The Augusta Chapter of the Military Order of the World Wars (MOWW) recently completed its annual Youth Leadership Conference (YLC), March 11-12. We wish to thank the Wal-Mart Foundation for its generous grant that in large part made our conference possible. We especially thank the staff at the Wal-Mart district office and the management of the Martinez store. And we thank the administration and staff of Westminster Schools for the use of their facilities. Westminster has been the location for YLC for many years, and their kindness is appreciated.
One paragraph of the preamble of the MOWW states, "To promote and further patriotic education in our nation." I believe this conference we conduct for 11th graders from schools across the CSRA is the best activity that we do as an organization. The topics this year were free enterprise, leadership, morals/ethics and U.S. government (the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution). Attorney DeWitt "Bud" Dent deserves acknowledgement as the YLC would not be what it is today without his efforts, persistence and creativity.
Credits go to all the MOWW members who donated their time and efforts. We especially recognize Dr. Armand Karow, Dr. David Miller and Elizabeth Ledbetter, who gave this event even more credibility with their support and participation.
This year's challenge speakers were John Eckburg and his wife, owners of Domino's Pizza restaurants in the CSRA; Augusta Mayor Bob Young, a member of MOWW; and 1st Sgt. William Bryant, Top Sergeant, C Company, 122nd Engineering Battalion, of the Graniteville, S.C., Army National Guard. Bryant's engineering company has recently returned from deployment in Iraq and the Middle East.
Eckburg's interaction with the students, explaining the highs and lows of being a business owner and entrepreneur was special. Young's challenge to the students to be citizen leaders in a future society of advancing technology was forceful and cogent. Bryant's challenge to us all, as a soldier who has recently felt the sting of battle, was inspiring.
Finally, we thank our student participants. These are the ones who make it fun to be a part of MOWW's Youth Leadership Conference. It is safe to say that our country's future is in good hands with this caliber of young citizen who sat before us during the conference.
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