Navy Seaman Apprentice Kellie D. Martinez, daughter of Angela and stepdaughter of Hector E. Herrera of Richmond Hill, and niece of Vincent F. Maggiano of Boston, Mass., recently completed U.S. Navy basic training at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Ill., with honors.
During the eight-week program, Martinez completed a variety of training which included classroom study and practical instruction on naval customs, first aid, firefighting, water safety and survival, and shipboard and aircraft safety. An emphasis was also placed on physical fitness.
The capstone event of boot camp is "Battle Stations." This exercise gives recruits the skills and confidence they need to succeed in the fleet. "Battle Stations" is designed to galvanize the basic warrior attributes of sacrifice, dedication, teamwork and endurance in each recruit through the practical application of basic Navy skills and the core values of honor, courage and commitment. Its distinctly "Navy" flavor was designed to take into account what it means to be a sailor.
Martinez is a 2007 graduate of Richmond Hill High School.
The Richmond Hill Garden Club will dedicate a Blue Star Memorial Marker in J. F. Gregory Park at the Veterans Memorial Wednesday, April 30, at 1:30 p.m.
The event will feature members of the Armed Forces and RHHS JROTC, Rifle Drill Team, chorus and band. Sonny Dixon will be the Master of Ceremony. The public is invited to the dedication and light refreshments afer the ceremony.
The Blue Star Memorial Marker has a long history with the Garden Clubs of America.
At the close of World War II, National Garden Clubs were seeking a suitable means of honoring our service men and women.
In 1944 Mrs. Lewis M. Hull, Garden Club of New Jersey President and Mrs. Vance Hood, Roadside Chairman, had an idea. One thousand flowering Dogwood trees would be planted along five miles of highway, which had been designated the Blue Star Drive by the Legislature. The project was named for the blue star in the service flag which hung in windows of homes and businesses to honor service men and women.
Also known as the Service Flag, the blue stands for hope and pride. When service members lost their lives, the blue star was replaced with a gold one representing the sacrifice. A silver star stood for someone invalided home for wounds sustained overseas.
Although the service flags virtually vanished during the Korean and Vietnam wars, they appeared again during the Persian Gulf War in 1991, the Iraq war and the War on Terror.
In 1945, at the National Council of State Garden Clubs Annual Meeting the proposal was made to have the Blue Star Memorial Highway Program be adopted by every state garden club. In 1947, Mrs. Frederick Kellogg designed a marker which would identify the highways.
In 2004 the scope of the Memorial Marker Program was enlarged to include in addition to Veterans Administration Centers or National Cemeteries, other appropriate civic locations like the Veterans Memorial in J.F. Gregory Park.
The Richmond Hill Garden Club is proud to be able to erect a Blue Star Memorial Marker in the park in cooperation with the city of Richmond Hill and the Oleander District of the Georgia Garden Club to honor the men and women of the Armed Forces.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or 727-3219.