Chinese Auction

posted Apr 8, 2016, 12:36 PM by Greg Hamper

Sponsored by Ashtabula County Young Marines

Saturday, May 21, 2016 at Jefferson Eagles 133 South Spruce Street Jefferson, Ohio 44047

Doors open at 4:00p.m. Drawing begins at 6:00 p.m.

Ashtabula County Young Marines is conducting a fundraising activity with Malley's Chocolates of Cleveland, Ohio.

posted Jan 27, 2016, 11:42 AM by Greg Hamper

Malley's Chocolate logo

Ashtabula County Young Marines


Hello, Ashtabula County Young Marines is conducting a fundraising activity with Malley's Chocolates of Cleveland, Ohio.

A website has been setup specifically for the Ashtabula County Young Marines fundraising campaign. All purchases made on that site will directly benefit Ashtabula County Young Marines. To connect to this site, please visit

Thank you very much,
Ashtabula County Young Marines

Running for our Code Talkers

posted Jul 9, 2015, 3:19 AM by Greg Hamper

What is a Virtual 5K Race? 
It is an opportunity to run for cause when and where you want to.  In the case of the Young Marines Generations of Honor 5K race it is the opportunity to help raise funds towards the funeral expenses and the events for the Navajo Code Talkers. 

How does it work?
You sign up at to run virtually.  Closer to the actual run date that is scheduled you will be sent the race bib, the event shirt, the finisher's medal and a bracelet.  You run when and where you want.  You can even get a group of people together and run it all at the same time. It is a 5K run/walk but you can choose the course, the day and the time.  You do not have to present proof that you completed the run - it is on the honor system. 

Why run a virtual race?
One obvious reason is to benefit some of our Greatest Generation the Navajo Code Talkers who are heroes from the World War II battles.  Another reason is to get your kids, friends, family members out there living a healthy active lifestyle.  And the last reason is because you receive an awesome, one of kind designed medal that you can't get anywhere else! 

Who can run the virtual race?
Anyone - they do not have to be affiliated with the Young Marines.  If your unit refers them to run the race be sure to have them include your unit name or initials in the referred by box on the registration form.  The unit that refers the most runners will receive a prize that is worth a lot of money!  Tell your friends and family about this race, reach out to the local runner's clubs and military organizations, and sign up yourself.  You set your own pace - EVERYONE CAN DO IT! 

This the best part - you run where and when you want to.  The actual race in person is done at Window Rock, AZ on Aug. 15th but don't feel like you have to run at the same time we are - it is totally up to you! 

We need about 75 more runners - either virtual or in person.  Can you make that happen? 


Brenda McNulty

(951) 551-9884

Helping Setup the 6th Annual Field of Honor

posted Jun 12, 2015, 1:00 PM by Greg Hamper   [ updated Jun 12, 2015, 1:05 PM ]

Volunteers from area veterans groups, the Veterans Service Commission, Greenlawn Memory Gardens and the Ashtabula County Young Marines combined their efforts to assemble and place 400 U.S. flags for the Sixth-Annual Field of Honor event at Greenlawn Memory Gardens.
Click here to read the  



Ten Young Marines Return From a Very Special ‘Reunion of Honor’ on Guam and Iwo Jima

posted Oct 14, 2014, 11:22 AM by Greg Hamper

Ten Young Marines Return From a Very Special ‘Reunion of Honor’ on Guam and Iwo Jima

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


Ten youth members of the Young Marines have returned from their March 12th trip to Guam and Iwo Jima for the annual “Reunion of Honor.” Each year, American and Japanese veterans and their families come together for remembrances of their fallen brothers and to recall the fierce battles that took place on the two islands during World War II. The Young Marines who went on the trip include:

  • YM SgtMaj Dakota Richter of Crestview Hills, Kentucky. – National Young Marine  of the Year (YMOY)
  • YM SgtMaj Austin Loppe of Mingo Junction, OH – Division 1 (YMOY)
  • YM SgtMaj Jason Mooney of Parkville, MD - Division 2 (YMOY)
  • YM SgtMaj Alexander Messmer of Havelock, NC - Division 3 (YMOY)
  • YM SgtMaj Joshua Aikman of Marrero, LA – Division 4 (YMOY)
  • YM SgtMaj Michael Borka of Swartz Creek, MI – Division 5 (YMOY)
  • YM MSgt Blake De Weese of Beaverton, OR. – Division 6 (YMOY)
  • YM MGySgt Mary Wessell of Geneva, OH – scholarship winner
  • YM MSgt Nathan Baker of Atlanta, GA - scholarship winner
  • YM 1stSgt Oscar Pinate of Miami Springs, FL.- Director’s Choice

