The Young Marines and the Women Marines Association (WMA) collaborated to raise the final $50,000 for “Molly Marine,” a statue that honors the unique history of the women of the Marine Corps.
The check was presented on Friday, April 19, to the leaders of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation – Lieutenant General Robert R. Blackman Jr., USMC (Ret), president and CEO, and General Walter E. Boomer, USMC (Ret), chairman of the board.
“The installation of the Molly Marine statue will be very meaningful to WMA and all female Marines – past, present, and future,” said Betty Moseley Brown, WMA national president. “The members of the WMA are eternally thankful to the Young Marines for their support and for all they do for American youth to help instill discipline, encourage patriotism, build leadership and reinforce the value system.”
The statue will be installed at Semper Fidelis Memorial Park which overlooks the National Museum of the Marine Corps, 18900 Jefferson Davis Highway, Triangle, VA. The park is a place of remembrance and reflection, dedicated to the service of all Marines.
The installation of Molly Marine is especially timely, because 2013 is the 70th year of women serving continuously in the Marine Corps. For female Marines around the world, Molly has come to represent the countless significant contributions women have made to the Corps. Molly is a symbol of esprit de corps for all women Marines.
“We are extremely proud to be a part of this important fundraising initiative,” said Mike Kessler, national executive director and CEO of the Young Marines. “Working with the Women Marines Association is always an honor. We continue to seek out opportunities to partner with other long-standing veteran organizations.”
The first United States monument of a woman in a service uniform known as Molly Marine was dedicated on Nov. 10, 1943, in New Orleans, to help recruit women during World War II. This statue is one of three Mollys. The two other replicas are located in Parris Island, SC, and Quantico, VA.
“I have been associated with the Young Marines program for more than 15 years, and every parent I’ve spoken to has been impressed and overjoyed with the program’s impact on his/her son/daughter,” said LtGen Carol Mutter. “The assistance of the YM was key in the fund-raising for the Molly Marine statue project, and it undoubtedly served to help educate many on the service of women in the Marine Corps. I continue to support the YM because our youth are our future.”
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.
Since the Young Marines’ humble beginnings in 1959 with one unit and a handful of boys, the organization has grown to over 300 units with 10,000 youth and 3,000 adult volunteers in 46 states, the District of Columbia, Germany, Japan and affiliates in a host of other countries.