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VHS Honors Vets
Monday, 21 November 2011

The Thunderbolts Observe Veteran’s Day

Reported by

Cadet 2nd Lieutenant Brittany McCord, Regimental Public Affairs Officer


“Bring your units to attention,” Cadet Captain India Phillips directed to three of the four battalions’ cadets at Vidalia Comprehensive High School, on November 11, 2011, thus initiating the observance of the 93rd Veterans’ Day by the Army Junior ROTC cadets of the Thunderbolt Regiment.


The cadets conducted a ceremony commemorating this most somber occasion with a presentation of the US National, and Georgia State Colors at the Vidalia High School gymnasium before the assembled student body.

Cadet Major Jermaine Snell, the Thunderbolt regimental commander and host officer recognized all veterans who attended the ceremony, followed by a brief speech outlining the significance of the event.

“Veterans Day,” Cadet Snell stated, “originated during the first World War when the warring powers signed an armistice declaring the end of armed hostilities at 11:00 AM, on the 11th day of the month during the 11th month of 1918.”

Cadet Snell stated, after reciting the poem The Soldier, “World War One, the war to ‘end all wars’ proved to be an erroneous statement. America’s sons and daughters continued to find themselves in Harm’s Way. Today, we look to Afghanistan and Iraq. These regions are the countries where young Americans stand today to defend Freedom’s Frontier. We stand to salute each of these brave men and women for their service and sacrifice---Freedom is never free.”

The Vidalia High School Band provided a reverent version of the National Anthem. Selected cadets read the poems Flanders Field and Sometimes the World Seems to honor ever veteran past and present.

The ceremony concluded with a simulated 21-gun salute executed by the VCHS drum corps and eight selected cadets who served as the firing party. The crisp command of Ready! Aim! FIRE! Ordered by Cadet 2nd Lieutenant Kadesha Davis to her firing party, followed by a solid “BOOM” executed by the VCHS Drum Corps underscored the solemnity of the observance.

“This ceremony proved appropriate,” stated Cadet Captain Courtney Walker, the Indian Battalion Commander. “I felt truly honored to participate in this event.” Cadet Private Amber Williams, a member of the Regimental Color Guard remarked “The entire student body was respectful. I believe that these students appreciate the fact that freedom is never free.”

Cadet Mason Mitchell, a member of the firing party remarked “I remain honored to be a part of such an occasion; I wish my sister (currently serving on active duty with the US Navy) was here to witness this ceremony. She would’ve enjoyed it.”

Two of the Thunderbolt Regiment’s battalions (Treutlen and Montgomery) conducted separate, but similar ceremonies at their high schools following the Thunderbolt observance.

Words Not Deeds

ImageOn November 15, 2011, at 7 PM in the VHS cafeteria, Vidalia High School paid tribute to local veterans. Guest speaker Gary Smith, author of Patriot Son: Memoirs of a Vetereran, delivered a heartfelt speech to the attending soldiers. The following veterans were honored: Dan Brown, U. S. Army; Edon Brown, U. S. Marines; Garry Scott, U. S. Marines; Rosie Tomlin, U. S. Navy; Timmons Tomlin, U. S. Navy; Yusef K. Brantley, Sr., U. S. Army; Lorenzo Folson, U. S. Air Force; Gary Smith, U. S. Army; Charlie Rogers, U. S. Army; Jerome Jones, U. S. Army; Charlie Smith, U. S. Army; Timothy Anthony, U. S. Army and Army National Guard; and Chris Jones, U. S. Army. Student writers, cadets, and vocalists honored the attending veterans with songs, a drill performance, and poetry during the post-Veterans Day tribute.


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