I was saddened to hear that the JROTC program has been cut from the school schedule. My first thought was of the missed opportunities for Cumberland County by forfeiting the honor of being part of something so valuable.

So often it is promoted that a hero is given birth the moment history calls to her or his more noble self for sacrifice, whether it be in the walk of everyday life, during natural disasters, or on the battlefield.

Heroes are not born with the call of history, but rather at the moment of decision to prepare one's self to commit to community which results in commitments to all of mankind. To deliberately remove an opportunity of such preparation denies not only the students, but also the community, of future leadership potential.

The young people participating in JROTC are learning by study, deed and action the meaning of community and commitment. Their uniforms mark the outward appearance as their minds are trained for acceptance of responsibility and success. Their achievements of today, perhaps considered small or ordinary by some, are the colors of tomorrow's responsible citizens.

As they carry the flags, perform community services or participate in community activities, they represent the honor of our nation in a tangible way.

JROTC is not the only course in the high school that teaches and nurtures leadership qualities and civic responsibility, but it does offer a special variety of opportunities for a significant number of present and future students.

My son, Sgt. Morgan Strader, took advantage of such opportunities during his high school career. During his freshman and sophomore years he spent many hours after school busy with JROTC related duties and found a source of comradery as well as a training ground for the definition of obligation to self and others.

As we prepare for the upcoming national election, once again our minds are brought to the appreciation of our voice in the form of the vote. What we desire and want for our communities and our future generations can only be had if we are willing to voice our opinions in ways that can be heard and are plain.

If you, regardless of whether or not you have a child in the school system of Cumberland County or are a student, believe the JROTC to be a valuable program to the future of this county, let your voice be heard through a letter to the Crossville Chronicle, the school board or the mayor's office.

It is never too late to let others know what you count as valuable and productive. It is never too late to speak when it concerns the importance of students and their future.

Linda Morgan

Mother of Sgt. Morgan W. Strader

Graduate of CCHS 2000

Killed in action in Fallujah, Iraq, on Nov. 12, 2004

Recommended for you