Robust JROTC Programs Remain Active In Local Area

AFJROTC Cadets from Independence who participated in the Flag Retirement Ceremony.

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MINT HILL, NC – The AFJROTC program at Independence High School continues to remain a very active squadron serving the community in our local area both prior to the holidays during Veterans Day and during the Christmas holiday season.

On Veterans Day, they honored about a dozen veterans by attending an event at Blessed Assurance Adult Day Care Center for their service. Then they participated in a Flag Retirement and Disposal Ceremony held at VFW Post 4059 in Mint Hill. Other participants included Mint Hill American Legion Post 555, Marine Corps League, and Boy Scouts Troop 65.

When the flag is in such a condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, it should be retired in a dignified way, preferably by burning. The participants permanently retired over 100 American flags in four hours during a respectful and honorable event.

The cadets’ next event was participating in the Christmas Parade held in downtown Mint Hill. Then in mid-December the Honor Guard participated in an Annual Wreath Laying Ceremony held at Sunset Memory Gardens supporting American Legion Post 555 at this solemn and respectful occasion during the Wreaths Across America annual crusade. The AFJROTC program leader is Jeffrey Jenkins, Lieutenant Colonel, USAF (Retired).

AFJROTC Cadets Marching in the annual Christmas Parade in Mint Hill.
AFJROTC Cadets Marching in the annual Christmas Parade in Mint Hill.

Meanwhile, the Butler High School JROTC Cadets participated prior to the Christmas holidays in an air rifle match held at the local area high school involving several CMS school programs. It was the first time the event, which was sanctioned by CMP, according to Department Chair James K. Hillabrandt, Major, US Army (Retired), was hosted by Butler High School in Matthews.  The cadets learned how to properly use a rifle, care for it’s future usage, and improve their shooting skills all in a safe and controlled environment. Butler’s JROTC program participates in many other community events throughout the year in support of local area events including the Christmas Parade in Mint Hill.

AFJROTC Cadets respectfully preparing 'Old Glory' for retirement.
AFJROTC Cadets respectfully preparing ‘Old Glory’ for retirement.

Veteran organizations in the area support local JROTC programs and many other youth programs to promote Americanism, Patriotism, Volunteerism, and Community Service. These programs build character, support teamwork, foster positive relationships, promote civic duty and offer excellent life skills in preparation to be successful as these youngsters enter into adulthood.

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Ed Berti
Ed is retired and remains active as a freelance writer, local journalist and independent contractor. He is engaged in print and electronic media writing stories covering business, sports, hometown news and veteran's affairs including articles of interest to various media outlets. Ed is a graduate of Wagner College where he earned an MBA and holds a BBA from Pace University.
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