United States Marine Corps Band
"The President's Own"
Colonel Michael J Coburn, Director
The venue was a little difficult - a high school gymnasium - and it became clear that they had given out more tickets than they had seating. But, we all managed and enjoyed a wonderful concert. There were several JROTC Marines in uniform at the concert. People kept commenting that they looked too young to be in college (high school kids have a tendency to be too young and look to young.)
When we left our house, we waited for three Oregon National Guard Youth Challenge buses to pass before we could pull onto the highway. We assumed they were getting a night out and wondered if they were going to the concert --- and, indeed they were.
One group of girls and two groups of boys came in in their uniforms. Standing in formation and marching in formation, they had tongues wagging - and most of the people there had no idea who they were. They precision marched to their seats and sat at the same time. They were disciplined and proud. When it became evident that their were not enough seats for everyone, the cadets moved -- again in precision -- and sat on the floor for the concert. Several of us applauded them loudly and the band narrator thanked them.
If you don't know about the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe - you really should. Some of the readers might be interested in becoming mentors. This is that chance that so many at risk kids need and the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe gives it to them. They made me proud to see them grabbing a hold of that chance and showing the pride they had in themselves.
The Marine Band was outstanding, but seeing these kids moving forward with their lives was an honor it is hard to describe!
Most states have a Youth ChalleNGe and now there is the Patriot Academy for high school dropouts ages 18-24 who want to join the military.