Emerald Coast Young Marines honor wounded troop member

Published: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 11:03 AM.

Attendees said Ennis was a role model.

“She really inspires me … how she can be in a helicopter crash and (still) be here to tell us about her experiences,” Pfc. Michaela Cantwell, 10, of Milton, said.

“Now I’m thinking about being a gunner,” Michaela said. Ennis served as gunner on helicopters that transport military personnel and supplies.

Many Young Marines said Ennis’ story wouldn’t deter them from facing dangerous situations.

Pfc. Carson Caldwell, 10, of Crestview found Ennis’ ordeal “emotional,” but said he still wants to be a Marine. “I think I can handle it; I’m strong enough.”

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Carson's brother, William, also is a member of the ECYM. Their mother, Michelle Caldwell — a group volunteer — has personal experience dealing with wounded service members. Allen, her eldest son, received a serious head injury during hand-to-hand combat training at the United States Naval Academy, ending his military career with an honorable discharge.



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