Cadets honored at JROTC banquet

Published 11:35 am Saturday, May 26, 2012

DECATUR COUNTY School Superintendent Dr. Fred Rayfield, left, and Bainbridge High School principal Tommie Howell, right, honor most outstanding Bainbridge High School Air Force Junior ROTC cadets. From the left are Dr. Rayfield, outstanding fourth year cadet Christopher Campbell, outstanding third year cadet Riley Cutchin, outstanding first year cadets Julian “J.D.” Poole and Zachary Toole, outstanding second year cadet John Tom and principal Howell.

The Bainbridge High School Air Force Junior ROTC Unit was honored with a Distinguished Unit With Merit Award for a ninth consecutive school year, highlighting the unit’s 18th annual awards banquet Tuesday, May 15, at the school cafeteria.

The outstanding freshman, sophomore, junior and senior cadets were honored by Decatur County School Superintendent Dr. Fred Rayfield and Bainbridge High School principal Tommie Howell.

The outstanding freshman cadets were Julian “J D.” Poole and Zachary Toole. The outstanding sophomore cadet was John Tome, the outstanding junior cadet was Riley Cutchin and the outstanding senior cadet was Christopher Campbell.

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Cadets William Darley, Eliezer Gomez, Zenil Patel, Hunter Savage, John Tome and Caryn Vandergriff received academic letter jackets for their outstanding work in the classroom.

Cadet Stephen Dunn, who completed the United States Military Academy prep school, was honored for receiving an appointment to the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y.

The most improved cadets were freshmen Jami Jiang and Laiporsha Howard, sophomore Andrew Hemanes, juniors Porchia Green and Dakota Chaffin, and seniors Julian “J.D.” Poole and Antoinette Burke. Cadet Caryn Vandergriff received the Air Commando Association Award.

Cadet Randall Carnes received the National Society of the U.S. Daughters of 1812 Award.

Eliezer Gomez received the Emory Riddle Freedom Foundation award. The Retired Enlisted Association Award went to cadet Paxton Varnum and Tuskegee Airmen Awards went to cadets Jami Jiang and Joshua Godwin.

Cadet Darryl Thompson received the Sons of Union Veterans Award and cadet Hannah Vulgamore received the Sons of Confederate Veterans Award.

Cadet Kristina Brown received the Air Force Sergeants Association Achievement Award and cadet Gabriel Cofer received the Air Force Sergeants Association Emerging Leader award.

Cadet Crystal Grice received the Military Order of the Purple Heart Award, cadet James Harrell received the Scottish Rite Southern Jurisdiction Award and cadet Riley Cutchin received the Sons of the American Revolution Award.

Cadet Zenil Patel received the National Sojourners Award and cadet Rebecca Schoeneman received the Veterans of Foreign Wars Award.

Cadet Hunter Savage received the Officers Association of America Award and cadet Thomas Sudderth received the Military Order of World Wars Award.

Cadet Riley Cutchin received the Reserve Officers Association Award and the Air Force Association Award and cadet John Tome received the American Veterans Award. Cadet William Darley received the Daedalian Award.

Cadet Stacy Martin received the Daughters of the American Revolution Award and the American Legion Military Excellence Award went to cadet Christopher Campbell.

The American Legion Scholastic Award went to cadet Hunter Savage.

At the front of the banquet hall was a vacant table honoring veterans who are prisoners of war or missing in action.

The table was set for one to symbolize the frailty of one prisoner alone against his oppressors.The table cloth was white symbolized the purity of their intentions to respond to our nation’s call to arms.

The table also contained a single rose in a vase, honoring the families and loved ones of comrades in arms who keep a faithful vigil awaiting their return.

There was also a slice of lemon on the bread plate as a reminder of the bitter fate of those captured and missing in a foreign land and a pinch of salt symbolizing the tears endured by those missing and their families who seek answers.

Also on the table was a Bible representing the strength gained through faith to sustain those lost from our country founded as one nation under God, an inverted glass to symbolize their inability to share a toast and an empty chair to symbolize that they are missing.

The Oak Murdock Patriots Award, established in memory of late cadet Oak Murdock, to honor his total commitment to the Junior ROTC program, went to cadet James Harrell. The award ranks with the outstanding cadet awards.