Prescott Young Marines travel to D.C. during inauguration week
Fifteen Young Marines from Prescott (the Central Arizona unit) spent nearly a year fundraising in order to travel to Washington D.C. during inauguration week. Ranging in age from 11 - 17, the Young Marines who made the journey had never been to the East Coast, and many had never flown in a plane.
The Young Marines' first day began by laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia.
As part of a celebration of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, on Saturday, Jan. 19, the Young Marines represented their organization by staffing a booth at the National Day of Service tent on the National Mall. They provided information about the Young Marines and offered advice on youth physical fitness.
Over the rest of their week, the Young Marines went to Gettysburg, Pa., to tour the Civil War cemetery and battleground; they visited the National Museum of the Marine Corps and Quantico Marine Corps Base in Virginia; they had a personal tour from a U.S. Marine Major and instructor at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland; and they visited many of the Smithsonian museums.
In addition, they enjoyed a private tour of the "Ready Room" of Marine One, the president's helicopter.
A high point was visiting the national headquarters of the Young Marines and meeting Mike Kessler, national director and CEO of the Young Marines.
The Young Marines is a national nonprofit 501(c)(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 www.YoungMarines.com.