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Pro-Con: JROTC Fallen Heroes fundraiser

Flags representing fallen heroes stand at attention in the courtyard before the Fallen Heroes ceremony. Flags were sold for $2 each in order to fund the flags and other JROTC programs. Photo taken by Jamie Black.

 

JROTC honors veterans

By Sabrina Conza, Editor in Chief

The Fallen Heroes ceremony is a long standing tradition that JROTC has participated in here for years. Although JROTC raises money from this ceremony, the purpose is not to profit, but to honor veterans who died.

JROTC members sell flags, and personalization periods collect money with the class who collects the most being awarded two parties.

According to Lt. Col. Johnson, the money that is collected “goes for flags and replacing flags.” Each flag is dedicated to one “fallen hero,” a service member who died during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, with there being 6,800 flags in total displayed in the grass by the courtyard.

The purpose of displaying these flags and holding the ceremony is to honor those lost. The ceremony is meant to be a “community event,” according to Lt. Col. Johnson, and the school is kept open over the weekend for members of the community to look at the flags and honor those lost.

The profits that JROTC makes are not unworthy, as cadets have put time and effort into making the event a success. The money that doesn’t go to the flags goes to “help out the program,” Lt. Col. Johnson said. With all of the work that these people are putting in, they should get some reward.

Even non-profit organizations have people on their payroll, and the way that these JROTC members are being paid for their work is by allowing leftover money to go to field trips and to keep the price down for the Military Ball later in the year.

Lt. Col. Johnson said that “it’s like a memorial.” I agree, that’s exactly what the flags are. Each flag memorializes a different fallen veteran, so, as Lt. Col. Johnson said, “no one is left behind or forgotten.”

JROTC is not trying to take advantage of the fallen heroes. They’re just trying to honor them and keep their memory alive.

Heroes fall while JROTC profits

By Jamie Black, Business Manager

Through the week of Oct. 24 study halls were given the incentive from JROTC that if the study hall participated in donating money, in equivalence of buying a flag for JROTC’s Fallen Heroes ceremony, they would receive a party where there would be food from Chick-fil-a and Chipotle.

Some students like junior Carlos Garriga believed that “they (JROTC) really would give our donations to the cause,” but Garriga soon found out otherwise.

Students’ assumption that the collected money is going toward some sort of fallen hero, or at least some sort of veteran, is understandable given the name of the fundraiser. For the past three years I have believed that the money collected when you buy a flag from JROTC goes toward a fallen hero; maybe I’m too naive to have questioned motives of JROTC and its fundraiser, but wouldn’t it have been nice to hope for good?

Recently I learned that the money collected from both the study hall fundraiser and any other flags sold by JROTC members does not go towards any sort of fallen hero.

Lt. Col. Johnson said that the money “goes for the flags, replacing flags” and the “leftovers help out the program” in order to “defray the cost.”

JROTC has not said in any way that the money does actually go towards veterans and I can’t hold that against them, but with the name of the fundraiser and how big of an ordeal the Fallen Heroes ceremony is, you’d assume the money goes directly toward fallen heroes.

The fact that the money doesn’t go to the implied cause has left me uneasy. This seems like a small issue to be upset over, but when the men and women represented by the flags so selflessly died for our great nation, a nation that JROTC prides itself on honoring, the money raised in their honor should go towards a charity that benefits veterans, whether they are dead or alive.

A few years ago, there was a donation to the Paralyzed Veterans of America given by JROTC and I urge them to do the same thing this year.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad JROTC is honoring veterans, but I surely would be more happy with their actions if the money raised went toward the veterans who the Fallen Heroes ceremony is built upon.

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