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Veteran's Day with Robert E. Lee's JROTC

Lee Veterans Day

Veteran’s Day for the Lee JROTC Volunteer Battalion a quite successful one. The Volunteer Battalion started the morning with a thirty flag display on Jackson Keller Avenue where our outstanding cadets line up in front of Lee High School from 7:00 p.m. in the morning to 8:15 p.m. This was the cadets’ way of showing respect to our military heroes; the cadets proudly displayed our national colors for about 45 minutes in honor of our veterans.

At 11:00 a.m., the battalion formed in the Lee High School courtyard.  With Rick Canales, the Lee High School Principal, leading the way, along with the myriad of the schools administrations, C/CPT Bryan Ramirez, the Master of Ceremony, promptly begin the Veteran’s Day ceremony. He was quick to recognized our community veterans, such as CAPT (Ret.) Charles E. Mulroy, US Navy, who served for thirty two years; LTC (Ret.) William R. Hendon who served in the U.S. Army for twenty six years. We also recognize our veteran faculty, Mr. Donald Poole, Major, U.S. Army Retired, Mrs. Denise Stroud, Sergeant, U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force, and John McCusker III, Specialist, U.S. Army.  There were many other veterans in attendance that were all gracious enough to attend the day’s events.

This Veterans Day Ceremony helped the student body, who were in attendance, understand the meaning of Veterans Day a bit more clearly. “Many people don't realize the history behind Veteran’s Day...In 1954, after World War II, due to the greatest mobilization of soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen in our nation’s history, the 83rd congress amended the act of 1938 by striking the word Armistice and inserting the word Veterans. With the approval of the legislation on June 1st 1954, November 11th became a day to honor the American Veterans of all wars.” (C/CPT Bryan Ramirez’s Veteran’s Day script).

We had the honor to have CSM (Ret.) Rudy Delvalle as our guest speaker. CSM Delvalle had a phenomenal 26 year career. He gave an amazing speech. CSM (Ret) Delvalle immediately connected with teachers and the students. He told the school the story of Brendon Morrocco, the first soldier to receive cadaver arms surgically attached to his body. “He realized that what happened to him made him into something special and he uses his injury to help others not only get through their injuries but helps those that think they have it tough or maybe even feel sorry for themselves.” He went on to convey to the Lee High School faculty that “as the teachers you are providers for the young kids in this institution that will help mold tomorrow’s leaders, athletes, singers, actors and yes, maybe even President.” And to the students he said “be the best at everything you can… or at least try.” Then he addressed the school as a whole, telling us “I have lived by a code or motto and you as teachers can use this as I used it teaching and molding many Soldiers along the way. “Be hard, be fair, but have compassion; not every kid learns the same way or understands you the same way. Get to know them, and what makes them try harder.” This is an experience that we as mentors, students, teachers and parents can learn and grow.

At the conclusion of CSM (Ret.) Delvalle’s speech, two Volunteer Color Guard teams ceremoniously raised the flags while the Lee Band Quartet, directed by Brannon Baker and Hugo Escobedo, played our National Anthem.

The Color Guard then lowered the colors to half staff as the battalion firmly stood at attention, as the students and faculty supported in kind. The courtyard remained silent for the playing of taps. This was the conclusion of our wonderful ceremony, but the Veterans Day events did not stop here.

Lee Veterans Day

At about 4:15 p.m. LTC (Ret.) Troy Ramirez and 1SG (Ret.) Hector Reyes headed out to the Chick-Fil-A located at 7400 San Pedro Ave with a team of Robert E. Lee’s JROTC Armed and Unarmed Drill Team cadets to continue the Veterans Day support. Chick-Fil-A graciously served our veterans a free Chick-Fil-A meal for the day. Owners Dan and Michele Akin did an outstanding job in support of our veterans. Our Armed Drill Team cadets, which included C/LTC Lawrence Stowers, C/MAJ Robert Martinez, C/CPT Thomas Galindo, C/1LT George Cortez, C/1LT. Isaac Martinez, and C/1SG Jeremiah Sanchez, did an outstanding job in performing their exhibition routine for veterans and patrons this evening. Our Unarmed Drill team girls which included C/Cpt. Victoria Rodriguez, C/1Lt. Makayla Weisel, C/SGT Norma Carrasco and C/PVT Vivian Diaz also did a phenomenal job in welcoming patrons into the restaurant, and personally thanking our veterans for their service.

These events, throughout the day, showed the true dedication and spirit of every cadet in the Volunteer Battalion. The Robert E. Lee JROTC Volunteer Battalion is looking at a bright future ahead and this was another opportunity to show the Lee spirit of community service.

Posted on November 14, 2013