Published and Syndicated by: Montana News
By Marc Kelley
Living in the crazy world of 2019, makes it very easy to fall under the spell of the "Fake News" media and their contention, the citizens of our country hate one another. Patriotism is no longer considered a moral imperative, speaking positively about our military is tantamount to fascism and supporting law enforcement makes you a racist. Every night the talking heads relentlessly pitch the notion, there are no moderates left in our country. You are either a left wing, socialist, hell bent on destroying our economy or you are a right wing, white supremacist, who supports eugenics. For many of us, dare I say the majority of our citizens, the truth of the matter is, neither the politicians, nor the media, really have a clue what is happening in our country.
As difficult as life can be for the adults in our country, our children too, struggle with concepts they see played out in their own daily lives. Pressure to conform to the ideals and morays of their friends can result in poor choices and profound, life altering results. Bullying at school and online is commonplace and considered a "normal" part, of far too many young lives. Parents are reaping exactly what they have sewn for their children. As we send them to school each day, they are indoctrinated by a liberal narrative; which, promotes anti- patriotism and diminishes the concepts of self worth and hard work. Children are no longer taught the concept, their hard work will be rewarded and through their hard work, anything is possible.
Long ago it was established, children cannot exhibit a specific behavior; until first, they have witnessed that behavior. If you accept this premise, the next questions are; how do we provide positive role models and where might these role models be found. Finding the answer to these questions and frankly many other questions facing today's parents, can be difficult under the best of circumstances. Rather than simply accepting the societal norms which oppose your parental ideology, it is incumbent upon each of us, to teach our personal belief system to the next generation. It is this concept, which has produced some of the the greatest leaders in the world and has ensured our country will forever represent the triumph of good, over evil.
I would like to tell you a short story about an experience I recently had, which clearly illustrated the benefits of providing both encouragement and consequences to young people.
Whether you agree or disagree with the vehicle used to deliver this message, is a matter of personal choice. However, what is of the utmost importance, is we all understand the premiss put forth by FDR in 1940, when he said, "we cannot always build a future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future."
One of my favorite activities in operating Marc Arms, is my interaction with my customers and friends. I encourage everyone to bring their children into the shop, if they so choose and when the kids do show up, I engage them in conversation. I ask how they are doing in school, what they are learning about and the things they like to do in their free time. Through this simple act I have developed many friendships with young people and gained a much better insight into their personal struggles.
While working in my office a few weeks ago, I received a telephone call from one of these young people, I have come to call friend. The purpose of the call, was to ask me to write a letter of recommendation, for his application to the program, known as the Young Marines. Not knowing about this organization, I once again, engage this young man in a conversation, asking him to explain to me what the program was all about and why he wanted to be a part of the program. Not needing to hear the motivation behind his desire to serve others, listening to his explanation, was as refreshing as a breath of fresh air. I of course wrote the letter he requested and outlined my interactions with him over the past several years.
Last week I received a personal visit from this young man and his Father. The two explained there was a Young Marine dinner scheduled for the following Monday evening and offered me a pair of tickets, which had been paid for by a program benefactor. Intrigued by the story, told to me by my friend and welcoming a chance to get away from the daily stress while enjoying an evening out, I graciously accepted.
When we arrived at the venue, we were greeted by two young men, who looked to be about 15 years old. The two were dressed in Marine fatigues and stood smartly at attention, guarding the entrance to the building. "Good evening sir, thank you for coming" was their greeting. As we walked into the building we were met by another dozen or so Young Marines, all looking squared away, by the numbers. We were escorted to our seats and once again thanked for coming to the event. Exactly on time, the program began with the presentation of the colors by the Young Marine Color Guard. With exact cadence, two Honor Guards and two Flag Bearers, were led into the room, by the Sargent At Arms and presented the colors. With everyone in the room standing, their hands over their hearts, in unison, we recited the Pledge of Allegiance. Next, we were led in the invocation by my young friend; after which, we shared an outstanding dinner, surrounded by people who not only share our values, but our love of country as well.
We met many people that evening, including both active and past duty Marines, the Commanding Officer of the Young Marines Unit and a host of fellow citizens who were attending the event, to show support for our troops and encourage the Young Marines. Yet, more important than what I did see, is what I did not see. It has become common to witness a group of people, all with their heads down and their faces in their phones, madly texting; because, they have lost the ability to communicate verbally. In the three hours I spent at the Young Marine event, I never saw one cell phone, in the hands of a Young Marine. Each of my interactions with unit members, found their behavior to be respectful and polite. So much in fact, I sought out the unit CO and asked him directly, how he was able to illicit this conduct from his Young Marines? I will never forget his answer…."Sir, we each have expectations for our behavior and we are committed to achieving those expectations. Failing to meet the requirements of life, guarantees negative consequences. I expect these young people to become the next leaders of our country and those expectations are clearly defined with each task given to them."
The next day, I visited the Young Marines website, looking for additional information about the program. What I found serves to reinforce the words of the Commanding Officer with whom I spoke. If you visit the website, you will find several pull-down tabs, including two marked: Who we are and Who we are not. Clearly defined expectations, tempered with the hard truth about making poor choices. The Young Marines are certainly not for every young person in todays world; however, for many, this program may provide a sense of belonging and a place to express patriotism and honor for the sacrifices made by so many, in order to preserve our freedoms. I hope you will take a few minutes to visit the Young Marines website and learn about the positive message they have not only for young people, but for our country.
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