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Owen JROTC Remember Fallen, Prepare for Life
Owen Cadets Remember Fallen, Prepare for Life
Posted on 11/24/2020
At Charles D. Owen High, JROTC motivates young people to be better citizens.Featured Photos: 1. The C.D. Owen High JROTC Color Guard drills on their school football field on Nov. 18. 2. Owen JROTC cadets stand in remembrance at their school's Vietnam Memorial. 3. Four cadets stand together in their school's Vietnam Memorial, including (in order from left to right) freshman C/ PV2 Conrad McKnight, junior C/ SGT Katie Hieber, senior C/ 2LT Robert Brannock, and senior C/ SGT Nathan Gwyn.

By: Benjamin Rickert
BCS Communications Dept.

Owen JROTC cadets stand in remembrance at their school's Vietnam Memorial.Charles D. Owen High Army JROTC cadets stood in remembrance on Nov. 18 at a stone Vietnam Memorial in front of their school. The students gathered to honor ten Warhorses who gave their lives during the Vietnam War, as well as fallen Fayetteville Chief Warrant Officer 3 (CW3) Dallas Gearld Garza, whose Army helicopter crashed on Nov. 12 in Egypt. The flags flew at half-mast in Garza’s memory.

“We use the memorial as an opportunity to talk about sacrifice, how we got here, and what we have,” said JROTC Army Instructor and Sergeant First Class (Ret.) Jeffrey Garland. “There are ten names inside the horseshoe and each represents a soldier, sailor, airman, or marine who was killed in Vietnam. There were many more from our school that served, but those were the ones who did not make it home.”

The stone memorial reads:

Prepared for Life
At Owen, Garland teaches Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) classes alongside senior Army Instructor and Lieutenant Colonel, Brook King. Their aim is simple: to motivate young people to be better citizens, whatever their futures may hold. Wednesday’s activities at the memorial underscored their lessons about our nation’s history and honoring those who serve. In class, students also learn practical financial, health and fitness, first-aid, teamwork, leadership, public speaking, and employment skills.

“If they go through our program through the course of high school, they’re prepared for pretty much anything that comes at them,” Garland said. “We’re setting them up for success.”

“It feels like a family. Everyone’s here for each other,” said Owen senior and Cadet Second Lieutenant Robert Brannock. “If we’re doing a mile run, then the people who have finished go back and help those who are still going.“

Four cadets stand together in their school's Vietnam Memorial.After graduation, Brannock intends to either attend a two-year college or become an electrician. Senior classmate and Cadet Sergeant Nathan Gwyn has already committed to join the Navy, like his father.

“JROTC helps you physically and mentally,” Gwyn said. “I was able to see the structure of the military before I decided to go into it.”

While JROTC was helpful for Gwyn as he made decisions about his future in the military, Garland said that JROTC is not about recruiting. Instead, students are encouraged to learn their strengths and weaknesses, and consider all of their options.

“It is a lot of fun to teach them to respect themselves and others, and to see their confidence and self esteem grow as they work together as a team,” Garland added.

While gathered Wednesday, Cadets also conducted color guard drills on the Warhorse football field.

Buncombe County Schools is in the process of reviewing its website to ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Buncombe County Schools does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs or activities and is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and federal regulations to not discriminate in such a manner. This requirement extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its implementing federal regulations may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator and/or the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education. The Title IX Coordinator's contact information is: Shanon Martin,, 828-255-5918, 175 Bingham Road, Asheville, NC 28806.

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