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Annual JROTC Awards

By Robert E. Jensen
The Desert Independent

April 28, 2011

BLYTHE, Calif – A large number of Junior Reserve Officer Training Cadets were on hand for the Annual JROTC Awards. The Awards Ceremony, which was dedicated to the memory of Sgt. Norman Taylor (see article), was held Saturday, April 23 at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church.

Memory of Sgt. Norman Taylor  Kristen and Other Son

Wally MorganPresentations and awards went to a number of individuals and service groups from the community of Blythe including representatives from the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion, local law enforcement, and Wally Morgan. Wally is a previously honored WW II prisoner of war by virtue of the Third Reich, was at the awards as a living historical figure.

As found in the pamphlet for the occasion, a particularly apt JROTC Creed was read by the audience:


I am an Army Junior ROTC Cadet.

I will always conduct myself to bring credit to my family, country, school and the Corps of Cadets.

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 to uphold the Constitution and the American way of life.

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

Bob BilekSenior JROTC Instructor MSG Melvin Walker kicked off the evening with greetings and leading the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance after the Color Guard had trooped the flag to the front of the stage. VFW Chaplin Art Hill led the Benediction and Acting Superintendant Bob Bilek of Palo Verde Unified School District gave the first address of the evening, congratulating the Cadets on their achievements and giving admonitions for the their future. Refreshments and a slide show followed featuring Cadets in various athletic events. Guest Speaker Jere Allan gave the main address doling out homespun homilies, recalling his high point in the military as being a mid-wife to a Horny Toad and her 13 offspring and departing the podium after regaling the audience with a spoken version of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic”.

Then the awards were distributed. For a complete listing, please click HERE.

Finally, the Color Guard retired Old Glory until next year and SSG Tony McBride, Junior JROTC Instructor polished off the evening with the closing remarks.

Norman Taylor Award Norman Taylor Award

American Legion Award VFW Award

Jere Allen

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