Candid Commentary  AUGUST 2006


 Think on this a moment.  What will be the glue in their character, the base of their commitment in life?



Would we want to get these traits instilled in our children?

-- I will always conduct myself to bring credit to my family, country, school.

-- I am loyal and patriotic.

-- I am the future of the United States of America.

-- I do not lie, cheat or steal and will always be accountable for my actions and deeds.

-- I will always practice good citizenship and patriotism.

-- I will work hard to improve my mind and strengthen my body.

-- I will seek the mantle of leadership and stand prepared.

-- May God grant me the strength to always live by this creed.

Sure, a good share of us will say.   You bet a large share will chime in. But there will be those that think it is just a trap, a way to push ideals.  And I think they are right.  Ideals like these need to be pushed a lot more onto our school age youngsters.  They need to know what we live by and what we expect  from them.

Now if I tell you there is a way, even in Public Schools to promote these ideals, would you say, sure, I'm from Missouri, SHOW ME?   What about a program that prepares high school students for responsible leadership roles while making them aware of their rights, responsibilities, and privileges as American citizens. The program being a stimulus for promoting graduation from high school, and providing instruction and rewarding opportunities that will benefit the student, community, and nation.  It's a simple program called JROTC and while you are reading this some states are planning to remove it from the public school ciriculum.

For some students, JROTC (Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps) is a last chance and a first chance. A last chance to stay in school and a first chance to gain the discipline, self-respect, work ethic and personal organization necessary to succeed in life. For some students, it is literally a life saver.  For some it is an expansion on what has already been felt in the family.  

The groups meet during the school day two or three times a week. Students come to the program because they are interested in the military or because they are steered there by administrators who think they could use the discipline and structure. Classes study history, citizenship and leadership. JROTC cadets can wear uniforms if they wish and they often engage in drill and ceremony competitions – marching against cadets from other schools. 

Parents love it, school teachers love it and the kids seem to flourish.  But the state education administrators seem only to see a prejudice against the United States military rather than what these programs do for the kids, families and the country.

Colin Powell, the former secretary of state and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was a graduate of JROTC and also the biggest booster of JROTC – especially in inner-city schools.  He felt that for many disadvantaged kids JROTC and its insights into the military could be useful. 

So do I!  What about YOU?

Ted Luedke



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Created : 1/28/2004.   Update : 7/2/2006

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