Model Citizens

Dec 11, 2019

The following is an open letter to Chief Warrant Officer Jim Mackey, and parents and cadets of the Barnegat High School Navy JROTC program.

Just wanted to take the time to thank you and your cadets for all the help they gave us during the most recent thank-you dinner we hosted for local Vietnam veterans on Saturday, Oct. 12 at Barnegat’s American Legion Post 232.

Several cadets were there from start to finish, helping us to set up, then break down and clean up. They took time out of their free Saturday to come and show local Vietnam veterans how much they mean to our community, and did so with honor and respect.

Two of the cadets (Jasmine and Valorie) even walked several miles to the American Legion post on their own, in their uniforms, to ensure they were there promptly at 4 p.m. Even though they were the first ones to arrive, they insisted on being the last ones to leave, too.

Anthony, Mary, James and Philip were other cadets whose names we were able to note with staying practically from start to finish, but that didn’t mean the rest of the 13 cadets who came later on didn’t sacrifice something to help others that day. As I understand it, the others who couldn’t get there earlier on in the evening were at a drill in a town far away, and had been up since 4 a.m. that day. Despite that grueling schedule, they still chose to come immediately afterward to help at our event, and stay until the end, putting tables and chairs back together and sweeping up. Even though we didn’t get all of their names, please know we appreciated each and every one of them for coming and for giving us some of their free time on a Saturday night.

Not having children ourselves, Jimmy and I don’t get much positive exposure to youth, since social media is rife with examples of their downfall. However, each time we have an interaction with Barnegat’s youth, and especially with the cadets from your program, our hope for humanity is regained, and we’re not trying to be cheesy in stating that.

We’re so glad Barnegat has this program to offer our younger generations because we feel our community greatly benefits from it. In a time where complaints versus compliments are doled out 100:1, we felt it was important you know how much the contributions of these young men and women were appreciated.

This open letter was written with the hope our sentiments reach the cadets, their parents and to any leaders upstream. We also wanted to make sure our gratefulness and encouragement to those in the program and others thinking about entering the program are relayed in a timely manner.

Thank you for all you do in helping to create such terrific citizens of Barnegat.

Thy and Jimmy Cavagnaro, founders

Thanking Vietnam Veterans in Barnegat



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