Joshua High School’s Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps brought its best and brightest students to celebrate the unit’s
Parents, students, teachers, members of the community and local officials attended the celebration at the school’s gymnasium for a night of awards, speeches, rifle team demonstration and a performance from the JHS Sweethearts dance team.
State Rep. DeWayne Burns, R-Cleburne, while opening the event, discussed heroism and what it means to him. Members of both sides of his family served in the military, so he grew up around heroes.
“Fortitude comes when you stand next to men and women who mean what they say as much as you mean what you say,” Burns said.
“A hero is a person who builds faith within a person, provides the foundation for success, teaches, puts words into actions, leads no doubt that they love you, is selfless even among the selfish, does the jobs that nobody else can or will do, seeks the betterment of others, keeps his or her word and glorifies God and draws people into his kingdom.
“A hero has uncanny patience to deal with the failure of others, yet knows the importance of accountability and helping others grow,” he said. “A hero knows and demonstrates that God is greater than the things of this world. A hero prays sincerely for others. They hold the ladder for others. A hero reflects Christ.”
He said he’s proud of all the JHS organizations and what they do for the community.
Dallas businessman Ross Perot Jr. served as the event’s guest speaker.
“I look at these students — this wonderful ROTC program — and you are extraordinarily fortunate to be such a wonderful organization,” Perot said. “You’ve already distinguished yourself by volunteering to be in the ROTC. It’s critical for you to continue to serve your community and your country. I hope all of you will decide to serve our country in the military.”
When you look at North Texas as a whole, he said the population will double in size over the next couple of decades.
“Think of the leadership challenges we’ll have in north Texas,” he said. “We’ve had great political leaders and business leaders in North Texas to get us to the 8 million. We’re adding 250 people a day into this market.
“Imagine the leaders we’re going to need moving into the future. The great leaders of North Texas are going to be probably in this gym tonight.”
Serving the military is a great way to serve your country, he said.
“Less than 1 percent of Americans serve their nation,” he said. “Be part of that 1 percent. As you build your career, think about north Texas, think about coming home [and] get a great education so when you come home make sure you lead. Make sure you have great character, and the most important thing — have courage.”
One JHS cadet was honored for her hard work and commitment to the school’s NJROTC program.
JHS senior Grace Sharp was awarded the Legion of Valor’s Bronze Cross of Achievement award from Vice Admiral David Robinson.
Sharp is the captain of the NJROTC’s rifle team and has represented Texas in Colorado Springs at the National Junior Olympics twice. In February, the rifle team received a national championship.
“The Legion of Valor has provided many role models to our program over the years,” she said. “Their stories are truly inspiring. I’d like to thank them for their service, sacrifice and courage. I am so honored to be given this award.”
She also thanked Lt. Col. James Davidson, Master Chief Charles Linville and her parents for helping her along the way. As well as being able to travel around the nation participating in rifle competitions, she’s also had the opportunity to fly an aircraft solo for the first time.
After dinner, the JHS Sweethearts dance performed to the song, “Danger Zone,” followed by the unit performing a color guard drill demonstration and performances by the JHS Spirit of Joshua Band and Choir.
The unit also participated in a Prisoners of War/Missing in Action ceremony and “Taps.”