Manassas Young Marines Wins National Award

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Provided by Ginny Richardson Public Relations

The Department of Defense (DoD) selected the Manassas Young Marines as the winner of the 2020 Fulcrum Shield Award. The award is given annually by the DoD and recognizes military-affiliated youth organizations around the world that have made intensive efforts at spreading anti-drug messages in local communities.

“We are extremely honored and proud of this recognition,” said Nick Pecci, unit commander of the Manassas Young Marines. “The partnerships that we have formed with the American Legion, VFW, Law Enforcement, and military installations have allowed us to impact more than 30,000 children, parents, and community members throughout 2019.”

Manassas Young Marines

The unit has 19 youth members and seven registered adult volunteers. The unit amassed 450 hours of drug demand reduction (DDR) training and service in the local community. In addition, community service hours totaled 720 last year.

Manassas Young Marines were the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Kiki Camarena Award winners for its division in 2017, 2018, and 2020. The DEA award honors Young Marines units for drug demand reduction efforts through community education and peer-to-peer role modeling.

“I cannot fully express how proud I am of our Young Marines for their hard work and dedication,” said Helia Maritato, Manassas Young Marines XO and DDR Officer. “This is a great honor and we look forward to continuing to spread the word of living healthy and drug-free lives.”

In 2014, the Young Marines unveiled “Closing the Gate on Drugs” on a national scale. It consists of lessons that help young people learn and practice new skills and strategies for resisting the gateway drugs. These “gateway drugs” include tobacco, alcohol, inhalant abuse, marijuana and over the counter or prescription medication.

“We are extremely proud of Manassas Young Marines for their remarkable efforts in educating the local community on the dangers of drugs,” said Col. William P. Davis USMC (Ret), national executive director and CEO of the Young Marines. “Their message reached thousands of adults and youth and made a real impact that extends beyond just our members. The engagement by the Young Marines and the interaction with so many community members and leaders were fantastic.”

The Manassas Young Marines was founded in 2002. Normally the unit meets at the American Legion Post 10, 9950 Cockrell Road, Manassas, but current meetings are virtual.


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