Most of our family traveled to Big Sandy, Texas to attend Jeremiah's graduation from basic training at the International ALERT Academy (Air, Land, Emergency, Resource Team). Alert is an excellent program for young men ages 17-26 that teaches search and rescue, dive training, survival techniques, EMT training, high angle rescue and a host of other skills. Alert inspires young men to draw close to God and to become diligent, conquer laziness, anger and to set goals for the future. Alert men have become first responders to natural disasters around the world, teaching young men to have servants hearts. Many ALERT graduates have gone on to become firemen, policemen or joined the military. Jeremiah loved ALERT, and the disciplines that were engrained in him are priceless.
We were so surprised and thrilled that Jeremiah was awarded the 1 Timothy 4:12 award for being an encourager and example to the other recruits. ( 1 Timothy 4:12 states, Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.)
We heard several reports that on the long 12 & 24 hour hikes Jeremiah helped others who were struggling and spoke encouraging words to them motivating them to keep on going and for them to do their best.
Jedidiah, Jeremiah's twin brother, did not attend the Alert training, but sent inspiring daily emails to his brother and prayed for him every day. The Alert Academy is life changing by pushing young men to accomplish things that are challenging and building confidence that with God's help, all things are possible. We highly recommend it. Joseph and Josiah have also attended the ALERT basic training and have helped in the Alert Cadet program (which is similar to a Christian boy scouts) and Quest program for younger boys ages 14-17.
For more info about Alert, please go to http://www.alertacademy.com/iaa/