Man of the Decade

Published 2:45 pm Friday, April 9, 2010

I am writing this letter to honor a man who has gone up and beyond the call of duty to improve the lives of all the young people he has come in contact with in Decatur County, as well as improve the community and in turn improve the nation.

I am talking about Col. Gary Breedlove, director of the JROTC program at Bainbridge High School for the last 16 years.

Col. Breedlove has inspired and touched the lives of hundreds of the youth of Decatur County and he was instrumental in getting several appointed to the nation’s top military academies, West Point, Air Force and Naval Academy as well as several ROTC scholarships to top universities.

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His JROTC program has won numerous state, regional and national awards in drill competition, physical fitness and inspection.

His color guards can be seen at just about every community event of significance.

In 1996, he had three of his cadets appointed to West Point and Air Force Academy, the most of any other JROTC program in the nation.

He has truly helped to put Bainbridge on the map in relation to developing young men and women for the military as well as instilling patriotism, good citizenship and pride and respect for the flag and the country it represents.

Col. Breedlove will be stepping down and retiring at the end of the school year in May. His successes and accomplishments are many and his shoes will be hard to fill.

The Decatur County community is a better place because it has had the services of this remarkable man the last 16 years.

I personally have gotten to know Col. Breedlove through my son, Buck, who was inspired and mentored by him on his life’s journey from small town boy through West Point and now as a major in the U.S. Army.

In conclusion, Col. Gary Breedlove has been Man of the Year in Decatur County, and I propose we name him Man of the Decade.

With enthusiasm,David Sarrette, M.Ed.