Williamsburg County Veterans Affairs Director Robert McClary wanted to do something special for the C.E. Murray High School JROTC. The 105 cadets were always ready to perform whenever McClary called upon them and he wanted to reciprocate their generosity. “Everytime we have a function for the county they are always first to volunteer. They never ask for anything,” said McClary. “This is in appreciation for what they have done and continue to do for us.” And what better way to show their gratitude than to dish up some fine groceries.
McClary enlisted the help of local “chef” and Retired Army Drill Sgt. Matthew Blake, who grilled 137 chicken quarters. “We just want to show our appreciation because they are our future,” said Blake. The local McClary-Cole Post 6500 Auxiliary President Thelma Kennedy and the rest of the ladies took care of the rest.
JROTC serves as a character and leadership development program for our nation’s high school students. There are approximately 314,000 cadets enrolled in JROTC in 1,731 high schools, led by 4,000 retired Army instructors. “We motivate the young people to become better citizens by putting them into an environment where they can learn to adopt, learn to socialize, and learn how to communicate with each other,” said Sgt. First Class Ernest Taylor, assistant instructor. “There is an academic focus as well as a social focus. Overall to develop not only a good student but just a decent human being.”
Under the leadership of Senior Instructor, Captain Christopher Robinson, the C.E. Murray JROTC participates in parades, church events, and Veterans Day and Memorial Day programs.
Cadets have opportunities to gain leadership positions such as company commander and squad leadership. They also compete and have won many awards. Several years ago they competed in the Nationals in Daytona Beach and brought back third place in one of the competition. In 2016 they organized a RAIDER team for the first time and placed second in two events. The U.S. Army Cadet Command JROTC National Raider Championships annually attract many of the best male, female and mixed competition RAIDER teams from across the country.
To learn more about the local VFW and the American Legion contact Frankie Pompey Commander VFW at (843) 372-3203 or John Spearman Commander of the American Legion (843) 676-5500.
For more information about Veterans Affairs call Director McClary at (843) 355-9321 ext. 6300.