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NJROTC hurt by recent article

To the editor: I have recently had a number of comments about the articles in the paper regarding NJROTC cadets who have unfortunately followed a path that is not endorsed nor tolerated. Since the beginning of the program, almost 6 years now, we have managed to turn more youth around than any program in the community. Despite our efforts however, we are not able to reach them all. The goal of the program is to provide the youth of our community with the tools to lead productive lives through a strict and structured environment. Unfortunately, not every young person has the love and support needed at home to provide a stable foundation, and are at risk of making bad choices. It’s sad, but more kids than you could imagine come from dysfunctional homes. They are abused, molested, run down, beaten and told they are failures. We, as parents and educators must deal with this reality and do our best to guide and educate these kids. Let me tell you, if you want a rude awakening, spend two weeks at any school in the country, and you will get my meaning. If you have any compassion at all, you will leave at the end of the day with a broken heart. I say this to bring an awareness that most of us only hear or see on television, but it is right under all of our noses, right here in Crook County. The point that I am trying to make is that we don’t have the ability to pick and choose the best kids in the county, nor would we, if we had a choice; it’s all or none. So, the NJROTC program will continue its course of making a difference in the lives of the less fortunate and the fortunate alike, and pray that as a community, we reach out our hand instead of turning our backs to the future leaders of our country. We can make a difference if we are willing to invest the time and energy required to provide a safe haven for our youth and our children. Bob Palmer Assistant Coach, and concerned Parent.