By: Yvonne Dempsey

On Friday night, February 23, the Lawrence County High School JROTC held their annual military ball at the Alabama Veterans Museum. A great time was had by all attendees and chaperones. There were 35-40 cadets and guests who enjoyed the food, music, and fun in the museum’s event venue.

I, along with fellow museum volunteer Rick Roberson, opened the museum before the ball to give everyone the opportunity to tour the museum. Some of the cadets had toured the museum on a previous visit while everyone else was there for the first time. They all were impressed by the military artifacts and historical displays, while enjoying the stories and tidbits of information we shared.

The LCHS JROTC is an excellent program led by Senior Army Instructor David Shelly (Lt Col. Ret.) and Instructor Timothy McGillick (MSGT Ret.) The two men are proud of the cadets and the importance of the JROTC program in developing positive character, leadership, and citizenship attributes in these young men and women.

JROTC Lt. Col. Marlos McCollum is the Cadet Battalion Commander and shares duties with former Battalion Commander Will Sanford. Both are 3-year cadets and have received much from the program. I asked both of them about the impact JROTC has had on their lives.

“JROTC has definitely helped me with my leadership and public speaking skills. I enjoy the teamwork and seeing how everyone can work together to accomplish goals,” said Will. When asked about his future, he responded, “I would like to serve in the Army National Guard. I’m leaning toward a future in public safety, maybe with the police or fire department.”

When I asked Marlos about his experience in JROTC, he responded, “I believe in the core values of JROTC and the importance of teamwork. I’ve built self-confidence and leadership abilities through JROTC, which helps me to see everyone’s value and to work well with others.”

We wish all of these young people success in their lives and thank them for choosing the museum’s event venue for their military ball.

By: Yvonne Dempsey