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Saturday, May 21, 2011

USMC JROTC and stuff

Hectic day yesterday. I advise against both entering your forties and having three teen-agers at once. Rain here during what is NOT supposed to be our monsoon season is still preventing me from getting some rather crucial outdoor work done. US Army keeping me from playtesting B/X WW II this weekend.

Anyway, Ashli's Marine Corps Junior ROTC Awards ceremony was last night and she was covered in glory. First there was a meet and greet pizza party dinner before the ceremony where first they handed out T-shirts to the members of their drill team, kind of like tour T-shirts for bands. On the front it has the Marine Corps devil dog logo and the name of their team and says " 5th place overall nationals champions 2011"; on the back it says 5 overall championships, 69 events, 52 trophies, 29 1st place, 10 2nd place, 6 3rd place, 1 4th place; which is pretty cool. Then when I was grabbing a slice of pizza Ashli's CO came over and shook my hand and told me that "Ashli is the best cadet we have in the program, I wish I could take credit for this, but she came to us this way."; I was a pretty proud dad right then.

Then we made our way up to the auditorium for the awards ceremony proper, which was quite lengthy, but there weren't any extraneous BS awards given out in my opinion, with the possible exception of the good conduct award which was given to every cadet in the program that had managed to avoid getting into any trouble over the course of the school year; that may just be sour grapes on my part though because I know there is no way I could ever have gotten it back in my day. There were a number of military and civic organizations there giving awards to cadets for various reasons. Ashli was presented with the Women Marines Association's Outstanding Cadet Award, The American Legion's Scholastic Medal and the following awards from the MCJROTC- Outstanding Cadet, Community Service, Distinguished Scholastic Achievement, Distinguished Conduct, Longevity/Fidelty, Drill Team and Best Drill Squad.

I try not to boast too much about my children, but I figure Ashli has it coming today. Some of those awards were no real surprise to me, she is also a member of National Honor Society and French Honor Society and has been volunteering at local food pantries since she was 14 years old. We only just moved to this school district just before the beginning of the school year though and all of the ROTC stuff was new to her, she really only joined because she had already joined the Army Reserve and wanted the benefit of some military experience before she heads off to basic training after she graduates; but she threw herself into the program with a will and it shows. She went from being a girl that had to lose a few pounds to get into the Army to being a girl that can easily pass basic training. She knows how to march, how to wear a uniform, how to shoot, and can ace a PT test (which she is doing today at her reserve unit).

Her reserve unit usually takes their pre-basics and makes them do busy work on drill weekends; Ashli has real responsibilities there now, which includes watching the other pre-basics and teaching them how not to act and keeping them in line.

Best part about last night though, I got a firm commitment from my son John and my other daughter Ember that they will both be joining the JROTC program. John is an honor student and a football player and on the weightlifting team, but I think the discipline of the JROTC program will be good for him. Em is an Honor student and does track. She runs the 200 meter and the 100 meter and throws the shot put. She used to run the 800 meter too.

Anyway, since the real Army took Ashli away again this weekend and I can't scrape up any other playtesters for B/X WW II around here; I will leave you with a mermaid my lovely wife Mona drew this afternoon that I scanned as I was writing this.