2 Operation Sail winners receive ride aboard America’s Tall Ship

8th Coast Guard District NewsNEW ORLEANS — Two local high school students received rides aboard America’s Tall Ship, the U.S. Coast Guard Barque Eagle, as guests of honor during the Parade of Sail at the start of NOLA Navy Week, Tuesday.

Stuart Young of Sunset, and Madison Matherne of Marrero, respectively, were chosen by judges as winners for their Operation Sail art and essay entries.

The contest, announced in February, invited high school students to submit original artwork and essays on themes related to the War of 1812, The Star-Spangled Banner, or the role of the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service (forerunner of the Coast Guard) in the War of 1812. One winner in each category wins a parade of sail trip on Eagle during OpSail 2012, accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Stuart Young, 14, depicted in his artwork the successful American engagement between USS United States and the HMS Macedonian, a battle fought on Oct. 25, 1812, near Madeira, 500 miles south of the Azores. The American frigate under command of Stephen Decatur faced off against the English ship commanded by Admiral John Surman Carden.

Stuart is a home-schooled high school freshman from Sunset, who participates in two home-school groups and enjoys camping, fishing, and hiking. He is an Eagle Scout with Troop 143 in Carencro, who has earned the Boy Scouts of America Silver Palm, which requires a Scout to earn 15 merit badges beyond those needed for Eagle. He is also a member of BSA Venture Crew 143 in Carencro. After graduation, he plans to attend college, possibly majoring in engineering.

Stuart will be accompanied on Eagle’s transit into New Orleans by his father, Robert Kent Young.

Madison Matherne, 18, a senior at John Ehret High School in Marrero, is the essay contest winner. She titled her essay “USS Constitution in Her Finest Hour.”

The daughter of a U.S. Army veteran, she has always had a flare for writing. In fifth grade, her poem ‘My Dad Rocks in Iraq,’ was accepted by the publication Anthology of Poetry. She has won several local writing competitions through the Voice of Democracy.

Madison has accumulated more than 500 hours of community service in high school and is involved in the International Baccalaureate program, which promotes a world view on education.

She plans to attend the University of New Orleans to study journalism. Her other areas of interest include marketing and design. Madison attributes her community service efforts to the fact that she comes from a military household and from the lingering effects of Hurricane Katrina.

Matherne’s father, Brent Matherne, a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Army, will accompany her aboard the Eagle for the transit into New Orleans.

The Eagle will tie up at the Bienville Street Pier at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday.

The national essay contest and art contest are sponsored by Operation Sail in association with the USS Constitution Museum, the National Maritime Historical Society, the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard.

About Operation Sail, Inc.
Operation Sail, Inc. is a non-profit organization established in 1961 with the endorsement of President John F. Kennedy. Backed by a Joint Congressional Resolution, its mission is to advance sail training and promote goodwill among nations. OpSail has produced five international sailing events in 1964, 1976, 1986, 1992, and 2000, each tied to a patriotic or historical event. OpSail 2012 is producing events in New Orleans, New York, Norfolk, Baltimore, Boston and New London. For more information, visit www.opsail.org.

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