Although only in its fourth year, the Paul W. Bryant High School Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (MCJROTC) program is making a name for itself.
The program has been designated as a Naval Honor School by the Marine Corps Reserve Association. The honor means Bryant’s MCJROTC program ranks in the top 20 percent in the country, and is one of the top 10 programs in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida and the Carolinas.
Tuscaloosa’s third annual Alabama Veteran’s Reunion will take place from Friday, August 26 through Saturday, August 27.
On Friday, a public forum for MyVA Community will be held at the River Market from 4:30 to 6 p.m. followed by a reception until 8 p.m. The Veterans Appreciation Festival and Dinner will be held on Saturday. The festival will take place at the Tuscaloosa VA grounds from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The formal dinner will take place at the NorthRiver Yacht Club starting at 5 p.m.
American Legion Post 34 Commander Nicolas Britto presented the American Legion Scholastic Medal to Bryant High School to Marine Corps JROTC Cadet Staff Sergeant Raykenia Bowers during the recent 2016 annual awards ceremony held at Bryant High School in Tuscaloosa.
A Memorial Day service to honor military veterans is planned for Monday, May 30 at the Tuscaloosa Veterans Memorial Park. The hour-long program, which begins at 9 a.m., is free and open to the public.
Glen Graves, Executive Board Member, American Legion, Post 34, presents Army JROTC Cadet Mills Harrison, 17, with a Certificate of Appreciation. Harrison took first place in the American Legion Post 34 Oratorical Contest by defeating four other candidates. Harrison is a junior at Hillcrest High School. He will be attending Boys State this summer at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
Medal of Honor Recipient Command Sergeant Major Bennie G. Adkins, U.S. Army, retired, will be attending the Annual Awards Ceremony at Central High School on Thursday, May 5 starting at 9 a.m. Command Sergeant Major Adkins will be presenting the American Legion Medals for Academic Excellence and Military Excellence to Army Junior ROTC cadets at Central High School.
The American Legion McCray-Moody, Post 34 in Tuscaloosa, is sponsoring CSM Adkins’ visit.
By Allison Coogler
After representing Alabama at Girls Nation in Washington, D.C. this summer, I found a way to give back to my trip sponsor -- the American Legion Auxiliary. My generation does not always recognize the sacrifices service members were making on our behalf. I used one of the Girls Nation major themes, “Freedom is not free,” for a project at American Christian Academy and Capstone Church called “Thank Our Troops.”
Our card writing project produced approximately 1,000 handmade Christmas cards for service members overseas. Elementary and high school students participated to prove that all ages were able to make a difference. Each card had the elementary children color on one side of the card, and the high school students wrote a letter on the opposite side. The cards were sent to troops in both Afghanistan and Africa.
By Samantha Collins
My little brother is a member of the United States Marine Corps. My father was not a Marine, nor were my uncles. This was not my brother’s childhood dream or even amongst the options he considered when choosing a path to adulthood. At 17, my brother had a great ACT score and even a roommate for the college he had planned to attend. Weeks before graduation, my brother looked our family in the eyes and told us he had made an important decision: to become a Marine. Many of us know that 17 is not an age at which one can make this choice alone, but my parents knew he had made up his mind and they would not let him take these very difficult steps without their support.
Initially, I perceived the military as a frightening decision that I considered my brother irrational to jump into and quite possibly a “phase” for him. It was very clear it was not the easy choice; thus, I questioned his reasoning. He began training with his recruiting officers and many other recruits who were pursuing a similar path. Soon after, my brother signed his papers, documenting that he had enlisted. Not yet, though, was he considered a Marine; first, he would have to attend basic training.
By Cokie Thompson
Every November 11, the Tuscaloosa Veterans Memorial Park Association and the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center host a program to honor veterans in the area.
This year, the program will bring special attention to Colonel Charles W. Davis, a native of Gordo, who received a Medal of Honor for his service in World War II. His son, Kirk Davis, will be speaking about Col. Davis’ life and the events leading up to the award.