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American Legion and Auxiliary donate to JROTC units

MADISON – Following their tradition for community outreach, members of Madison American Legion, Post 229, along with members in Madison Auxiliary, Unit 229, recently donated to the Junior ROTC units in Madison.

“These donations will be used to purchase and replace Drill and Ceremonial equipment that our JROTC Honor Guard frequently use when rendering Honors to and with our Nation’s Colors,” Chief Master Sergeant (retired) Ellis Clark said. Clark and his colleague Maj. Dr. Melissa M. Lacey are aerospace science instructors at Bob Jones High School.

“It is important that our cadets represent and adhere to time-honored customs, courtesies, traditions and appearance standards. Donations of this nature make meeting and exceeding those standards possible,” Clark said.

At James Clemens High School, U.S. Army Major (retired) Rezell Linen serves as Senior Army Instructor for his unit’s cadets. “The donations that we received from the American Legion and Auxiliary will be used to assist with funding the archery tournament in February and the upcoming drill competition,” Linen said. Sergeant Major (retired) Samuel D. McCray also teaches James Clemens’ cadets.

“Each year, American Legion, Post 229 provides a monetary donation to the JROTC Departments at Bob Jones and James Clemens high schools,” Post 229 Commander Larry Vannoy said. “The post’s sponsorship of these two outstanding youth organizations is part of the American Legion’s mission to promote Americanism and patriotism in our youth.”

“Not only do these programs support those goals, but the JROTC program is also a source for developing America’s future military leaders,” Vannoy said.

This year, the Madison Auxiliary, Unit 229 matched the donation of the American Legion, Post 229 and made their own donation to both programs, according to Auxiliary President Jean Downs.

Both the Bob Jones and James Clemens JROTC departments actively support the American Legion in Madison throughout the year. Cadets help with the placement and retrieval of flags for both Memorial Day and Veterans Day. The teenagers also help with wreaths on veterans’ graves at Christmas and support other community ceremonies, like the annual Memorial Day ceremony that legionnaires present in Veterans Park in downtown Madison.

“The JROTC departments also support the Auxiliary by writing letters and providing cards for our veterans throughout the year and collecting items for Christmas gifts for the veterans in both Tut Fann State Veterans Home in Huntsville and our City of Madison’s assisted-living and memory-care facilities,” Downs said.

“We are hoping the donations can be used towards needed equipment to support the school’s marksmanship program and drill teams,” Vannoy said.

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