretor of the MCL Tom Hazlett and U.S. Con- gressman Scott Perry R PA. During his speech Congressman Perry ad- ressed the Young Marines and told them that they represent Americas youth who truly care about our coun- try. -- Submitted by Anthony Albright Unit Commander Capital Area PA Capital Area Young Marines Assist at a Marine Corps League Birthday Ball Capital Area Young Marines squared away at a joint MCL Birthday Ball. ESPRIT Page 17 ByYMCPL Abigail Islam Milton Lewis FL Esprit De Corps Everyone can simply memorize a set of rules or val- ues such as the Young Marine core values of teamwork leadership and discipline. It takes a special kind of Young Marine to not only follow the rules at meetings and encampments but to include these values into their everyday life. To embrace this kind of lifestyle takes a very high level of self-discipline. If you can do the right thing even when no one is looking you can go far in this life. Esprit De Corps Incorporate Our Values into Everyday Life By YMPFC Alliana Chille LinnBenton OR I have only been in the Young Ma- rines since May of 2015 but I have been having a blast since the first day. It has been a great summer. I have learned much especially about disci- pline leadership and teamwork. Our unit has had the privilege of doing all kinds of fun things from community service at various events to camp outs at our cabin in Sweet Home OR. I personally like the camping trips best of all. I am so for- tunate to be able to call myself a Young Marine and I try my best to live up to that title. Most recently PFC Lauren Chille my sister Janelle Chille my mom and I had the privilege of attending a self-defense and gun safety course that our unit XO. Mr. Search coordinated with an instructor friend.The class consisted of 5 women and 5 girls instructed by Mr. Jack Burright a 5th degree black belt in martial arts. The course was very useful to us. In the self-defense portion we learned some tactics to aid us in personal safety. I was surprised at how well some of the maneuvers worked when we were practicing on each other In the firearms course por- tion we were taught firearm safety and how to fire a pistol for self-defense. I am so thankful to have the opportunity to learn so much with the Young Marines. Thank you so much for making such a great program High Marks for a Firearms and Personal Safety Course Upstate Young Marines ReallyFALL in for Upstate Warrior Solutions In May our family had the privilege of working with the Upstate Young Marines on a cool crisp fall morning to help open Holy Cross Pumpkin patch one of the largest outreach efforts in Up- state South Carolina. We unloaded pumpkins of all sizes from a full- sized transfer truck and helped set up displays for the community. All of the pumpkins gourds and ornamental corn sold at the Patch are grown on a Navajo reservation in New Mexico.Af- ter Hurricane Hugo destroyed farmers crops in 1989 many farmers contract- ed with Navajo Agricultural Products Industry to grow pumpkins. More than 2000 acres are designated for grow- ing 28 varieties of pumpkins gourds and corn and employ more than a thousand Native Americans during the harvest season. Young Marines helped decorate the patch with bun- dled cornstalks grown and donated by local farmers. This is the 10th year that Holy Cross Episcopal Church has had its pumpkin patch. Upstate families look forward to the pumpkin patch every year. It began as an outreach ministry to raise funds for the churchs contribution to an annual Habitat for Humanity build. It has grown to currently pro- vide funding for other non-profit min- istry partners as well. Last year we raised funds for nine non-profits in addition to money raised for Habitat for Humanity. In addition to Habitat for Humanity the ben- eficiaries of this years proceeds will be going to Upstate Warriors So- lution. Through team- work leadership and discipline the Upstate Young Marines were able to support the mission of Upstate Warriors solutions by help- ing them connect lead and inspire. Seeing warriors reunite with their families and with their communities empower themselves and inspire members for the community to em- brace the warrior and their families was truly a blessing. -- Submitted by Kimberly Gray Adult Volunteer Upstate SC Page 18 ESPRIT As a first year Young Marines Unit we were invited by the Orlando Devil Dogs to their encampment at Camp Geneva in Fruitland FL. We had the honor of work- ing with Division Commander John Gio- net YMSgtMaj Jimenez and YMGySgt Melendez. Our recruits had the opportu- nity to learn from the best. At the end of the encampment all of our recruits were pro- moted to Private in the Young Marines.Young Marine Morgan Taylor earned the Molly Marine award with a score of 380 and Colton Zeitler earned the Iron Mike award with a score of 395. Colton Zeitler was also Meritoriously promoted to Private First Class. It is with great enthusiasm the the Naples Young Marines look forward to our par- ticipation in the Young Marines. -- Submitted by Robert L. Kemp Unit Commander Naples FL Learning from the Best at a Florida Encampment Young Marines from a young Florida unit. Im a Gymnast and Now a New Young MarineToo By YMPVT Andrea Ellis Rogue Valley OR I am PVT Andrea Ellis age 12 with