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Fortunately for me, a lot of the work I do really helps people who need it. In this case, it was my grandson.

He had a little (?) problem with school and authority and was rapidly going down hill. For those of you who know kids in that situation I highly recommend the National Guard Youth challenge Program www.ngycp.org. They refer to it as the $14,000 scholarship as that is what is appropriated per student to pay for the program. It's a 22 week program and the young men and women, aged 16 to 18, who graduate have the GED and, if they elect to go into the military they enter basic training as an E3.

Anyway, my grandson came home for Thanksgiving and we just dropped him off at the airport going back to Ft Stewart, GA. He is a changed man and I have never been so proud of what he has accomplished. Especially as he had never completed anything before in his life. He will graduate on December 22. Aside from the fact that he would never have graduated form high school, he will still be 17 and have his GED a semester before his previous classmates will graduate.

For those kids who have been in trouble with the law their probation is suspended while they are in the program and when the successfully complete it their juvenile record is erased.

The military is not the only option open to the young men and women. Some have gone into law enforcement others have gone on to college and the women get other training.

In any case, I have made pens to give to his cadre when he graduates. All of the military personnel get pens with the Army insignia. The sergeants pens are cocobolo, the LT's pen is walnut and the Capt's pen is maple. His counselor, a civilian, gets walnut with the US flag.

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Excellent, Lee! Congratulations on the grandson. I have been thinking that if we had a 2 year mandatory service program for our young people, nation wide, we might reverse the down slide of our youth. Some could choose the military and some could choose service organizations but all would go to some kind of boot camp to instill some form of disipline in their lives. We are old enough to remember the draft and how it changed many young men for the better. I think it would also instill a sense of pride in accomplishment.
 

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Congradulations to your grandson and tell him to go hunting for wild hog while at Fort Stewart. I was stationed in Savannah many years ago. And great work on your pens.
 

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What a great story. I am proud of your grandson and his accomplishments. And you, for making the symbolic gifts.
 

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Good show, Lee. Hope all continues to look up for your grandson.
One has to assume your lathe troubles are behind you…
 

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Great pens and a great story. Sometimes kids need strong guidance to get their bearings. There's promise for the future.
 

· In Loving Memory
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You sure can turn those pens out. Great job.
 

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Great Job and thanks for showing your support of all of the people involved.

I'm glad that your Grandson has improved and continues in his upward path.
 

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Sometimes they just need that extra STRAIGHTEN up to hit them. Glad it has turned him the right way. If they only understood doing good things are SO much better then the bad. Anyways very nice pens..thanks for sharing it all.
Krum
 

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Lee, your story is very timely. I have a co-worker that is having similar problems with his 16 year old son. I am going to let him know about www.ngycp.org, maybe he will get as lucky as you were with your Grandson. Nice job on the pens, I'm sure that they will be appreciated.
 

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a success story and beautiful pens :)
a little "accomplishment" sure goes a long way-the message needs to get to those working with young children.. make sure they have accomplishments and feel pride about the doing/trying… (but I won't go on a rant here.. this is a time of celebration!)
 

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Great story, great work, and best of all, a great ending leading to a new, bright beginning.
Congratulations on being a part of it Lee.
Regards,
Gary
 
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