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PORTLAND -- The U.S. Marine s sponsor groups designed to help kids learn leadership, character and a healthy drug-free lifestyle.

They're called the Young Marines and they began in 1959. The groups serve both boys and girls from age 8 through high school.

On Saturday, Blake Deweese was named the Oregon Cascade Division's Young Marine of the Year. He will travel to a national conference in June.

A very solemn moment gave way to a little laughter, but didn't break Sgt. Maj. Deweese's concentration.

No matter how you perceive yourself in school, if you're not a popular person, you're not talented in sports, you shouldn't deter you from pursuing your dreams or reaching your goals, Deweese said.

Ian Search won a personal achievement award.

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