Meeting With Giants

To some people, the Navy means tedious physical training, emotional, physical, and mental trials, and hard work.

For others, the  Navy means brotherhood, a sense of liberty, and strength.

Over 300 ROTC students and their instructors spent hours preparing for the annual Navy Ball on Oct. 4, 2017, and like past years, this one did not fail to amaze. People in attendance of the Navy Ball were honored with the presence of many retired Navy soldiers, a stunning performance by the armed drill team, and a memorable speech from Lt. Col. (R) Allen B. West, a very successful military serviceman who has been recognized many times for his valor and dedication to the US Military.

Many students were recognized during the Navy Ball, including seniors Brandon Parrish and Randolph Campbell. Campbell was awarded $1000 from the Texas Patriots Tea Party, and Parrish received The Legion of Valor Bronze Cross of Achievement.

Campbell’s award is a reflection of all the hard work and dedication he has devoted to not only NJROTC, but also the community.

The award not only recognizes individuals who exemplify conservative patriotic values,” Campbell said.  “But who also love, cherish and uphold the Constitution of the United States through meritorious acts of service in their local community.”

Parrish received what is most likely one of the most important awards in his military career: The Legion of Valor Bronze Cross of Achievement. Upon receiving this very honorable award, Parrish had no words to describe how thankful he was.

“The biggest thing that got me is when I got up there, I was expecting a round of applause, I’d give my speech, then I’d be done,” Parrish said. “But then people started standing up and I kind of got emotional because that award is meant for people who strive to go out of the way for others.”

The guest speaker, Allen B. West, left the entire audience stunned after giving a great speech about  what it means to be part of the NJROTC family.

“[These kids] are showing us a legacy and the tradition of courage of the United States Navy that has been shown through brave men and women throughout this country,” West said. “This is where today’s media should be.”

West continued to explain to the audience about the time all of the students invested in their program and in their passion for their country, their class, and their instructors. The cadets demonstrated just a glimpse of the hard work and dedication that the military exerts every single day, and West was more than pleased with the presentation given by every single cadet during the ball.

“It was just September 17 when we celebrated the 230th anniversary of the signing of our Constitution, our root of law,” West said. “That is what these young men and women will be committed to, that is what they show a conviction for.”

By next fall, the cadets will begin their long preparation for the next Navy Ball, and like always, it will be as impressive and memorable as the last. All of the cadets are exemplary examples of what the future’s leaders in the military will look like.

“It is easy to wake up and be… a windmill kind of a person that will go however the breeze blows,” West said.  “But if you have courage, and you have a commitment… If you have the confidence and the conviction, you will stand for this constitution, you will stand for this country, and you will take your place in the military. That’s where these kids are.”

With great pride following another exceptional Navy Ball, Lt. Col. (R) Davidson had a significant amount to celebrate and to be proud of.

“Your kids met with giants last night, I hope they were impressed,” Davidson said. “Because the giants were impressed with your kids.”