Veterans Appreciation Week
Every year in November, all Young Marines units participate in Young Marines Veterans Appreciation Week, a campaign that challenges our Young Marines to dedicate time to show our country’s appreciation and help our nation’s veterans in their local communities.
Honoring veterans is not just something Young Marines talk about, it’s what they do! Each year, Young Marines from across the country travel to Iwo Jima, Pearl Harbor and the home of the Navajo Code Talkers, Window Rock, Arizona to honor those surviving veterans and their families for their historic and dedicated service to the United States.
Each Young Marines unit has the opportunity to design their own project that is most fitting in their local community. Projects might include sending thank you cards to hospitalized veterans, cleaning up a disabled veteran’s yard, visiting veterans in the hospital, or simply setting up a community function to socialize with local veterans. Young Marines reach out to thousands of veterans each year during the one-week tribute.
Navajo Code Talkers Day
More than 150 members of the Young Marines travel to Window Rock, AZ, to be part of Navajo Code Talkers Day. Every year since 2006, Young Marines from across the country gather to honor and give praise to the Navajo code talkers from WWII.
Reunion of Honor
In March each year members of the Young Marines travel to Guam and Iwo Jima for the annual “Reunion of Honor.” The weeklong event is for the American and Japanese veterans who fought on the two islands during World War II. The Young Marines engaged the veterans and assisted them in any way they could whether that meant helping with luggage, assisting with getting on and off the bus or ensuring that they have water. Once the veterans and Young Marines got to know one another, they became almost inseparable and some maintain relationships following the trip.
On Friday, Dec. 7 members of the Young Marines lead the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade in Honolulu, HI. They carry the banners of the twelve capital ships that were attacked. The parade’s objective is to honor the heroes and survivors of Pearl Harbor and World War II, to pay tribute to veterans, active duty military members and military families, to celebrate freedom and to keep in remembrance the heinous events of Dec. 7, 1941. In addition to the parade, the Young Marines perform a wreath laying ceremony at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, in memory of the brave men and women who are interred there.
Young Marines in uniform greet veterans and their families as they exit the plane at Ronald Regan National Airport in Washington D.C. They attend a meet and greet event at the hotel where the veterans stay. The next day, the Young Marines enjoy breakfast with the veterans, then assist them as they visit Washington D.C.’s World War II Memorial and the Iwo Jima Memorial.