Yesterday, I received an empassioned plea from a friend asking to protest a decision made by the West Valley School Board.

This morning, during "The Big Show," I got a phone call from a female listener who alerted me to the same thing, saying that her husband was "nearly in tears" over the decision. Apparently, the West Valley School District is proposing to completely eliminate the J.R.O.T.C. program.

By some estimates, 140-plus students could be affected, which is why many are planning to speak out against this at the school board meeting this evening.

My friend, Sean Tabayoyon, has a son in 8th grade at the junior high school and is currently in his second year in J.R.O.T.C. as well as the Platoon Leader.  Sean says that the difference he has seen in his child is the difference between "being afraid to ask a waitress a question to having enough confidence to not only speak publicly, but have the motivation to lead others."

Considering that the U.S. Army's J.R.O.T.C. program's mission statement is to "motivate young people to be better citizens" and the W.V.S.D.'s motto is "pathways to success," it would seem like a perfect marriage.

Speaking as a 1989 graduate of West Valley, I can say I've seen the heights at which young people can reach through R.O.T.C.  My old classmates, Todd and Troy Endicott, went through the program and went on to Medical School to then recommission in the U.S. Navy and the Air Force Academy, respectively.

If you are interested in helping to possibly save this program, you are urged to attend the meeting tonight at 7:00 P.M. at West Valley High School.