WEIRTON - 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, and in recognition of Veterans Day, the Young Marines set aside Nov. 3-12 as its 12th annual Veterans Appreciation Week.
The local unit, the Tri-State Young Marines, is based in Weirton and accepts membership from the greater Tri-State area. They meet at the Sacred Heart of Mary Church facilities located at 200 Preston Ave. To contact them, call Raymond Barth III at (304) 374-0992.
"The purpose of this special week is to challenge the Young Marines youth membership to honor our nation's veterans and to demonstrate their sincere appreciation for the veterans' service to America," said Michael Kessler, national executive director.
Through the actions of 300 Young Marines units nationwide, veterans were honored in a variety of ways. Units are sending thank you cards to hospitalized veterans, cleaning up disabled veterans' yards, 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, close behind is the commitment to honor veterans," said Kessler. "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 youth education and service program for boys and girls, age 8 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' beginnings in 1959 with one unit and a handful of boys, the organization has grown to more than 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: www.YoungMarines. com.