Cairo, GA -- June 05, 2012 --
The Navy has decided to keep Cario High School's Naval JROTC Program.
In March of 2012, the program was one of 29 that the Navy had slated to shut down due to budget cuts. Thanks to some hard work by Congressman Sanford Bishop in Washington, Cairo's program was the only one of the 29 that the Navy decided to reverse it's decision on.
"There was this sense in the community that it was going to go away, and I'm glad you guys are here just to get the word back out that the program is alive and well and it's going to keep going," said LCDR Alex Baker, the high school's Senior Naval Science instructor.
The prgoram won the most trophies of it's 12 year history in 2012. 127 cadets are signed up for the upcoming school year, the largest class to date.
Cairo, GA -- March 13, 2012 --
Cairo High School Senior Deldreck Smith was a self-described bad apple before the Naval J-R-O-T-C.
Deldreck says he owes a lot to the program which is now in danger of being shut down.
"I was a social outcast, it made me who I am today, it taught me leadership, it made me fit in just as it has numerous cadets here, and it gave me a home away from home when I needed it," said Smith.
In 2011, the program failed to meet the required 100 cadets for the first time in 12 years. They only had 81. Usually this would mean probation and one year to fix it, but instead the Navy decided to cut them for budget concerns.
Today, the program surpasses the 100 member requirement with 116. Now, Congressman Sanford Bishop is making their case in Washington.
"It is my hope that we will be successful, that this program will continue, because it does so much good and it brings so much pride and it certainly enhances the future of our nation," said Congressman Bishop.
Congressman Bishop has asked the Navy to review their decision. That request has been granted, but there is no timetable of when they'll come to a resolution. Smith is still holding on to hope that the program that changed his life, will continue to be around to change the lives of others.
"This unit and this program has shaped and molded so many good things...it makes you just a better citizen."