I’ve been drafted! No, not back into the Corps, but pretty close. Well, to be truthful—I did actually volunteer, but with much trepidation. The Marine Corps League (MCL) of Elgin, IL had been trying since January to start a Young Marines unit in their area. They had some folks interested, but no one would step up to be the Unit Commander. Then somehow, my MCL in McHenry County learned of their need and unbeknownst to me, threw my name in the ring.
I went to their website (www.youngmarines.com) and the more I read, the more interested I became. Finally, the first part of April, I gave in and agreed to take on the responsibility of Unit Commander. We have an XO, Adjutant, and three registered adults (Nancy is one of them). I will assume the billet of Training Officer until I find a Marine qualified for the job. 🙂 We are still feverishly in search of a Paymaster, but until found the XO will handle that job.
We have been hard at work setting up everything for the past few months. I finally received our charter and our 501 3c letter from the IRS last week. Now I’m waiting for the packages to arrive with all our “stuff” e.g., flag, guidon, etc.
We have ten children who have already signed up to become Young Marines. We must conduct a twenty-six hour syllabus appropriately entitled “Boot Camp” to be designated as a Young Marine Private. Until then, they are, what else — “Recruits.” Perhaps many of you have heard of the Young Marines. If not, I would encourage you, when you have few free minutes. to peruse their website and see what they are all about – www.youngmarines.com. This organization is NOT a recruiting tool for the Corps. It has; however, been sanctioned by the Corps. The unit adheres to the Corps’ credo of Honor, Courage, and Commitment, wears Marine utilities (without the EGA), uses the Corps’ grade structure, and teaches many of our principles and leadership traits. Their mission is to: “positively impact America’s future by providing quality youth development programs for boys and girls that nurtures and develops its members into responsible citizens who enjoy and promote a healthy drug free life style.” Their motto is: Strengthening the lives of America’s youth.
Lord knows a mission and a motto like that is something we sorely need. I have been reborn. By that I mean I am excited to have the opportunity to use what the Corps taught me during all those years to try and have some impact on today’s children and to pay back to our once great nation for what I have been blessed with at my age and station.
We do not receive federal or state grants and no funding from the Corps or the Young Marines HQs. We will get some help from the MCL in Elgin. We survive through donations and by holding fund raisers. It is costly to become a Young Marine. Our XO and I visited a unit south of us and their fee to join is $589. That got them a set of utilities, pair of boots, cover, PT shorts and shirt and a few other garments and items they would need. I can’t and won’t do that. To begin with, families in our area are hurting, I cannot expect parents with two children to dish out a thousand dollars to enroll them in the program, or have to make a decision to only enroll one.
So, I am asking for donations, every penny will help provide a young boy or girl the chance to learn the necessary skills to become a success and in some small way help this once great nation get out of the sick state we now find ourselves. We are a 501 3c non-profit organization; therefore, all donations are tax deductible. Just yesterday, the XO opened the unit’s account at a local bank. Any donation would be greatly appreciated. Checks can be made out to “Young Marines of Fox Valley,” and mailed directly to me at:
4303 East Drive Crystal Lake, IL 60012
Or, if you have a “Fifth Third” bank near you, you can simply go in and tell them you want to make a donation to the “Young Marines of Fox Valley” and they will handle it
I thank you so very much. This was very humbling to have to go out to my friends and Marines Corps family asking for help. I would never do so if I did not believe it is for a good cause.
Thank you, Gy Bathurst has awoken. 🙂
As always, Semper Fi;Jim Bathurst