the Rogue Valley Young Marines Unit based in Merlin Oregon. I have been in the group for 4 months but have already been on a 3-day river- side campout and marched in two parades. I have earned five ribbons already. I have another favorite activity and have been participating in gymnastics for 5 years now. In the past year I have competed at the state level and performed in four events with a placement at ten different levels. Level 10 competes to go to the U.S. Olympics Team. I placed first in the vault event and second place overall in level 4 for my age group. Our Level 4 team Americas First Kids won first place in competition against 23 Oregon teams. I am now practicing for Level 5. Its much more difficult and spinning in the air is kind of scary. My goal is to win first place overall next year. Gymnastics is perfect practice for the Young Marine Physical fitness tests given twice a year in my unit. Im told I am very limber and have a PFT score of 450. I guess my gymnastics training helps me to attain a high PFT score. By YMSgtMaj Brian Fagan Blackstone Valley MA As Division 1 Young Ma- rine of the Year I was hon- ored to be invited by the Get- tysburg PA Young Marines to attend a reenactment of the Battle of Gettysburg last August. This event was as truly a spectacular show of devotion and patriotism as I have seen. These reenactors dedicate themselves to learn about the roles they portrayed. Battles were incredible and the North Camp and the South Camps were even more so with all the tents and all the reenactors going about their daily lives as Civil War soldiers. The Young Marines I was with were split between North and South. It was interesting when we returned to our campsite. These Young Marines were enthusiastic students of the culture in and around their hometowns. But once the work was donethese Young Marines showed me that they can have as much fun as anyone. This was an incredible experience one that I will not forget for a long time. I recommend anyone in or around the area of Gettysburg to visit the battlefield the museums and the town itself and try to attend the next reenactment. Attending a Reenactment of the Battle of Gettysburg I started my career in the Young Marines at the ripe age of 8 years old in June 2004. I was later a member of Orleans Par- ish Young Marines Color Guard and performed before dignitaries and at professional sports events. By the time I was honorably discharged in May 2010 I had achieved the rank of Sergeant. The Young Marines showed me the importance of leadership and discipline.I have since earned degrees at Kan- sas University in American Sign Language Delgado General Studies and Criminal Justice and University Of New Orleans in Physiology. This leadership and discipline that served me in my life can be directly attributed to the Young Marines. It has afforded me the opportunity to become a Sheriffs Deputy right back here in Orleans Parish. Discipline and leadership experiences fit hand in hand.Many of the days while being a platoon Sergeant prepared me for my present job. As I once took charge of my Young Marines I now take charge of my daily activities as a Sheriffs Deputy. I am also fortunate to be part of the Orleans Parish Young Marines where it all started for me.As I progress in my career I urge all Young Marines to remember our core values lead- ership teamwork discipline and to always take advantage of the training that forms us into leaders of our community. -- Submitted by Deputy LaToya Taylor Registered Adult OPSO 1 LA A Personal Note From a Deputy to All Young Marines ESPRIT Page 19 Ask any Foothills Young Marine what their favorite encampment site is and they will tell you Rollins Pass. Located at an elevation of 10 800 ft. above sea level Rollins Pass has breathtaking views and fresh mountain streams. It is the perfect place to build shelters hike to the glacier-fed lake and be a Young Marine. Even in all that beauty mankind still finds a way to mess it up by leav- ing trash behind. This year when we arrived at our campsite we found just that TRASH We spent several hours cleaning up and packing out the previous campers trash. When we left we had restored the area to how it should be. It was a valuable lesson in Leave No Trace policies. -- Submitted by Stacy Anderson Public Relations Officer Foothills CO Rollins Pass An Elevated Encampment in Colorado Music City A Memorial for Fallen Marines And Sailors By YMPVT Ricardo Ruiz Music City TN When we received an email from Mr. Mercerour Unit Commanderthat we had the opportunity to be part of a memorial service for the Chattanooga TN Fallen Marines and Sailors our unit was ready Many of us Music City Young Marines took time on two afternoons last July to assist in the memorial at Madison Fu- neral Home. We stood at the entrance and presented visitors with American Flags and also directed them to sign the memorial books and personalize hand written post cards for families. I spoke to the news reporter and later watched the ten oclock news. We saw ourselves featured on the evenings news broadcast. I appeared on-camera and told why I was there my mom was so proud. The president of Iraq Wars Veterans Association was very impressed with our group and commented on our disci- pline and how we demonstrated