Adults who accompanied the Young Marines were:

  • George Biedenbender of Fredricksburg, VA – adult leader and chaperone
  • Lisa Farmer of Jacksonville, NC. – adult leader and chaperone
  • Mike Kessler, national executive director and CEO of the Young Marines

“The Young Marines were able to spend several hours listening to the experiences of the veterans,” said Mike Kessler, national executive director and CEO of the Young Marines. “This is living history, not a third party interpretation of what someone thinks might have happened, but the unvarnished reality of war through the eyes of those who were there. Whether they were a trigger puller or a logistician, a runner or a boat driver, their stories are all very real and captured a slice of history that Hollywood will never be able to put on the big screen and that our history books will sadly never reveal.”

“Watching the reactions of the veterans to us was priceless,” said YMSgtMaj Dakota Richter of Crestview Hills, Kentucky, who is the National Young Marine of the Year. “From sitting beside them at breakfast each morning to assisting them all over the island of Guam on our tours, what began as suspicious curiosity quickly transformed into a grandparent/grandchild relationship. Those kinds of bonds are so rewarding, and I’m so thankful we could connect with the veterans in that way.”

The Young Marines were able to attend the memorial service took place for veterans and family members at the Anniversary Monument on Iwo Jima. Commandant of the United States Marine Corps, James F. Amos, delivered a poignant eulogy for the fallen of both sides.

A 36-day assault resulted in an American victory but at great cost. There were more than 26,000 American casualties, including 6,800 dead. Of the 20,000 Japanese defenders, only 1,083 survived. The Marines' efforts, however, provided a vital link in the U.S. chain of bomber bases.

According to Kessler, one thing that set this trip aside from the others was the pride that he saw in the family members accompanying their father on this adventure. Also, none of the returning veterans seemed to be lamenting the return nor did they show any malice for the Japanese.

“They clearly understood that despite the fact that many of them lost close friends to the tenacity of the Japanese defenders,” he said, “they understood that the enemy had a job to do, and they performed as best they could given the circumstances.”

A veteran - Mr. Owen Agenbroad - shared a story with the Young Marines. During WW II, he served with the 5th Marine Division. While assaulting across the island, he came upon a recently abandoned Japanese position. There he found a straight edge razor and soap dish which he picked up as war treasures. Later in life and in looking more closely at the razor, Mr. Agenbroad saw that it had Japanese writing on it, and he set about finding a translator. After confirming that it was the name of the Japanese soldier who owned it, he tried to find out what happened to him. On learning of his death on the island, he felt duty-bound to find out if there were family members still alive. This was confirmed. On March 19, at a very private but emotional setting on Iwo Jima, he returned the razor to the family.

“Makes the hair stand up, doesn’t it?” Kessler said.

YMSgtMaj Richter feels that the sheer magnitude of the reverence that these veterans still carry with them today is awe-inspiring: reverence for their leaders during the battle; their fellow Marines who served with them; and for many, for their buddies who never came home.

“It’s been 69 years, and yet these veterans still choke on their words when describing memories,” she said. “That’s how strong the bond of brotherhood is between those men.”

The Young Marines impressed not only the veterans but the Governor of Guam as well.

“Following his speech at the banquet on March 18th, the Governor commented to General Snowden that he was truly impressed with the Young Marines and wanted to start a unit on Guam,” Kessler said. “We are working on providing all of the information they need to make that a reality.”

Mr. Yoshitaka Shindo, the grandson of the Japanese island commander, LtGen Kuribayishi, is very proud of his grandfather, and he hasn’t missed a Reunion of Honor (RoH) until last year. His job prevents him from attending mid-week events. As president of the Bereaved Iwo Jima Japanese Family Association, Mr. Shindo requested that the 70th anniversary next year be held on Saturday, March 14, 2015. This request was granted.

