EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

April 9, 2014

ROTC program builds leaders; we must save it

To the editor:

My name is Taylor Specht, and I am a former cadet of Salem, N.H., High School’s Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps unit and the former unit commander for the 2012-2013 school year.

I am currently a freshman cadet at Norwich University, America’s oldest private military college. On Thursday April 10, I will be swearing in to the Vermont Air National Guard. Salem High School’s AFJROTC has given me the tools and the confidence to be successful. Without that program I would not be the person I am today, and I would not have the confidence to achieve my dreams.

Programs like ours at Salem High School have made regular high school students into productive citizens of this country, making positive impacts all over the Earth. Programs like our save high school students from drugs and crime.

It is truly a home away from home, where you are surrounded by positive role models, like our instructors CMSgt, Puzzo, Major Blazak and former instructor Major Anderson, teaching you lessons in leadership and integrity and showing you how to give back to the community.

It is a crying shame that our country and military are looking to reduce these programs. We should be setting up more of these programs around the country, not tearing them down.

This program breeds leaders and successful, productive citizens who make positive impacts in all walks of life. The experiences I have had with this program are experiences I will treasure for my entire life time.

We cannot let them take away this amazing program!

Cadet Private Taylor Specht

Norwich University

Corps Of Cadets, Class of 2017

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