our respect for the fallen soldiers. Members of the Marine Corps League were present Saturday. This was my first military memorial and I felt the sadness for the families of those being honored. We had the chance to read their names ages and rank. Many cards had been hand written and were delivered to their families. Each soldiers picture was dis- played this was very moving. I am proud I par- ticipated in this memorial and I will always re- member this day. An elevated encampment Rollins Pass is at an elevation of more than 10000 feet above sea level and a favorite site among Young Marines. Honoring those fallen. Page 20 ESPRIT By YM LCPL Zoie Alford Desert AZ I had the privilege of attending the seminar The Marines All of the Marines Womens leadership in the United States Marine Corps during the Marine Week in Phoenix AZ. It was an honor meeting the USMC BGen Helen G. Pratt LtCol Tif- fany Harris Maj Amy Punzel Capt Evita Mosqueda-Chapman Capt Alison Weeks and 1st Lt Kanika Childers. I really enjoyed it because they an- swered most of the questions I had... Such as How does being deployed af- fect the family and relationships back home They shared several stories of how simple motivation goes a long way and how working as a team can get you anywhere. They stated that as a female you have to prove yourself a lot in or- der to be respected. It was an honor meeting the female Marines I hope to become a Marine someday. Thank you again for the great seminar. Learning About Womens Leadership at Marine Week Young Marines attended a seminar about womens leadership in the Marine Corps. By YMSSgt Keelie McCain Desert AZ During Marine Week I participat- ed in a community service project at Indian Steele Park in Phoenix AZ. YMGySgt Whitaker YMLCpl Al- ford and I and other volunteers helped some U.S. Marines in cleaning up the park and garden area next to the Phoenix VA Hos- pital for a Marine Week project. While at the park we assisted with cleaning the area of all the weeds to get it ready for others to add plantings. There was also an- other project that was completed that spelled out PHX RENEWS. The letters were made with laun- dry soap containers and wire. Al- though it was hot and hard work it was well worth it. We were able to meet a lot of nice Marines and two Arizona Dia- mondback Players pitchers Josh Collmenter and Keith Hessler. Marine Week A Time to Perform Community Service too Diamondbacks and Young Marines in Phoenix AZ. I Had a Chance to Learn About Drones at Marine Week By YMCpl Nickolas Muoz Desert AZ During Marine Week I learned that Marines were utilizing drones and they are used to scout out areas. The Ma- rines were allowed to paint their as- signed drone and had they had a cool looking face on the front. The drones could only be flown in clear weather since it had high tech electronics in it and the plane was not waterproof. These drones use a launcher or cata- pult to get airborne. The drone team consists of a team of Marines and they used two travel vehicles for the drone. One vehicle was to maneuver the drone its equipped with computers and the other to carry the drone. It was so fun to learn about these drones. The drones were just one of the many things I was able to learn about at Marine Week it was so cool to be able to go and to meet Marines and learn some of the cool things they do in the Marine Corps. YMCpl Muoz with drone. ESPRIT Page 21 From Recruits to Young Marines Our Graduation By YMPFC Patrick King Pensacola FL The recruits of the Young Marines of Pensacola are officially graduating on this October day. We have gone through so much on our five-weekend recruit training period we have put sweat tears and yes even some blood into our training. We started out with nine individuals and completed our training with eight. Those of us who stayed have learned what it means to be Young Marines. The values of leadership discipline and teamwork have been instilled in us and we shall bear the title proudly. As one of the eight graduates I know the others will say the same Its an honor to be a Young Marine and we shall forever remember all we have been through and how this program has shaped us to be much bet- ter citizens and better mentors to others. Semper Fidelis Our Challenge Earn the Conservation Ribbon By YMLCpl Samuel Styes Rocket City AL In February our XO came into drill with a large cardboard box full of supplies. Many of us including recruits were curious about what she was plan- ning. Later that day after we had finished our PT we came inside for our Drug Demand Reduction lesson or so we pre- sumed. As we sat down she moved the box to an empty table.Then with a smile she said I need everyone to come over to the table for something special.As we gathered around we could see that the box had supplies for making bird feeders. She picked one up and saidToday we are going to start working on a ribbon. This ribbon the Conservation Ribbon will take a while to earn. She then started handing the bird feeder supplies out. She started reading out the list of requirements and giving us helpful hints on how to complete these requirements. This ribbon requires time and effort. If you only put forth half the effort you only get half the results. But if you work hard at something and do it