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M-P JROTC gets high marks from U.S. Navy admiral
MARYSVILLE Students got an early start on Veterans Day celebrations at Marysville-Pilchuck High Schools Pass-In-Review ceremonies Nov. 8.
The Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program was inspected by the commander of the Abraham Lincoln strike group during their annual review, which included performances by the U.S. Navy band and the M-P NJROTC drill teams.
Rear Admiral Bill Goodwin reviewed the Tomahawk Company and praised the students for their service and dedication, especially as Veterans Day drew near.
Its a day thats often forgotten, Goodwin said to the couple hundred visitors and company members as he highlighted the importance of past Veterans Day events. Its fitting that we honor all patriots. All I ask is this weekend when you see a veteran, thank him or her for their service.
He had high praise for the 80 or so high school students in the NJROTC program, as they drilled and marched in dress uniform, complete with medals and swords in the M-P gym. He reviewed the company with Cadet Lt. Cmdr. Joanna Iglesias at his side.
It takes me back to my high school days, Goodwin said. Its marvelous to see them do all that work and perform for moms and dads and families.
Wednesday nights event was the 12th pass-in-review and is part of the Tomahawk Companys annual inspection routine, according to retired U.S. Navy Cmdr. Randy Brasfield, senior naval science instructor at the high school.
They did very well, Brasfield said, noting that the class has had a U.S. Navy flag officer present for about half of the reviews in the past.
Iglesias was beaming after the ceremony, posing for pictures with Admiral Goodwin and members of her family.
She plans to attend the University of Washington and major in aerospace engineering and then enroll in the U.S. Air Force or the U.S. Navy. She said her dream is to become a pilot and thinks the military science classes she has taken will give her an edge.
I get leadership and great fellowship with cadets that you can consider family, Iglesias said.
Her father Robert was busy clicking pictures of Joanna but took a quick break to sing her praises.
Im very proud of her shes done a great job, he said. Shes a great role model for the other students.
Goodwin told the crowd of the importance of Veterans Day, which falls on Nov. 11 each year. The date has special meaning for many reasons, he said; in 1855 U.S. Army General George S. Patton was born, and in 1909 the military base at Pearl Harbor was founded. In 1918 Imperial Germany surrendered to end World War 1, and in 1921 the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was dedicated, Goodwin said. A little closer to home, Goodwin pointed out that the USS Abraham Lincoln was commissioned on that day in 1989 and six years after that the Everett Home Port was opened.
He said that during his travels around the globe he has visited several military cemeteries; during his first assignment as a flag officer Goodwin served in Europe and visited graveyards at in Normandy, France and Luxembourg. There were more than 9,000 soldiers, marines and sailors buried in the first and more than 5,000 in the latter, which had 22 sets of brothers buried side by side, along with Pattons grave. That underscores the sacrifice by American servicemen and women and needs to be recognized today, according to Goodwin.
As for the future veterans, he said that not every student in a high school JROTC program will go onto military service but they will benefit nonetheless. Goodwin took ROTC classes in college at the University of South Carolina and it did him a world of good.
This JROTC is great for kids that might need a little structure, he said.