The recognition event at Constellation Field on May 28th is just one of the ways to say “thank you” to the young men and women from Fort Bend just now entering military service. They officially join right after they graduate from high school, which for Fort Bend ISD is this upcoming Friday and Saturday at the Toyota Center, on Thursday for those graduating from the Stafford Municipal School District. The Spartans will be the first class of high school graduates to do it at Constellation Field. Other Fort Bend graduations taking place this week are the ones for Needville ISD and Katy ISD. Lamar CISD recently held theirs.
Singer-songwriter and 20-year decorated active National Guardsman stationed in Austin, Darby Ledbetter performed and intensified the Americana feel with his Emmy Award winning song, “I Won’t Let My Guard Down,” closing the event with the “I’m Proud to be an American” popular, hit song.
Event promoter Cher Binks reports that the special occasion was conceived by Bonnie Worstell, a junior at Clements High School in the ROTC. Bonnie, who was working on her Girl Scout Gold Award, is credited for establishing the first time event and could set the stage for a yearly tradition. “It’s because they made their decision to serve our country that we are free and able to make our own decision(s),” said Bonnie about her bold and exemplary effort. Bonnie’s friends who enlisted in the military had been met with negative reactions about their choice vis a vis others including going to college.
In support of its gratitude and respect for these young brave men and women entering the military, the Skeeters provided the event space for the celebration. It was fitting for former Marine and Channel 2’s KPRC News Anchor Bill Balleza to serve as the emcee. Balleza recently received the Service Above Self Award from the nation’s largest need-based scholarship provider to U.S. families, the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, founded 50 years ago.
Also key at the event were Capt. Gene Clark, the national organization’s Executive Director of Our Community Salutes, Col. Scott Reval, Chief of Internal Review, 75th Training Command in Beaumont, former U.S. Navy Capt./decorated Naval Aviator and State Representative Rick Miller, who’s son is serving as a Navy Commander FA-18 aviator; and keynote speaker, Congressman Pete Olson, a decorated U.S. Naval Aviator.
Capt. Clark presented three Colin Powell Awards for outstanding school official supporters of the new recruits. The recipients, nominated by a local military recruiter, were given to Viretta West, Hightower High School Principal; Richard Janacek, Needville High School Principal; and Leslie Flattery, Registrar of Seven Lakes High School in Katy.
The Fort Bend Star salutes you!