Members of the Brass City Young Marines, the first unit in the country, received a visit from a former member of Unit, Chief Warrant Officer Fred Hodges. Hodges, a 1982 graduate of Crosby High School in Waterbury, was in town visiting family from his current station at Fort Bragg.

   Hodges credits the Brass City Young Marines with helping to shape his career and success in the Army. “The streets were a tough place to hang out, The Young Marines taught me confidence and discipline,” said Hodges. He came back to share stories of his life with the Young Marines and to demonstrate you can come from a challenging background and achieve success, Hodges also strongly encouraged the Young Marines to talk to their parents and guardians or other trusted adults about how they feel. “It is important to let someone you trust know what is going on. If you are being bullied, tell someone, If you are feeling depressed, tell someone,” urged Hodges.  Hodges promised to visit the Unit again on his next trip home.

About the Brass City Young Marines
   The Young Marines is a national non-profit 501c (3) youth education and service program for boys and girls, age eight through the completion of high school. The Young Marines promotes the mental, moral and physical development of its members. The program focuses on teaching the values of leadership, teamwork and self-discipline, so its members can live and promote a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.

   The Brass City Young Marines will host its next recruit class beginning on Sunday, March 4. For more information, please visit the Brass City Young Marines’ Facebook page, email or visit them during their drills on Sundays from 6-8:30PM at the VFW in Oakville.

   The Brass City Young Marines was the first unit in the country and since its humble beginnings in 1959 with one unit and a handful of boys, the national organization has grown to 275 units with 9,000 youth and 2,760 adult volunteers in 40 states, the District of Columbia and Okinawa with affiliates in other countries. The Brass City Young Marines unit has 14 youth members and six registered adult volunteers.

Pictured top left to right:
Sgt Matthew Berthel from Watertown; CPL Tanner Linhard from Bethlehem; LCpl Xander Romaine from Oakville; Chief Warrant Officer Fred Hodges; Pvt Gabriel Aguilera from Bristol; and sisters Sgt Christiana Morley and Sgt Mary Morley from East Berlin.
Pictured bottom left to right: PFC Katheryn Gallucci from Watertown; LCpl Connor Lavin from Oxford; and PVT Chase Rinaldi from Bethlehem. Misssing: LCpl Nathaniel Dileo from Bantam; LCpl Gavin Lydem from Oxford; PFC Robert Spadaro from Middletown; PFC Shea Wilkinson from Rocky Hill