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JROTC and military service provides opportunities for all

August 30, 2019
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

To the editor:

Here we go again with letter writer Mr. Lewis Robinson making claims of his knowledge of how our local JROTC programs specifically target poor and minorities who will never become officers, be forever adversely affected by their military service (if they choose to join the military) and are confronted, on active duty, with racism and white supremacy.

Wow. All these claims by someone who should look in inward before talking about racism, and research his allegations that fail to meet the benchmark of his claim. I have learned that the only way to address and combat such opinions is by producing facts that dispel this ignorance.

He chose to target Lehigh Senior JROTC program in which he states has 1,300 cadets. Now for some facts:

At the Lee County School District JROTC Awards Ceremony on May 1, 2019 I will list a few of the cadet achievements.

1. 7,247 - Cadets enrolled in JROTC

2. 23,867 - Food Items Donated

3. 54,630 - Estimated Hours of Community Service

4.$6,750,000- Dollars earned in Scholarships

Two issues I would like to bring to light is first, by not including the entire program numbers, the letter writer tries to racially profile the program. Second, the letter fails to address the scholarship monies that afford those hard- working cadets with an opportunity that may not have been afforded to them without this program. This scholarship money does not see a cadet's color of skin, but rather their outstanding achievements while being a part of this program.

The letter's "sky is falling" commentary' fails to address how the JROTC Programs afford to some cadets a family structure and moral compass that they may not have at home, along with this caring hand-up, whether these cadets choose military service or are afforded higher education through scholarships. The GI Bill, for example, has afforded many the opportunity for higher education that may not have been afforded to those without military service. This opportunity is not restricted by racial boundaries.

Now I am beginning to clearly understand the meaning of "fake news" when not including all the facts. (smile)

Last, I have read a lot of condemning, hateful rhetoric in past opinions. My curiosity is that what part of you, your group or organization, if any, provide these opportunities for the betterment of our children? I can personally vouch for myself, the Combat Infantrymen's Association and the Military Order of the Purple Heart (Honoring our Combat Wounded Veterans) both locally and nationally in contributing to these scholarship programs without restrictions on race and ethnicity.

Jack Wagner

Cape Coral



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