All year long members of the Young Marines celebrate America’s veterans, annually reaching more than 30,000 men and women who have served in the armed forces. In recognition of Veterans Day, the Young Marines have set aside an entire week – Nov. 3-12, 2012 – as its 12th annual “Veterans Appreciation Week.”
“The purpose of this special week is to challenge the Young Marines youth membership to honor our nation’s veterans,” said Michael Kessler, national executive director of the Young Marines, “and to demonstrate their sincere appreciation for the veterans’ service to America.”
Through the actions of 300 Young Marines units nationwide, veterans are honored in a variety of creative ways. Units are sending thank you cards to hospitalized veterans, cleaning up a disabled veteran’s yard, visiting veterans in hospitals or planning a community-wide social event with guidance from the Young Marines’ adult volunteers.
“While drug demand reduction education is the primary goal of the Young Marines,” Kessler said, “close behind is the commitment to honor veterans. When the last of our World War II and Korean Veterans have heard the final bugle call, it will be up to us to ensure to their legacy. All Young Marines take great pride in that.”
Kessler says the Young Marines units receive positive feedback from veterans’ organizations year after year but especially during and after Veterans Appreciation Week.
The Young Marines is a national non-profit 501c(3) youth education and service program for boys and girls, age eight through the completion of high school. The Young Marines promotes the mental, moral and physical development of its members. The program focuses on teaching the values of leadership, teamwork and self-discipline so its members can live and promote a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.
Since the Young Marines’ humble beginnings in 1959 with one unit and a handful of boys, the organization has grown to over 300 units with 10,000 youth and 3,000 adult volunteers in 46 states, the District of Columbia, Germany, Japan and affiliates in a host of other countries.
For more information, visit the official website at: http://www.YoungMarines.com.
About 200 Young Marines units from across the country did something this year for veterans on Veterans Day. Sgt Kyler, pictured here, age 15 assisted Lowell Hunter, a veteran at a local veterans home in Lewiston. Kyle is a member of the Lewiston Young Marines. Members of his unit spent veterans day with veterans and handing out flags during the veterans day parade.
The Central Maryland Young Marines hosted a 2012 Veterans Appreciation program at a local school where they performed a cake cutting ceremony in honor of the Marine Corps 237th birthday. They honored staff at the school who served in the military and gave them each a Young Marines mug. Guest speaker Mr. Daniel E. Harper, US Army Retired, gave a speech at the event. Mr. Harper began his military career in 1952 and retired from the Army in 1975. He is a recipient of the Silver Star, two Bronze stars with V devices, three Purple Hearts and numerous other decorations including two Vietnamese Crosses of Gallantry with Oak Palm.