Deputies Accompany Young Marines on Historic Pearl Harbor Visit

NEWS RELEASE #: 16-233

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Three Sarasota County Sheriff's Office deputies recently accompanied the Venice Middle Young Marines on a trip to Hawaii in honor of the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Venice Middle School Resource Deputy Phillip Mockler and deputies Christopher Hudson and David Clark, made the trip to Hawaii with more than 50 local students. The group toured the USS Arizona memorial, learned about the significance of the attack on Pearl Harbor and even had an opportunity to talk one-on-one with survivor Colonel Ken Sweet. Deputies and students also witnessed a moving ceremony honoring those who lost their lives on December 7, 1941.

"This was a very unique and humbling opportunity for these deputies to connect with students on another level," said Sheriff Tom Knight. "We are proud to support groups such as the Venice Young Marines, who teach discipline, respect and the importance of serving community and country."

The Venice Middle Young Marines program, whose mission is to keep its members focused on positive, life-enhancing choices, fundraised for months to earn their trip to Hawaii. In March 2016, using funds from seized and recovered cash, the sheriff's office presented a check for $6,000 to the program's coordinator, Major Michael Dubrule.

"To say the trip made an impact would be an understatement," said Deputy Phillip Mockler. "It was moving to visit the same places my grandfather visited before he went to the Pacific to fight in World War II. Beyond that, to witness this experience through the eyes of young people was one of the most powerful things I've ever been a part of."

To learn more about the program and its mission, visit www.venicemiddleyoungmarines.com.