efficiently the picture starts to come into focus. Some of the things that are time-consuming are collect- ing and identifying ten rocks found in your state describing each Construct and maintain a bird feeder for at least three months including one winter month recording your obser- vations. Mrs. Herron challenged us to complete all of the re- quirements needed to earn this ribbon. Now I challenge you She then started handing the bird feeder supplies out. She started reading out the list of requirements and giving us helpful hints on how to complete these requirements. This By YMPfc Alexis Phillips Douglas County CO What Does it Take 20 Young Marines 29 Adults Teamworkand 2234 athletes. The 2015 Boulder Ironman Run rec- ognized the Douglas County Young Ma- rines as the Best Bike Aid Station call- ing us a stand out group rocking it at bike aid station. Having an aid station at mile 90 we saw exhaustion determination and de- sire. Once the station was prepared we handed out bananas Gatorade water and Clif bars for 6 hours. The feeling... As soon as you saw a rider crest the top of the hill the adren- aline rush began.You would hear a racer yell for a banana and your eyes locked. You cheer the rider on as they take the banana from you with ease. After an hour and a half I passed this job on to my fellow Young Marines. Then trash time Fifty-six miles worth... YMPvt. Norris YMPFC Albrit- ton and I started to pick up miles of trash throughout the entire bike course. Running behind a truck we threw ev- erything we collected into the truck bed - wrappers bottles bicycle tires and other odd items. We completed our task eight hours later and filled two truck beds to the point of overflowing. My Unit Commander saidIf Young Marines cant do it it cant be done. At the end of the day I was exhausted filthy full of pride accomplishment and gratitude In the words of my UC We left Boul- der with a high shine when we finished cleaning up the bike loop. Boulder Ironman Run Miles and Miles of Cleaning Up Before the Run Douglas County CO assembled for a group portrait and above right a view of clean up efforts afterwards. Page 22 ESPRIT By YMCPL Melody Conde Foothills CO This summer I attended Space Acad- emy in Huntsville Alabama. Not only did I make new friends and met Young Marines from across America but it is a summer that Ill remember for a long time. I took part in many activities such as a role-playing space mission seeing real rockets and working together with others in the water to build an object. I had the chance be an astronaut dur- ing one of the missions. I not only had to flip some switches from the more than five thousand switches in the space capsule but I had to go out put on a space suit and reenact what astronauts did to repair heat plates these plates prevent a capsule from burning up on re-entering the Earths atmosphere. We put on space suits which were quite heavy and a helmet before putting on a harness. Then I was attached to a har- ness and the harness pulled another girl and I about six feet in the air. We replaced blocks in this tray to complete our mission. That was probably my fa- vorite memory. What was also intriguing was the fact that the actual rockets and space ships that had journeyed into space were- displayed outside. I saw an actual ship used during testing. It was one of the biggest space vehicles that I have seen. On another day during my week in Ala- bama we all wore swimsuits and had to build a giant cube out of tubes in the water and we were timed against other groups. We all had to use teamwork but the next time that we had to build the cube we couldnt speak to one another we had to communicate in ways other than speaking. Going to Space Academy was probably one of my best memories over the summer and I would definitely rec- ommend going to Space Academy. Editors Note The Young Marines has shifted from the Space Academy in Hunts- ville AL to the National Flight Academy in Pensacola FL. Make sure to check out the SPACES Manual for the upcoming sign up period. Space Academy A Highly Recommended Adventure By YMCPL Morrow Coleman Greater Cleveland OH I had the greatest experience ever at a National Young Marine event. I got a chance to go to the Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville AL for Space Academy. Space Academy is a week-long educational program promoting science technology engineering and math- ematics or STEM. We also took part in hands-on activities like building model rockets. My favorite activity was when our team worked together on our shuttle mission. I served as station specialist 2 and I got to do an EVA for Extra Vehicu- lar Activity you wear a spacesuit and are strapped into a lift cable to simulate anti-gravity. Our job was to perform re- pairs on the Space Shuttle. I also met a lot of new friends from other units from all over the country. I would highly recommend anybody in- terested in science or space exploration to check out Space Camp. Numerous Challenges Await You at Space Academy By YMGySgt Martha Vaught Lt.Alexander Bonnyman TN Your first day of recruit training How do you feel Nervous Scared Excited Good you should be. Those feelings shape who you will become in life. They say when one is stressed their true colors are seen. When you