The Cumberland County Young Marines played host to Mike Kessler, national executive director of the Young Marines; David Cates, with the Tennessee Marine Corps League; and the Tennessee Regiment Young Marines on March 28 at the Welcome Home Party for all Veterans.

After the parade, the Young Marines all joined to take part in the Welcome Home ceremonies at the Cumberland County Complex. Before the program started the Cumberland County Young Marines served a bag lunch to all that were connected with bringing the Tennessee Regiment Young Marines together for this event. The Cumberland County Young Marines were able to make 100 bag lunches thanks to donations from Flowers Bakery, Food Lion, L.P. Shanks, Lee’s Snazzy Snacks, United Grocery Outlet, and the Cumberland County Young Marine adult leaders. A special thanks to Avery York for the use of a private hall at the complex for this lunch.

All the Young Marines adjourned to the main hall for the rest of the Welcome Home activities. During this program Kessler presented two of the highest awards that can be earned to Cumberland County Young Marines. The first one was the highest service award, the Distinguished Unit Citation. Then YM Cpl. Hailey Simons was presented with the second highest award given in Young Marines, the Personnel Commendation Award. Cates presented the Marine Corps League Commendation to five of the Tennessee Regiments of which three were in attendance — Mid-Cumberland, Music City, and the Cumberland County Young Marines. Other units receiving this award but were not present are Sumner County and Stones River Young Marines. The Knoxville Lt. Alexander Bonnyman Unit that was in attendance will also be receiving this award back at a ceremony at their unit.

During the ceremonies, the Cumberland County Young Marine adult leaders, under the direction of Becky Simons with the help of the Young Marines, were registering all veterans that were in attendance and wanted to register.

Due to the volatile weather that weekend, Cliff Hill, Young Marine 3rd Division Commander, only made it as far as Charlotte, NC and had to turn around and return home. He was going to present the Cumberland County Young Marines with the second highest service award, the Young Marine Unit Commendation from Division, which the unit had earned.

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