WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — More than 150 youth members of the Young Marines, a national youth education and service program, from across the country gathered in Window Rock Aug. 14 to honor and learn from the Navajo Code Talkers from WWII.

Every year on Aug. 14, the Navajo Nation celebrates an elite group of World War II veterans — the Navajo Code Talkers. These remarkable patriots served their country by transmitting top-secret messages across enemy lines using the Navajo language as code - the only code unbroken by the Japanese in World War II. To date, only five of these veterans remain.

Since 2006, the Young Marines have traveled to Arizona each year to celebrate the Navajo Code Talkers and to meet the few remaining survivors in person.

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The Navajo Code Talkers’ story has been top secret for years, but the Young Marines help to keep their legacy alive.

“Navajo Code Talkers Day is an event that the Young Marines and the Navajo Code Talkers look forward to every year,” said Brenda McNulty, Young Marines event coordinator. “Our partnership between the descendants of the Navajo Code Talkers and the Young Marines has strengthened year after year since 2006. It is a collaborative effort in which both parties create a successful event for everyone to enjoy.”

The Young Marines participate for three days on the Navajo reservation. They escort the Navajo Code Talkers during Navajo Code Talker Day also participate in a parade, a trail run and clean up, community service at a zoo and museum education. It is a jammed-packed three days of education and service.

“Just being around these exceptional veterans make us feel as though we could take a step back in time,” said Col William P. Davis USMC (Ret), national executive director and CEO of the Young Marines. “The Young Marines are assuring the legacy of these very special veterans. They will not be forgotten.”

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The Young Marines National Foundation will be the beneficiary in the upcoming Great American Summit on April 17-18, 2020.

The summit is a power packed 2-day live event in Washington, DC, hosted by Dave Brown, Barb Allen, and the American Snippets podcast.

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The Great American Summit brings together some of this country’s most extraordinary influencers, business leaders, heroes, veteran entrepreneurs, and personal development experts in a high intensity, electrifying value driven live event.100% of net proceeds goes directly to charitable organizations that support military families, veterans, police, and first responders.

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Young Marines Master Gunnery Sergeant Emma Forcier, 17, of Port Charlotte, Florida and YM Master Sergeant Walter Patton, 17, of Greenville, South Carolina were selected to receive Jimmy Trimble Scholarships from the American Veterans Center.

The honors will be bestowed during the 22nd Annual Conference of the American Veterans Center on Saturday, October 26, in the William G. McGowan Theater at the National Archives in Washington, DC.

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Both scholarship winners will escort WWII veterans to Guam and Iwo Jima next spring for the Reunion of Honor which, in 2020, is the 75th anniversary of the battles. They will join eight other youth members of the Young Marines as they travel to the island of Iwo Jima which is accessible only one day a year.

The award is presented annually to two Young Marines who exemplify the fine qualities of James “Jimmy” Trimble III. Trimble was a star athlete who passed up the opportunity to play professional baseball to first serve his country in the Marines. He died at age 19 on March 1, 1945, on Iwo Jima.

“Jimmy Trimble gave up professional baseball and many other offers to serve his country,” said Col William P. Davis USMC (Ret), national executive director and CEO of the Young Marines. “We are grateful to the American Veterans Center for keeping his spirit alive and for allowing the Young Marines to play a key role in that effort.”

YM/MGySgt Emma Forcier

YM/MGySgt Emma Forcier, 17, is a member of the Imagine School Young Marines located in North Port, Florida, under the command of Sgt. Steve Black. Forcier joined the Young Marines when she was 12 years old and in 7th grade.

“This scholarship is much more than a trip to Guam,” Forcier said. “It is an honor and a responsibility. The Young Marines has never let me down when it comes to helping me with my future. Through this scholarship, I will pursue my goal of going to college, and I will represent the Young Marines to the best of my abilities.

Forcier said she is very excited and thankful for the once in a lifetime opportunity of traveling to Guam and Iwo Jima.

She is the current billeting Regimental Sergeant Major of the 1st Florida Regiment, and she received a top 10 designation at the Advanced Leadership School. In addition, she was the lead Young Marine in creating the Young Marines reading list.

“The best part of being a Young Marine is the camaraderie and meeting other Young Marines from all around the nation and making friendships that will last a lifetime,” Forcier said. “Not only did I make friends for life, but the Young Marines has also helped open my eyes and pushed me to do all of the things that I never thought I would be capable of doing.”

In high school, she is a member of the National Honor Society and the recipient of the Navy League Theodore Roosevelt Medal of Youth. Forcier is in varsity soccer, and she is the varsity softball captain. She is the band president, and she received a superior rating in the Music Performance Assessment.