first start out in the program you feel a sense of pride for being able to call yourself a Young Marine.You feel a sense of belonging because you have completed the training to be a part of something bigger than yourself. But we all know that after graduation day sometimes only a few return. Some of the friends that youve made in training were only there for the title and uniform not to be a part of your unit. That can be disappointing. A new fear of meeting the older Young Marines makes you hesitant but this will always happen in life friends come and go and youll be forced to meet new people. Its a test thats easy to pass when you find the courage to actually do it. You find that one friend in the program and that is your stability that keeps you coming back. Then as you find your- self handling more responsibilities and obtaining rank and you see those under you struggling to stay. Remember that is where you came from. You were once in their shoes and you have to take that knowledge and put it into action. As the years pass you go to leadership school and you find that there are many people like you... and many people not like you. The influence that comes from leadership schools is outstanding. Some Young Marines who go to the academies may not seem to be the example we are trying to set. How- ever my point isnt to discuss their flaws but instead tell you that those people can either influence you in the wrong way or the right way. What you choose to do with what is handed to you is what you get. At times it seems unfair and sometimes it seems difficult but in the end these choices are what shape you as a person. As a Young Marine Ive learned many many life lessons. And today I challenge you to take what has been done and given in your life and use it. BE the better person BE the role model for your Young Marines. YOU are the change that is going to change the world not anyone else. The Young Marines is a life-changing program through and through. The people we meet across the country the everlasting fellowship you will only get that in this program.You will find who you are in life through this program and if you dont like who you are now then change it Finding Yourself and Life Lessons in the Young Marines ESPRIT Page 23 LinnBenton Happy Birthday Young Marines By YMPFC Lauren Chille LinnBenton OR Ive just completed my first summer with the Young Ma- rines which I can honestly say was one of the best Ive had It has been a busy one full of camping trips and swimming community service at various events and color guard presen- tations. But now more about our latest excursion At around 0830 on October 17th my unit left our meeting place for an hour-long drive to Newport OR in order to celebrate the Young Marines 50th birthday. It was a blast First we went to the Newport Aquarium. We also watched a short movie about shipwrecks treasures and historical artifacts found in the ocean then visited the gift shop. Then we drove down to South Beach about ten minutes away where we had lunch before gathering for the cutting of the birthday cake with a ceremonial sword. Our guest of honor Mr. Beach led the ceremony for us. He asked the oldest Young Marine me YMPFC Lauren Chille as well as the youngest Young Marine YMPVT Thoreson to stand at the table while the first two pieces of cake were cut. Then Mr. Beach as the guest of honor took the first bite according to ceremony. He turned to the Young Marines and wished us all a Happy Birthday. He took the other piece of cake and passed it to me so that I could take her first bite. This represents my knowledge and my experience. Then Mr. Beach asked me to pass the cake to YMPvt Thoreson and said This symbolizes the passing on of knowledge and expe- rience to the younger Young Marine. The remaining cake was then cut and shared with all in at- tendance.What I feel about the cake cutting ceremony is hard to describe. I somewhat somber but excited and honored to be part of it.I will remember the experience for the rest of my life. After cake we cleaned our picnic area and went to have fun on the beach. At the end of the day we went to the dock where we saw fishing and crabbing boats and many seagulls and sea lions before heading home. Happy Birthday to all you Young Marines out there Oorah and Semper Fi Inside a Color Guard and Squad Drill Competition By YMLCpl Luke Paulson and YMCpl Klarisse Base Eagle CA We are with the 5th Battalion California Regiment 6 Divi- sion Young Marines. I have been in this program for three years and I started recruit training in June and graduated in August 2012. It has taken me a long time but in 2014 I earned the rank of Lance Corporal said YMLCpl Paulson prior to the competi- tion. About the 5th Battalion Drill Competition The Young Marines in 5th Battalion have Squad and Color Guard Com- petitions every six months. Before the Drill Competition the unit prepares by practicing.This includes all the facing move- ments column movements flanks and obliques. The Squad Leader makes sure that everyone in the squad executes all the movements with precise moves. Marine Staff Sergeant Williams and YMGySgt Kendra Base assisted this year. Af- ter much practice we were confident and ready to compete in the competition. When we arrived at the Drill