By Ed Greif
One of Cumberland County High School's symbols received a facelift week, as volunteers from the Naval Reserve Center in Knoxville re-painted the Jet in front of the school recently.
In the true volunteer spirit, Master Chief Tim Sexton, a 1985 graduate of CCHS, and his crew, HTC Chad Williams, EMC Terry McBride, YNC Jerri Andrews, MM1 Matt Hovey, CS1 Jeremy Bradford and Aircraft Aviation Technical Chief Todd Johnson spent their vacations from their regular jobs to repaint the plane which was obtained through the efforts of former Jet Curt Watson who was a pilot with the Blue Angels. The canopy over the cockpit, which was badly damaged, was painted silver.
The youngest has 13 years in the Navy and the rest have over 20 years in the reserve. This group is a "jack-of-all-trades and all true-blue Navy."
The crew spent a couple of days sanding the Jet down to its original grey color and retaped over the lettering before spraying the Jet with its Navy color.
"I had been driving down the street and saw how weathered it was," said Sexton, who went back to his commanding officer and asked if he would let him take this on as a community project.
He asked the Blue Angles for help, but due to budgetary issues, they couldn't do it.
The school system supplied the paint and helped with renting of bucket trucks and the generators, while Signsmith supplied the decals and lettering. NAPA Auto Parts donated parts, and Tri-Equipment supplied safety equipment.