MPMA Community Service
Helping Youth to be better citizens



Dear Parents, and Students sign Guest Book

 Affirming the significance of parent and family involvement has been a priority of the Montford Point Marine Association since founding.  The Montford Point Marine Association would like to introduce the Veterans Say "character counts" class room or home program.

Theses units will focus on citizenship, character, and Tolerance.

The values emphasized as essential are fairness, good citizenship, responsibility, respect, trustworthiness, and caring.

The Montford Point Marine Association hope's theses units will enhance family values, parent involvement and, reflect the specific needs of students, parents, teachers, and their home or school climate. 

The Montford Point Marine Association Veterans Say "character counts" program  is just another way to get the message through.  

There is no continued monitoring required after the unit is completed.





 Making the point

James E Stewart Jr. President Maryland Montford Point Marine Association 28, and author of Veterans Say """character counts""" makes the point that "In our lifetime, a few students come to some fuzzy thinking where ethics have been concerned.  

I assure you that that's not our thinking here at MPMA.  We don't want to have our heads in the wastebasket or in the sand.  We know "character counts".  

Come join all service veterans in our, Veterans Say "character counts" program.  Be a part of the Ethical-Team

James E Stewart Jr. Past post Commander of Scott-Johnson-Collins VFW post 9619 and former Marine, retired schoolteacher and coach, says the topic is ethics, values, and character.  

Just how far our society has come on ethics, values, and character was brought home to me recently in reflecting on an incident about a neighborhood teenager looking for a part-time job.

He was asked to take one of those integrity tests before the supermarket would hire him to sack groceries.

At dinner he confided to his parents: "I'm kind of worried about that test they had me take today.  

They had questions like: Have you ever taken drugs? Have you ever cheated in school? Have you ever stolen money from your parents? Have you ever stolen anything from a schoolmate or an employer?

When I started answering `no' to all those questions, I started worrying that they'd think I was lying because I sounded too good to be true."

The student got the job. But where have we gotten to when our young people feel uneasy about being too honest to get a job!

Unfortunately, too many youngsters grab today's headlines for the wrong reasons-their unethical behavior rather than their good works.

Of course, these are not typical of all youngsters-not typical of even the majority of youngsters.

But the point is-they are typical.  Why do we have to pass policies and establish procedures on ethics? Isn't just plain old-fashioned honesty in vogue any more?

It hasn't been for quite some time.  According to Winston Churchill, "A lie can run around the world before the truth can get its boots on."

But besides an inner code of morality, there's a bottom-line reason for our interest in ethics.  

In the experience of most or at least among those who voice their experience to others-unethical behavior sparks a disappointment mode that runs throughout the entire community.  

So there are two over-riding reasons for the Montford Point Marine Association and the Veterans Say "character counts" team, apprehension for ethics: (1) A basic moral code that we value and subscribe to and (2) a common-sense law of integrity with our schools, community and Country.  

Speaking of ethics in general, Stewart says, "Improving our shared ethics, values, and character is something that all veterans feel merits a strong effort.

It will take substantive, structural work-not just a quick paint job." We ask that all make those individual decisions that involve an ethical matter based on our general guidelines in the Veterans Say "character counts" program.

But when students find themselves in a situation that they feel needs clarification, ask.  

Don't keep quiet.  As Andrew Jackson said, "One man with courage is a majority."

We want our students to be the individual with courage to make the ethical decision.

We're committed to making sure the ethical decision becomes the majority position here in America.  

But our students, as our youth and ambassadors write the final line. They are the future.

To the general public and to our community, kids are hope. And all the policies in the world won't do much good if they, as our front-line representatives, make the wrong decisions day to day.  

Our ethics are embodied in youth.  If you want to make sure that you're in step with all Veterans, Say "character counts".  

We want those to be the primary considerations in all personal or class decisions.  In short, we don't want our youth to bend the rules; we want students to embrace them.  

Mark Twain once said, "Always do right. This will gratify some people and surprise the rest." Either way, you win.


  Parent and Family Involvement and Student Success 

The most accurate predictor of a student's achievement in school is not income or social status, but the extent to which that student's family is able to

(1) create a home environment that encourages learning;

(2) communicate high, yet reasonable, expectations for their children's achievement and future careers; and

(3) become involved in their children's education at school and in the community.



It's a lazy summer day, and Rhonda and Fiona have nothing to do. They'd like to go to the water park, but they don't have any money. Then they find a wallet on the playground, and suddenly things look brighter.

There's enough money in the wallet to buy them a great time. But Rhonda starts getting pangs of conscience. Shouldn't they try to locate the owner or turn it in to the lost & found? After all, this money belongs to somebody else.

Fiona sees it differently. She subscribes to the "finders keepers" philosophy and figures that if she had lost her wallet nobody would ever give it back.

What should the girls do - turn in the money and forego the fun, or spend it even though it's not theirs?

Just as Rhonda is about to take her half of the money to the lost & found, their friend Tuggy Turtle shows up frantically looking for his lost wallet.

Rhonda happily gives him her share, and Fiona, realizing the error in her thinking, does likewise.

In the end the girls decide that the day turned out pretty well after all, because they learned that doing what's right feels a lot better than doing what they can get away with.



1. Have you ever found something that belonged to someone else and wanted to keep it? What did you do and how did you decide?

2. What's wrong with "finders keepers, losers weepers"?

3. Have you ever heard of the Golden Rule? Who can recite it and say what it means?

4. Did Rhonda and Fiona know the right thing to do when they found the wallet?

5. What made Rhonda and Fiona change their minds about keeping the money?

6. Do you think things would have turned out differently if Tuggy hadn't appeared? Explain.

7. Have you ever really wanted to do something, but deep down you felt it wasn't right? How did you decide what to do?

8. How often do you think about whether something is right or wrong before you decide to do it?

9. Why do people sometimes do the right thing even when it's not as easy or as much fun as something else?

10. When you're faced with a choice between right and wrong, what influences your decision?

11. What would happen if nobody cared about doing the right thing?

12. How do you know when something you might do is right or wrong?


1. Pretend you're giving a speech on the topic "It's never okay to do the wrong thing." Write at least four reasons to back up the statement for your speech.

2. Write about a time when someone tried to get you to do something wrong. What did you say or do? How did you know whether it was right or wrong?

3. Write about someone you admire for doing the right thing in a difficult situation. Describe what you admire about this person.

4. Write at least five things you can say to yourself when you're tempted to do something wrong. Post them near your bed so you can read them from time to time.

5. Write a short story about someone who did the right thing when friends wanted him or her to do the opposite.

6. Write about a time when someone helped you do the right thing. Or: write a letter to that person thanking him or her for helping you.




Write a letter to someone in the news who did something that you don't think was right. Say why you don't think it was right, and why you think the person is setting a bad example for kids your age. Mail the letter.  

1. Take home your list of ways to decide what's the right thing to do (see the top block in this column). Discuss it with your parents or other adult family members. Ask them if they have anything to add.

2. Watch a television program with your family. Afterward, have a family discussion about the way characters in the program behaved. Can you find examples of characters either doing the right thing or not doing the right thing? What should any of the characters have done differently? Why?

3. For a week keep a daily record of choices you make that involve deciding between right and wrong. How do you feel about the choices you made? How could you do better?

4. Ask family members to tell you about a time when either they did the right thing and are really glad they did, or didn't do the right thing and are sorry about it. What would have resulted if they had made the opposite choice?   




Historical advisor Byron Stewart PhD


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