location in Norco California we had to fall into Battalion formation with Chino Valley Southland San Gabriel Valley and Eagle Young Marines all from 5th Battalion. We received orders that we would have a uniform inspec- tion after formation Squad Drill and Color Guard. It was time for the Color Guard to drill. During the drill we were given an overview of what we had to do Eagle YMCpl Klarisse Base formed up the Color Guard and started the drill card. The Eagle Young Marines preformed to the best of their abili- ties and were outstanding. Afterwards 5th Battalion Young Marines stayed and dis- played great sportsmanship towards the other units. After all the units were tested on the Color Guard we started the Squad Drill. Overall everyone was executing orders perfectly and we did well on drill. The drill competition ended and scores were added up as we anticipated the results. We were told that the evaluation was very close and the Eagle Young Marines won the Drill Boot for their outstanding Color Guard and Squad Drill performances. The DrillColor Guard Boot Trophy will be with the Eagle Unit for the next six months. Until thenwe will continue working together for the next 5th Battalion Drill Competition. Southern California Regiment 2nd Battalion Young Marines from the Miramar Young Marines and the North San Diego Young Marines at the Veterans Day Parade on November 11 2015 in San Diego California. -- Submitted by Bret A. Righthouse Unit Executive Officer Miramar CA Miramar and North San Diego Veterans Day Page 24 ESPRIT Madison Rising Invites Young Marines Onstage Every second Sunday in August is a na- tional celebration known as the Spirit of 45. In 2010 a woman named Edith Shane organized a nation-wide move- ment to keep alive the Spirit of 45 cel- ebrating the end of the Second World War in 1945. She wanted to continue that same spirit of we can get things done that existed at the end of World War II. The Travelers Rest Historical Society has brought this movement to the upstate of South Carolina and the Upstate Young Marines have been a part of this celebra- tion for the past three years. Spirit of 45 Upstate has marked the end of World War II every year since 2011 but this year the celebration expanded to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and also the efforts to rebuild that followed. The major goal of this event was to educate young people about the sacrifices made by the Greatest Generation This years event was held August 9 2015 at the Younts Conference Center at Furman University in Greenville SC. The event featured exhibits of 1940s memorabilia including one spotlight- ing the role of women in the war and an oral history project. Deceased soldiers from our area were honored with a me- morial wreath and each deceased WWII Veterans name was announced while our Upstate Young Marines carried their photo in a Memory Parade. Spirit of 45 Upstate is co-sponsored by the Travelers Rest Historical Society Honor Flight Upstate SC and American Le- gion Post 3 which operates the War Museum. The Upstate Young Marines are proud to be able to pay trib- ute to the men and women who served in the armed forces and those who kept things going on the home front. We are certainly keeping the spirit alive -- Submitted by Kimberly Gray Registered Adult Upstate SC Spirit of 45 Honoring the Greatest Generation Mecklenburg Assisting at the Purple Heart Dinner By YMRct Alexander Vance Mecklenburg County NC Let it be known that he who wears the military order of the Purple Heart has given of his blood in the defense of his homeland and shall forever be revered by his fellow countrymen. Last August my unit was honored to be part of the inaugural Purple Heart Dinner held at the Sheraton LaMeridian Hotel in Charlotte NC. We were in the company of more than eighty Purple Heart recipients two former Prisoners of War a Congressional Med- al of Honor recipient and several Gold Star Mothers. For many of these men and women this was the first time they have been honored publicly and possibly the first time their stories from combat were heard by their families. Our unit along with JROTC units from CharlotteMecklen- burg Schools provided the much needed support for the evening no job was unimportant on this night. We are proud to have been a part of this event and we look forward to par- ticipating in the future. al of Honor recipient and several Gold Star Mothers. For many of these men and women this was the first time they have been honored publicly and possibly the first time their stories from combat were heard by their families. Our unit along with JROTC units from CharlotteMecklen burg Schools provided the much needed support for the ESPRIT Page 25 By YMSGT Robert McKenna Flatirons CO Last August my family was in- vited to attend Concerned Vet- erans for Americas Banquet and concert featuring Madison Rising at the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space museum in Denver CO. When we arrived we were greeted by those from other units such as Buckley Field Douglas County and Brighton Young Marines. It was good seeing so many Young Marines there to represent the program and enjoy the concert. Madison Rising performed The Nation- al Anthem and the Banquet began. There were many speakers at the event