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Young Marines celebrate ‘Marine Mike’s’ 97th birthday

Young Marines celebrate ‘Marine Mike’s’ 97th birthday 


Youth members of the Young Marines of Palm Beaches and PFC Bruce Carter Young Marines from Miami came together to honor and surprise Michael Emanuel Amditis, a World War II veteran, on his 97th birthday. Attended by more than 150 people, the celebration took place August 14, 2021, at the Clubhouse at Del Webb Tradition in Port Saint Lucie, Florida. 


The Young Marines marched the colors. Mr. Amditis stood proud and strong as he saluted his country’s colors, and he was moved to tears when he heard his beloved Marine Corps Hymn. 


“My dad always says, ‘Nobody is an ex-Marine,’” said Donna Morn, Mr. Amditis’ daughter. “There were so many veterans present. They are truly like a band of brothers. For next year, I wonder if we could parachute him into the pool. It would take that to top this year’s celebration.” 


Mr. Amditis’ enlisted in the Navy, and after boot camp, in 1942. He was deployed by the Navy to the Aleutian Islands shortly after the Japanese invasion there.  Upon returning to the US, he was re-assigned as a Marine and then deployed as a sharp shooter to the South Pacific on Guadalcanal, Tinian, and Saipan.  He ended his service in Guam after the end of the conflict, where he was a driver for actor Tyrone Power. 


Following the ceremony, Mr. Amditis shared his life story with several Young Marines, whose ages ranged from 9 – 17. The Young Marines listened attentively and were able to ask questions. 


“We asked the Young Marines to participate, and they reacted so positively with very short notice,” said Nancy O’Neil, Mr. Amditis’ daughter. “I don’t know how they got it together so quickly, but they were wonderful and so polite.”  


“These get-togethers are always a thrill,” said Cindy Townsend, adjutant of the Young Marines’ Alpha Battalion. “I’m always struck by how grateful the veterans are. Everyone gets so much out something like this.” 


Young Marines units in Florida have strong relationships with many local veteran’s organizations. Requests to honor veterans are rarely, if ever, turned down. 


Sadly, Michael Arditis pass away on August 27th, still a proud US Marine.  He will be interred with his wife at the South Florida National Cemetary in Lake Worth.   


The Young Marines 

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 235 units with 7,500 youth and 2,500 adult volunteers in 40 states, the District of Columbia, Japan, and affiliates in other countries. 


For more information, visit the official website at 

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