By Natalie Bazinet
CARIBOU — Nine members of the County Patriot Young Marines went the extra mile to remember fallen soldiers and to raise money for military families by participating in the Active Heroes Memory Miles program on May 19, walking a combined total of 40 miles starting and finishing each mile in the parking lot of Teague Park Elementary School.
Aroostook Republican photo/Natalie Bazinet
Members of the County Patriot Young Marines participated in the Active Heroes program, walking miles to remember the nation’s fallen heroes and to raise money for military families in need. County Patriot Young Marines are, from left, front row: Pvt. Glenn Kleinert, Rct. Christopher Michaud, Rct. Ethan Edgecomb, Rct. Gavin Bowen, Rct. Justin Michaud, Pfc. Emma Rossignol, Pfc. Kyle Kilcollins and Rct. Devon Frazier. Back row, from left, are CPYM leaders Tara Bowen, Unit Commander Diane Norton, Lori Kilcollins and Roxanne Edgecomb. Missing from the photo is CPYM and event participant Pvt. Brandon Whitmore.
Volunteers grilled up hamburgers and hot dogs to fundraise for Active Heroes.
“I’m am so excited to help raise awareness and funds to support the Active Heroes, whose mission is to further spread the word that our military heroes are fighting just as hard at home as they are overseas,” said walk coordinator and CPYM mother Tara Bowen. “In 2012, [Active Heroes] is continuing their mission to help thousands of veterans returning home from war to record high unemployment and a recovering economy.”
The Active Heroes Memory Mile program aims to raise funds between May 19 and May 31 by getting participants to walk, run, hike or bike memory miles with pledged support with a goal of raising $50,000 nation wide. The amount CPYM helped raise for the program won’t be available until May 31, when the program ends, but community members who still want to participate are encouraged to obtain a pledge sheet by calling Bowen at 540-2005.
As of Monday afternoon, community support for the program hadn’t been too grand, but young CPYM Recruit Ethan Edgecomb is hoping more people come out next year to raise money for the Active Heroes.
“Next year I want about the whole entire world to come out and remember the veterans with us,” the youth said.
While Edgecomb is the youngest of the Young Marines in Aroostook County, he was old enough to understand the importance of participating in the Active Heroes Memory Mile program.
“We’re walking for fallen heroes because when heroes are fallen and people miss them, they can walk with us,” the youth said, adding that his fellow CPYM members like showing that they care about fallen heroes.
Around 1 p.m. on May 19, CPYM Recruit Christopher Michaud had already walked three miles with his fellow Young Marines and was hoping to complete a fourth mile by the end of the day.
“I think it’s important because you’re walking for fallen heroes and you’re raising money for families who have lost heroes and people who have died,” Michaud said, adding that it’s important for fallen soldiers to be remembered because they made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting the country.
Parent volunteer Lori Kilcollins helped escort the youths on their mile-by-mile walk, and said the kids were pretty excited to participate.
The youths are scheduled to participate in the Stockholm Memorial Day Parade on Sunday, May 27 and the Caribou Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 28.
The County Patriot Young Marines are: Pvt. Glenn Kleinert, Rct. Christopher Michaud, Rct. Ethan Edgecomb, Rct. Gavin Bowen, Rct. Justin Michaud, Pfc. Emma Rossignol, Pfc. Kyle Kilcollins, Pvt. Brandon Whitmore and Rct. Devon Frazier.
Additional information about the County Patriot Young Marines can be obtained on Facebook or by visiting their website at http://sites.google.com/a/nner.us/cp