including veterans David Bellava U.S. Army and Jason Redman U.S. Navy. Both served during the Iraq War and demonstrated heroic leadership and courage on the battlefield. I was honored to speak to them afterwards. Before the break the Master of Ceremo- nies asked all veterans to stand up it was very moving to see veterans from all branches ranging from WWII to the current war on terror. During the intermission Dave Bray the lead singer asked to speak to us. He told us how proud he was to be able to partner with the Young Marines who support our veterans and carry out American ideals. He told us to pursue the program and finally to enjoy the concert.When it was time for the concert all of the Young Marines were asked to come up to the stage while Madison Ris- ing performed. They sang The Star Spangled BannerThe Marines HymnFol- som Prison Blues and other songs that we all enjoyed. After the performance we had to say goodbye to our friends in the other units and leave but not before we all got signed CDs and T-shirts from the band. It was truly an awesome experi- ence that none of us will forget. Why I Appreciate Americas Veterans YM Cpl Nathan O. Crawford CPL Milton Lewis FL I appreciate Americas Veter- ans from the Civil War World War I World War II and its many battles to Iraq in more recent times. We should really be thankful for the veterans who fought for our country and the freedom we enjoy today. To begin with we should thank our veterans for their service to our country. Some fought in the battles that brought freedom to future generations. Our vet- erans knew that wars are very danger- ous and served knowing that they may not make it through the war. Many veterans experienced the loss of their friends in combat. We should remember their sacrifices. We should honor and thank the veterans we see in our community. Veteran members of my units staff include Mr. Bob Gasche Mr. Cary Hill Unit COand Mr.Richard Lester.And we all honor CPL Milton Lewis our units namesake who was the first person from Gainesville FL killed in action dur- ing World War II. We should remember to honor veter- ans from all our military branches. Our veterans are impor- tant because they were a part of many things that have shaped our history and are an important link to that history. For exam- pleMr.Bob Gasche in my units staffis a Purple Heart recipient and a veteran of the Battle of Iwo Jima. He witnessed the historic flag raising on Mount Suribachi. Military Honors for Lt.Alexander Bonnyman Jr. On Sept 27th 2015 Bluegrass KY Young Marines participated in the ceremony for the formal burial of the remains found in Tarawa of Lt. Alexander Bonnyman Jr. Medal of Honor recipient. --Submitted by Sherry De Hart Executive Officer Bluegrass KY Young Marines Orleans Parish Young Marines Color Guard comprised of YMCpl C. Bibbins YMCpl C. MonkYMLCpl K. LeBlanc and YMSgt M.Ayyad performed admirably by presenting the National Colors at this years National Juvenile Homeless Conference. All Young Marines sacrificed two mornings from attending school and made this engagement a success. Their can-do attitude especially on the day of the Marine Corps birthday exemplified the greatness of what this pro- gram is. -- Submitted by Jamil Champagne Unit Commander OPSO 2 LA OPSO Presents at National Conference Page 26 ESPRIT From Northern Kentucky to Washington DC A Few of Our Memories of an Unforgettable Unit Trip Assembled from Northern Kentucky YM reports The terms unforgettable and awe- some were those most often used by Northern Kentucky Young Marines to describe last summers trip to Washing- ton DC. The sights of our nations Capital made lasting impressions on them. The unit stayed at Fort McNair an Army base which graciously allowed the unit to stay there. A trip to Young Marines National Head- quarters and they had a chance to meet Young Marines from the Manassas VA unit. The unit visited the National Mu- seum of the Marine Corps the Washing- ton Memorial the World War II Memo- rial and took part in an unforgettable visit to the Tomb of the Unknowns. Once we arrived at the army barracks and put our gear away the Manassas unit brought us chow reported YMCPL Samuel Craig. The next day we rode a bus that was from Henderson Hall to the National Museum of the Marine Corps. YM PVT Iris Noth noted that I remember one of the first things we did was watch a Marine video on a movie screen. During the movie I suddenly thought These men and women are prepared to die so that we can live.That thought stayed with me for the rest of the day. YMPvt Ella Messmer explains My trip to Washington D.C. awakened in me the realization of how proud I am to be an American citizen. Every new day led us to a new sight... We visited two Smith- sonian Museums. They had exhibits about the Bill of Rights the Star Span- gled Banner and many more important moments in American history. The next day we visited all the memorials. We saw the Washington Lincoln World War I World War II Vietnam and Korean War memorials. We got to be just feet away from the Washington Monument and stand on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous speech I Have a Dream. At night we went on a sunset cruise. The last day was a very exciting day. We went to the Sunset Parade and Arlington