Cadets’ Salute to Veterans at Ramona High brings tears to many

By Bill Tamburrino

Inspiring, educational, emotional, enlightening and patriotic are adjectives that describe what occurred as the Ramona High School Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps held its sixth annual Salute to Veterans at the school on Saturday.

About half of the 66 cadets present participated in the ceremonies as speakers, honor guards and demonstrators. Master of ceremonies was Cadet Maggie Mellecker, a 4.08 grade-point average student who wants to attend University of California Santa Barbara and pursue a doctorate in psychology.

Ramona High NJROTC Cadet Maggie Mellecker and Lt. Cmdr. Mike Ernst, U.S. Navy retired and NRJOTC instructor, ask for a photograph with guest speaker Lt. Col. Ralph Kling, U.S. Air Force retired and a World War II prisoner of war, after the NJROTC Salute to Veterans on Saturday. Sentinel photo/Bill Tamburrino

The night included historical presentations about the five military services, a tribute to MIAs and POWs, a presentation about the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and those who stand guard over it, a roll call for those from Ramona who paid the ultimate sacrifice while defending the country, a presentation on the military code of conduct by retired CPO Tony Dunkailo, a reading about what it is to be a veteran and the featured speaker, was Lt. Col. Ralph Kling, U.S. Air Force retired.

Kling was a pilot in World War II who flew 68 missions, mostly in support of Gen. George Patton’s army. Kling’s plane was shot down and he was in the prison camp that inspired the film “The Great Escape.”

His presentation combined humor, historical facts, human interest, and brought many to tears.

The ceremony ended with Cadet Wesley Richardson singing “Arlington” and then the entire Corps and audience singing “I am proud to be an American”.

After the ceremony, parents and veterans gave Kling rock star treatment, asking him to pose for pictures with them.

Related posts:

  1. High school cadets honor military in community salute
  2. World War II POW to share his story at NJROTC’s Military Salute
  3. Timeout with Tambo: Honoring our veterans
  4. NJROTC students commemorate Veterans Day in Washington, D.C.
  5. Retired Navy captains volunteer at NJROTC field competition

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Posted by Maureen Robertson on Nov 10 2013. Filed under Featured Story, Local Spotlight, News, Ramona, Schools. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

1 Comment for “Cadets’ Salute to Veterans at Ramona High brings tears to many”

  1. sharon

    Way to go one and all! We are proud of you.

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