Choctaw County High School Honors Veterans

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Butler, Ala. There was the presentation of the colors, songs, a salute to veterans, and stories from an Army Captain in this morning's Veterans' Day program at Choctaw County High School presented by the school's JROTC students. The Commander of Choctaw County High's JROTC unit, Master Sergeant Jim Washington, says the program teaches the cadets the same things he learned during his 22 year career in the Army.

"It teaches you how to be successful, and how to lead and follow, as well as have a good attitude."

It was the things Washington's 125 cadets have learned from JROTC that led to the preparation and execution of this morning's annual Veterans' Day program, one Washington says he's very proud of.

"Every year we honor our veterans by doing a program, and everything you saw here today was done by them, and them alone from my teaching about leadership, so they went out and put this program together."

After retiring from the army, Washington came to Choctaw County High to oversee the JROTC program, a position he's held for the past 20 years, but now, the unit's future is in question.

"The school board says they don't have the money to continue, and the Army requires us to have two instructors, and at this point, I have been here for the past 7 years by myself, and the Army is saying we have to hire another instructor, or they're going to close it."

Washington hopes they are able to either stay active, or start up again soon, and as a veteran himself, he says he's thankful for the opportunity to do what he does.

"Today, to me, is just sentimental, and I just thank God that he spared my life and gave me the opportunity to be able to continue to do the things I'm doing."