On Wednesday, Aug. 15, the Globe High School JROTC Department hosted an emotional ceremony in honor of Ronnie Attaway. It was a ceremony that I personally will remember for the rest of my life. Ronnie was joined by his family, friends, former teachers, administrators, and school board members alike.
Despite his struggle with an aggressive form of cancer, Ronnie displays a sense of happiness, enthusiasm, and pride that is humbling to say the least. His courage is undeniable, and his spirit sets the example for all of us to follow. During the ceremony, Ronnie was presented with an updated shadow box depicting his many JROTC accomplishments from his time as a cadet, including achieving the rank of Cadet Captain and being a member of both the pellet rifle team and Honor Guard.
Our current JROTC staff heard about Ronnie’s inspiring story the week prior and immediately wanted to do something special for him. In addition to updating all of his awards and accomplishments, Ronnie was outfitted with the current JROTC dress blue uniform as well as being honorably promoted to the rank of Cadet Major by our current JROTC Battalion Commander, Marlin Rustin and Executive Officer, Donald Brandenburg. Our Battalion Command Sergeant Major, Hunter Meeks, also presented Ronnie with a personalized invitation to be the honored guest at our annual military ball.
Ronnie’s mother, Chris, was beaming with pride and fighting back tears as she explained to me how much JROTC meant to Ronnie, and how he always speaks of his instructors, Sergeant Major (retired) Steve Domina and the late First Sergeant (retired) Jim Enfield, whom many of you know have been instrumental in positively shaping the lives of our youth during their many years as JROTC instructors. It was an absolute honor to have SGM (r) Domina be present for this ceremony and MAJ (r) Fiorella and I just want to thank him personally for his lifelong service to this country and to this community.
Although I have not known Ronnie for very long, he has touched my life in a way that is hard to describe. I know that I also speak for the Senior Army Instructor, MAJ (r) Salvatore Fiorella, and on behalf of all of the cadets in our program who have had the privilege of meeting Ronnie and we consider him to be not only our friend, but a part of our family. Ronnie, we love you and salute you for being the incredible person you are.
Submitted by First Seargent (retired) Raymond A. Dakos, Army Instructor, GHS JROTC.