Young Marines seek a few good men, women
Former Marines recently organized Navasota Valley Young Marines, a non-profit youth organization for children ages 8 through graduation of high school.
This program serves as an educational program for boys and girls to teach leadership, citizenship and a healthy lifestyle.
Young Marines was started in 1959 with a small group in Waterbury, Conn. The group now totals more than 10,000 youth and 3,000 adult volunteers nationwide.
The hours contributed to Young Marines could benefit those enlisting in the Marines or other service branches by increasing overall salary initially and placing them farther along in rank after the completion of boot camp.
“We teach flag traditions, civics and welcome parents’ involvement,” said Michelle Mullinix, a Navasota Valley Young Marines volunteer from Groesbeck. “To give them these unique opportunities and to give back to our community the way that the Heart of Texas unit does for Waco.”
In 2018, Mary Mullinnix, a Groesbeck youth previously attending school in Waco, earned the rank of sergeant with the unit there. Last year another Groesbeck student, Abbagayle Ray, joined the group and has earned the rank of private first class.
Mary has been trained in teaching classes for drug awareness for the other Young Marines, but also for other youth organizations such as 4-H and Scouts of America. She says the best part was getting to meet veterans and listening to their stories.
“They should be honored for their sacrifices in serving our country, and give back to them by helping them in any way we can, even if it’s just visiting with them and hearing their stories,” she said.
The two Young Marines have participated in events like National Night Out, parades and ceremonies as the color guard. Both plan to attend a camp in Colorado.
Instructors with the Navasota Valley unit include former veterans of the United State Marine Corps.
Ret. USMC Commanding Officer Master Sgt. James Bivens served 24 years in the Marines and was known to have excellent leadership and mentoring skills. He served with Liaison Services and Personal Management in the United States and Europe.
Executive Officer Cpl. Patrick Samuels retired from the US Marine Corps with five years of service, specializing as a rifleman and radio operations. He intends to contribute to the Young Marines by instilling values, discipline and morals that he learned in the Corps, in addition to selflessness.
Training Officer Cpl. Bryce Worsham retired from the U.S. Army after serving for four years as an artilleryman. He anticipates working with youth on self-discipline and physical fitness.
Youth in the program will focus on general subjects such as history, customs and courtesies, close-order drill, physical fitness and military rank structure. Participants can earn achievement ribbons in areas of leadership, community service, swimming, academic excellence, first aid and drugresistance education.
The mission of the Young Marines is to positively impact America’s future by providing quality youthdevelopment programs for boys and girls that nurture and develop members into responsible citizens who enjoy and promote a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.
The group will have signups for the program from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16, at the Groesbeck Fire Station and at the Black Cactus Armory in Groesbeck. The station is located at 209 Whitt St., and the store is located at 222 W. Navasota St.
Students from around the surrounding areas of Limestone, Freestone, Leon, Robertson and Falls counties are eligible to join the Navasota Valley unit. Organizers also need adult volunteers, with a military background or not.
“Any help is appreciated,” Michelle Mullinix said. “If you know of a veteran that would like a visit from our Young Marines, let us know. We are looking forward to helping our youth give back to our community.”
The group can be reached by calling 254-645-0125 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit