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State Honoree

Photo of State Honoree Benjamin Meyer

Benjamin Meyer

Arizona

Benjamin Meyer, 14, of Laveen, Ariz., an eighth-grader at Emmanuel Lutheran School, helps stage patriotic shows for veterans and senior citizens at nursing homes, retirement facilities and veterans organizations as a volunteer with a nonprofit organization called The Arizona Swing Kids. "I wanted to be more involved in my community, and be part of something bigger than just myself," said Benjamin in explaining why he joined the group in 2010. Plus, "I felt it was important to serve and give back to all those who fought in the military," he said.

Benjamin often gives up a day of his weekends to practice or perform as one of the "Swing Kids." During their shows, Benjamin and other young volunteers conduct a flag procession, and then perform songs and dances set to the music of the World War II and doo-wop eras. Afterwards, "we all go around and talk with the people and listen to their stories, shake their hands or give them hugs," said Benjamin. In addition, Benjamin helps set up and take down microphones, speakers and other equipment before and after each performance. "We touch many hearts," he said, "making people happy by remembering the good old days' and recognizing those who have served our country."