Lincoln needs to support ROTC program

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As I read this week's March 27 edition of the Messenger under the Education section, I found it amazing that the city and parents of Lincoln would allow the ROTC Program being conducted at Lincoln High School for its young people to be dissolved this year. Are you parents making a political statement? It certainly sounds like it to me. Just because a person wears a uniform to perform their function doesn't mean they are going into the military. Does a doctor's coat garment worn in the hospital mean he is going to perform surgery? The ROTC program is one of the best character-building avenues that is offered today if you would like your teen to discover his/her personal qualities, develop respect for others, think about goal-setting for their future, and create discipline in their lives. Aren't those the qualities that make us proud of our kids? This week we have read stories within the Lincoln Messenger that report assaults and other criminal happenings that are gang-related in Lincoln. Is that the influence parents want to maintain in this city if teens have no other example to follow? We are giving teens, and you the parent, a choice to develop character in your young people so they will make a difference as future adult voting citizens. Can you think of any other program that is offered, other than one of a religious nature, that has an impact? When a child attends Sunday school, it does not mean he or she is going to be a minister. It is a direction and influence for good. Our young people need mentors. The city recognizes the impact of how the Volunteer SCHOOLS Program did benefit teens academically the last several years, with Lincoln adult seniors volunteering their time to mentor our young people. This was an accomplishment that Lincoln did embrace when they entered the All America City contest. That is one example of mentoring that paid off and it was done by volunteers who had successful, respectful and productive careers, who cared to share their experience with our young ones. The ROTC Program has done, and can continue to be, a similar influence with young teens if parents would look at the long-term effect to develop positive and productive citizens for the decades to come. I have attended several Veteran's Day ceremonies held at Sun City Lincoln Hills, and it is heart warming and touching to see these young people show their respect for our country through this activity. They have a special countenance about them, one that will be in great demand when they leave high school and enter the workplace in whatever path they follow. The ROTC students have had a significant presence in numerous city events as mentioned by instructor Keys in the News Messenger article. Why would you not support such a focused program? One of my favorite passages regarding any endeavor is written by Martin Brunnes, who states, A Task without a Vision is drudgery, a Vision with a Task is a dream, and a Task with a Vision is a Victory. Let's rethink the support you parents are giving to the ROTC program at Lincoln High, and find a way to continue this valuable course with increased enrollment and participation. Lillian Nawman, Lincoln