ROTC teachers anticipate concerned students - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

ROTC teachers anticipate concerned students

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August 2, 2005

Albany- Four soldiers in just two weeks. The reality of combat has hit South Georgia hard.

"People are dying, and now it's people that we know," says MSgt Uysel Inman.

All three Junior ROTC instructors at Monroe High School retired with at least 20 years service behind them, although pursuing a military career isn't their focus in the classroom.

"Some of the students may wish to go on to the military, and about 10 to 15 percent of them do, but the vast majority of students do not. That's not our mission. Our mission is not to recruit, but to help the students get prepared for what's coming after high school," says Colonel Ted Wright.

Still, the teachers say they anticipate having some concerned students, especially those who plan to enlist after graduation.

"There are questions occasionally, of course now, especially with a lot of our local folks being involved with the guard over there," Wright says.

"You just sit them down and let them know that we are military, and we go to do a specific job. We're not going over there to look for trouble, but trouble happens," says Chief Willie Cleckley.

Unfortunately, driving that point home will be easier with the recent news of fallen South Georgia soldiers.

"So what we do is we tell them just prepare and just stay focused on what they're here for," says Inman.

And in their classes that's growing from a student to a productive citizen and leader whether they choose a military career or not.

The Monroe High School instructors say two of their former students have recently been called to active duty and are serving in Iraq.

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