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OHS JROTC holds awards banquet in library to honor students’ achievements

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Senior Darryl Fogerty receives an award from Major General Brent Hampton at the JROTC awards banquet. This event is held annually to commemorate the achievements of those in the OHS JROTC program.

Senior Darryl Fogerty receives an award from Major General Brent Hampton at the JROTC awards banquet. This event is held annually to commemorate the achievements of those in the OHS JROTC program.

Courtesy of Bradley Roberson

Courtesy of Bradley Roberson

Senior Darryl Fogerty receives an award from Major General Brent Hampton at the JROTC awards banquet. This event is held annually to commemorate the achievements of those in the OHS JROTC program.

Preston Hooker, Staff Writer

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On May 2, the OHS JROTC held an awards banquet to acknowledge the work that the students have put in over the course of the school year under Major Brent Hampton.

“This is a leadership program. This event is to honor these cadets for what they’ve earned over the course of the past school year,” Hampton said. “They’ve all done a little bit in the way of public service, academic excellence, athletic excellence, and that’s what we’ve been rewarding them for.”

According to Hampton, the goal of JROTC is to make leaders, not to recruit students to the military.

“I want them to be able to lead in anything that they go into. Whether it’s business, finance, the military, academia, whatever they want to go into,” Hampton said. “I don’t care if these guys serve a day in their lives. In fact, I hope they never have to. My job is to make better leaders out of them and make them more personally responsible.”

The ceremony was held in the OHS library, with students receiving awards that were presented to them by Hampton and other military veterans. According to senior Darryl Fogerty, who received awards such as The Daughters of the American Revolution award, the Daedalion medal and the ROTC completion certificate, this ceremony has evolved over the past few years.

“The setup is relatively new, with this being the second time we’ve held the banquet. As opposed to two years ago, it was just an assembly line with the school,” Fogerty said. “But now, the ROTC program has come together and made our own awards program. It really makes me feel like the awards I earned mean something, and they really do.”

For other students like sophomore Carter Hillmer, who received a varsity letter for color guard and the American Legion for Military Excellence, it feels good to be recognized for the hard work that has been put in over the course of the school year.

“I feel honored. I’m glad I deserved them,” Hillmer said. “I’ve participated in forty-plus color guards this year. I’ve helped out as far as training with our color guard team and teaching drill in class.”

Freshman Elly Purdon received four awards, including Cadet of the Year award and Most Outstanding Cadet.

“I feel proud that I got selected to receive these awards,” Purdon said. “I just worked my hardest, being a color sergeant and also being a class leader. I made sure that I was there for everything that they needed me there for. I just put all my effort in, and I was there when I was needed.”

Looking forward to next year, Hampton has his sights set on adding more members to the program.

“We want to grow our numbers. We want kids that want to come, want to challenge themselves, and want to make themselves a better citizen in their community,” Hampton said. “I want them to go out into their community and make themselves better for it.”

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OHS JROTC holds awards banquet in library to honor students’ achievements