A Young Marine from San Diego won a scholarship to escort WWII veterans to Iwo Jima and Guam in Spring of 2021.
"I was just blown away because I'm not only so excited to go to Iwo Jima and Guam and experience the culture and immerse myself but also being able to escort a veteran. That is just something that is a once in a lifetime opportunity," Sophia Righthouse, 17, said.
The trip is part of the Young Marines' annual "Reunion of Honor." The week-long trip brings WWII veterans back to the islands they fought on so many years ago and educates Young Marines on history, culture, and leadership.
The trip happens each March, and in 2021 the pandemic is putting it at risk. Righthouse isn't worried.
"I know the government is working with Japan right now to make sure we can go over," she says.
Righthouse won the Jimmy Trimble Scholarship from the American Veterans Center. The scholarship is named after a young athlete who gave up the opportunity to play professional baseball to join the Marines.
Trimble died in battle on Iwo Jima on March 1, 1945, at 19-years-old.
Righthouse exemplifies Trimble's "finest qualities" needed to earn the scholarship. You may recognize her name from her heroism in 2018 when she evacuated people in an apartment complex that was on fire.
She earned an award from the San Diego Fire Department, and a day named in her honor by San Diego City Council.
She's won the National Honor Society Volunteer Service Award for completing more than 1,300 hours of community service.
Righthouse excelled in cheerleading, dance, and in the Young Marines. Her uniform is adorned with dozens of badges, and medals.
"Honestly I think it's my family and my friends that push me to strive every single day to be the best person I can possibly be," she said. Read More on ABC 10 News >>
By Cassie Carlisle
December 2, 2020 on ABC 10 News