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Staff sergeant serving in Iraq offers comments on ROTC story

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Posted: Tuesday, July 5, 2011 8:22 pm

When you stop and think about the Internet, it is truly amazing. You can speak "face to face" with family in foreign countries, watch your friends' children grow up even if they live in a different state and stay in contact with a large number of people. 

On Saturday, we ran a story about the Lodi Unified School District board http://www.lodinews.com/news/article_e9d68256-c82f-5a60-88da-cd5795b3809e.html" target="_blank">passing a Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program. I was scrolling through the comments and realized we had one from a Lodi native who is serving in Iraq. Staff Sergeant Anthony Rueb was able to read our story and within hours offer his input from his first-hand experience. 

I thought his response was worth highlighting and wanted to remind all of our readers to take a moment to comment on our stories if a story sparks your interest.

Here's his comments:

I am a Lodi native, born and raised. I graduated in 2004 and enlisted in the United States Air Force one month after I graduated. I joined for a multitude of very personal complex reasons. However, I knew nothing about the military prior to joining. I signed papers as fast as the pen would release ink and never looked back. After graduating from Basic Training (boot camp) and Technical Training, I wished I would've had the leg up on my comrades like other troops who attended schools with JROTC programs. They knew the drills, heritage, histroy and poise neccessry for a successful transition from civilian to miltary life. I did not. I had to learn by the numbers and absorb a lot information very quickly with little room for error. 

My point is, JROTC gives kids the heads up on what to expect from the military. It also provides a streamlined means to gain rank quicker. Even if the student chooses not to join the world's greatest military, they will still be exposed to invaluable life lessons not addressed in other classrooms. Lessons such as, respect for elders, discipline and honoring traditions that were pivital in formation of our country. If a teacher has an unruly student that demonstrates lack of respect and discipline they are virtually powerless. If the teacher steps outside of their instructional position away from their area of expertise and tries to instill these neccessary traits into a young student, they run the risk of facing harrassment and discrimination issues. Whereas a JROTC class lays down the expectations and the soonest deviation from the student warrants termination of the students opportunity to be in that course. Thus, presenting yet another life lesson not exclusive to just military service; conform to the standards of conduct or face swift consequences.

I am happy that this passed in Lodi, narrowly as it may have. It will be a great addition to the district (given the right instructors) and teach our students pride in one's self versus the current tone of public academics which seems to be political correctness rules all. Good luck to all future cadets and like my uncle told me before I joined "listen to the smart ones".

Staff Sergeant Anthony Rueb
Undisclosed location, Iraq.

 

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