Forcier plans to become a nurse, paramedic, or a biomedical engineer. Post college, she is considering joining the Navy.

She is the daughter of Pattie and Tom Forcier. Her sister Molly was a YM/PFC until she changed schools and was no longer eligible to stay in her unit.

YM/MSgt Walter Patton

A resident of Greenville, South Carolina, Walter Patton, 17, is a member of the Upstate Young Marines located in Greenville, South Carolina, commanded by Sgt. Major James Roberts Jr. Patton joined the Young Marines at age 10 while in the 4th grade. Today he is a senior at Eastside High School in Taylors, South Carolina.

“My selection for the Jimmy Trimble Scholarship is a tremendous honor which I do not take lightly,” Patton said. “Receiving the scholarship named for such a gallant veteran of the Second World War who gave up so much for his love of country, will be something I remember as long as I live.”

With the Young Marines, Patton graduated 2nd in his class at the Advanced Leadership School (ALS), and at the same event, he received the Alumni Inspire Award. He has received awards for good citizenship, a perfect physical fitness test score, Presidential Volunteer Service, and the Marine Corps League Commendation. In addition, he was appointed his unit’s chaplain.

As part of the scholarship award, Patton will travel with other Young Marines to Guam and Iwo Jima.

“Few people have the chance to travel to these places where American sailors, soldiers, and Marines battled a relentless foe,” Patton said. “Without the men who fought, and the great victories achieved at these places, our treasured liberties may have been lost. The ranks of our WW II veterans are thinning with each passing day. While they are still with us, we must show our appreciation for their gallant deeds.”

Post high school, Patton hopes to attend the Citadel or the University of South Carolina and major in history. He may serve in the Marine Corps or Army reserves or possibly attend Marine Corps or Army OCS following completion of college. Ultimately, he hopes to utilize his passion for history as a historian with the government or National Park Service.

“My great-great uncle, 1st Lt. Robert Mazyck Mitchell, died of wounds sustained while serving with the 82nd Airborne during Operation Market Garden,” he said. “He had previously fought for 36 days at Normandy where he was awarded the Bronze Star for pulling a fellow soldier from a burning truck. Also, he was awarded the Purple Heart with an Oak Leaf Cluster after receiving a wound during the D-Day invasion.”

Walter is the son of Margaret and James Patton. He has two older sisters.

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The National Department of Defense selected the Miami Valley Young Marines from Huber Heights, Ohio, as this year’s winner of the Fulcrum Shield. The award was presented Thursday, October 17, 2019, at a special ceremony in the Hall of Heroes at the Pentagon, Army Navy Drive and Fern Street, Arlington, Virginia.

The award is given annually by the Department of Defense and recognizes military-affiliated youth organizations around the world that have made intensive efforts at spreading anti-drug messages in local communities.

This is the second time Miami Valley Young Marines has won this prestigious award and the 10th win for the Young Marines program.

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“It has been a busy yet rewarding year for our Young Marines,” said J. Keagan Miller, unit commander of the Miami Valley Young Marines. “It is exciting to see them interact with all of the local law enforcement and other drug prevention organizations throughout the Miami Valley.

“We are thankful for all of the community support we have garnered over the past few years which, without their assistance, none of this would be possible.”

In 2014, the Young Marines unveiled “Closing the Gate on Drugs” on a national scale. It consists of lessons that help young people learn and practice new skills and strategies for resisting the gateway drugs. These “gateway drugs” include tobacco, alcohol, inhalant abuse, marijuana and over the counter or prescription medication.

“We are extremely proud of Miami Valley Young Marines for their remarkable efforts in educating the local community the dangers of drugs,” said Col. William P. Davis USMC (Ret), national executive director and CEO of the Young Marines. “Their message reached thousands of adults and youth and made a real impact that extends beyond just our members. The engagement by the Young Marines and the interaction with so many community element and leaders really was fantastic.”

The Miami Valley Young Marines was founded in 1998 as the Dayton Young Marines. The name was changed in 2003 to encompass communities in all 13 counties in the Miami Valley area. The unit has 30 youth members and 12 registered adult leaders.

Recent awards received by the Miami Valley Young Marines:

Fulcrum Shield Award by the DoD (2017)
Division Unit of the Year (2006, 2018, 2019)
Division Enrique “Kiki” Camarena Award (2017, 2019)
Distinguished Unit Citation (2005, 2015, 2018, 2019)
Marine Corps League Unit Commendation (2006, 2017)
Regimental Unit of the Year (2017)

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The Young Marines National Foundation
PO Box 530543
St. Petersburg, FL 33747



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