National Cemetary. I thought it was special because four Young Ma- rines from our unit placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns. The four YMs were YmSgt MaurerYM Sgt Rowland YMSgt Riggs and YM GySgt Richter. These ten minutes were the pinnacle of my trip and a highlight of my Young Marines career. Im incredibly grate- ful for the opportunity to pay homage to these warriors the way we did said Jared Ricther. Spending quality time with the rest of my unit and getting to know them better was an enjoyable pastime when activities slowed said YMLCpl Jared Darpel. The trip allowed me to experience and learn so much. It was my first time ever being in an airplane which I must say is pretty awesome. I now know I love flying. I learned a lot about our countrys history. I was able to view The Lincoln Memorial and the Memorial of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Viewing Presi- dent Kennedys grave site impacted me the most. I feel Kennedy was a great president for many reasons said YM PVT Samuel Russell. My favorite event was the Sunset Pa- rade which takes place near the Iwo Jima Memorial. At the parade every one in my unit and two Manassas Young Marines had the opportunity to sit in the box seats. The Commandants Own Drum And Bugle Corps played a couple of songs and then the Marine Corps Si- lent Drill platoon finished the perfor- mance said YMLCPpl Jonathan Craig. Added YMLCpl Scott Robinson The box seats are usually reserved for im- portant people so we felt grateful that we were able to be seated there. Overall it was one of the best things I have done in the Young Marines stated YMCPL Samuel Craig. ConcludingYMPFC Marc Greene said One thing that I took away from our trip to Washington D.C. is the scope of Americas reach in this world. It is one thing to read about how involved America has been in the world since our nation was founded but it is a whole different story when you actually see it. All of the Young Marines thank Unit Commander Lynne Arnold and her dedi- cated volunteers for making this trip a reality Contributors to this story include YMLCPL Jared Darpel YMPFC Marc Greene YMGySgt Jared RichterYMLCpl Scott RobinsonYMSgt Audrey RowlandYMPVT Samuel RussellYMPVT Michael James BarnettYMPVT Iris NothYMPVT Ella MessmerYMLCPL Jonathan Craig and YMCpl Samu- el Craig of the Northern Kentucky Young Marines led by Unit Commander Lynne Arnold. ESPRIT Page 27 Young Marines Graduations Congratulations to all our new Young Marines and to all those who taught and nur- tured them. Good Work A Salute to Young Marines Achieving a Perfect 500 PFT Score YMCpl. Riley Q. Hague Douglas County CO YMPFC Titus Carlin Douglas County CO YMGySgt Matthew Carr Columbus IN YMMSgt Jared Baker Columbus IN YMMSgt Ben Clancy Columbus IN YMCPL Mason Bowers Keystone PA Young Marines completed three perfect PFTs in a row in February June and September 2015. YMSgt Sophia Pearson Santa Clarita Valley CA YMPVT Aiden Abadi Santa Clarita Valley CA YMSSGT Andrew Hamper Ashtabula County OH YMSSGT Hamper has also been selected as unit YMOY for 2015 YMSgt Adela Eccli Golden Gate NOTE This is YMSgt Ecclis SIXTH Perfect PFT Score Unit Columbus IN Date June 13 2015 UC Scott Riley Honor Grad YMPFC Aaron M. Streeval Unit Santa Clarita Valley CA Date July 18 2015 UC Tim Stratton Honor Grad Division 6 Senior Leadership School YMSGT Sophia Pearson who also won the Molly Marine Award Unit Elizabethtown PA Date April 10 2015 UC Michele Keener Honor Grad YMPVT Zachery Eshelman Unit Miami Valley OH Date October 14 2015 UC John F. Bankowitz Honor Grad YMPVT Leon Penson By YMPVT Caitlyn Early Pyramid Rock HI Sisters Caitlyn and Ju- liette Early newly gradu- ated YM Privates from the Pyramid Rock Hawaii Young Marines look up to their Executive Officer Storme DiGiovanni with gratitude for her leader- ship throughout the re- cruit training period. Cait- lyn earned the Molly Marine award for having the highest PFT score in her recruit class and Juliette will participate in this years Young Marine Ball as the youngest YM in her unit. Two Sisters Graduate in Hawaii Unit Commander Mike Fitzsimmons joined Young Marines in the Knoxville TN Mud Run on Sept. 26th 2015. -- Submitted by Sherry DeHart Executive Officer Bluegrass KY Young Marines And Just for Fun A Mud Run in Tennessee... Page 28 Young Marines ESPRIT Flags with special message cards attached were given to veter- ans at the parade coordinated by the Nashville Veterans Council and to our units dad veterans. We marched down Broadway Parade started at 14th Avenue Broadway and ended at 3rd Avenue downtown on a beautiful No- vember day. -- Submitted by Peggy Northcutt Music City TN Young Marines Veterans Day Parade with the Music City Young Marines In Our Next Issue of Esprit Young Marines National Headquarters P.O. Box 70735 SW Station Washington D.C. 20024-0735 Well wrap up 2015 with reports from units telling us about participating in holiday sea- son activities in their communities and taking part in memorial activities at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. Well tell you about some of our activities planned for the coming year. Remember to send us your stories and pho- tographs and let everybody in the Young Ma- rines know what you and your unit are doing