“Unfortunately and yet understandably, there were far fewer Iwo Jima veterans this year compared to last, and yet we made the most of every minute with them,” said YMSgtMaj Richter. “It’s a somber reminder as to the rate at which these heroes are passing, and every memory we can gather from our veterans deserves to be cherished and documented for future generations.”

The Young Marines is a national non-profit 501c(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, Japan and affiliates in a host of other countries.

For more information, visit the official website at:


Media Contact: Andy Richardson
Ginny Richardson Public Relations
630-789-8899 or



Marine vet honored with award

posted Jun 10, 2013, 12:48 PM by Greg Hamper

Marine vet honored with awardBy STACY MILLBERG - smillberg@starbeacon.comStaff Writer

Jack Baker sat in awe and disbelief Sunday after receiving a very prestigious award for his contributions to the community.

Baker was the recipient of the Chapel of Four Chaplans Legion of Honor Award.

The award was established to recognize and encourage acts of volunteerism, brotherhood and sacrifice among Americans of every age and station of life. The Legion of Honor Award is given in recognition of exceptional selfless service on the part of an individual who contributes to the well-being of his or her community and to a spirit of interfaith cooperation.

When World War II broke out, Baker dropped out of school, joined the U.S. Marine Corps and served his country. Following several Pacific Theater campaigns, Baker left the Marine Corps, completed high school and college and worked as a teacher and coach for 35 years in Indiana.

Baker moved to Ohio after he retired and joined the Private Henry Kalinowski Detachment #782 of the Marine Corps League in Ashtabula County. He has served as commandant and spent countless hours working on fundraising efforts including the Toys-for-Tots program.

Baker was a member of the color guard, rifle detail, Eagle Scout program and funeral service director for the league and remains very active volunteering for whatever is needed. He was the recipient of the Marine Corps League’s Marine of the Year  award as well as the Devil Dog of the Year award. For the past 10 years, he has only missed three league meetings.

One of his most notable efforts is that of the Ashtabula County Young Marines. Baker is one of the charter staff members, serving as the executive officer and commander of the unit.

At the age of 87, he is still greatly involved as the counselor and recruit instructor for the program.

Baker has served more than 65 years volunteering in many capacities.

Baker said the greatest honor for him is being able to work with the Young Marines and watch them grow into upstanding citizens.

New Adjutant

posted Jan 19, 2013, 7:49 AM by Greg Hamper

Please welcome our new Adjutant, Alicen Limestoll.  She has been a staff member for quite a while, and has two Young Marines in our unit.  You can reach her at her phone number (440) 293-4549, and her email address is 

Call to action for our veterans

posted Oct 26, 2012, 11:43 AM by Greg Hamper

Young Marines,

With only a little over two weeks remaining until Veteran’s day, time for planning is running short.  I think that each Young Marines should make a serious effort to be of service to our veterans.  You can visit those who are shut in, like our friends in a retirement home or nursing home.  You can send letters of thanks to family members and friends who have served our country.  Perhaps you could create a nice message and read it (in uniform) with your heart felt voice, at your church service. You could show up unannounced at a restaurant and buy breakfast, lunch or dinner for the veterans in the restaurant.  There is also the call to serve at the Elks Lodge, (63 Parrish Road, Conneaut, OH), as our unit will be performing a Flag Folding.  This is the organized action our unit has elected to do together.  We now need more Young Marines to volunteer for this gig.   We will be servers for the veteran’s dinner, and perform a flag folding. The uniform for this gig will be full cammie uniform.  There has only been seven of you to volunteer for this, and we should have at least fifteen.

Regardless of what you choose to do for United States of America’s veterans, do it with respect.  These woman and men served in times of peace and in war; they are the people who helped each of us maintain our rights and allow us to enjoy our freedom.  Just a little effort on your part, could give them the understanding of how much their service does mean to you.

Greg Hamper, Adjutant & Webmaster

Young Marines Birthday Ball 2012

posted Oct 18, 2012, 5:34 AM by Greg Hamper

Our birthday ball as quickly approaching.  Doors open at 1700 and the ceremonies begin at 1730.  By now most everyone has already been contacted, and you have signed up to bring a covered dish, and indicated the number of people in your party.  If you have any questions, please contact Teresa Cumberledge ( (440) 812-2237., or Karleen Wright (,

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