Paducah Tilghman JROTC visits Veteran and Patriot Museum
WICKLIFFE - Members of Paducah Tilghman High School’s Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps unit (PTHS NJROTC) visited the Kentucky Veteran and Patriot Museum on Thursday morning.
Under the guidance of Lieutenant Commander Donald Taylor (Navy retired), Senior Naval Science Instructor, the cadets listened attentively as museum curator Sandy Hart told stories and talked about the museum.
“One word when they walked in—Wow!” That is what Taylor said of the cadets after they had taken a seat in anticipation of hearing stories and wondering through military history at the museum.
Hart spent a lot of time talking about the journey she arranged ten years ago in which World War II Veterans were taken to see the then newly unveiled WWII Memorial in Washington DC. As Hart spoke about the 17 busses that whisked the aging Veterans from Kentucky to D.C., a local WWII Vet walked in the door. Navy Veteran Earl Gidcumb (US Navy SK 2nd Class), who served on the USS Indianapolis, was given an honorable greeting when all the cadets stood to their feet.
Gidcumb briefly told the story of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis wherein only 317 of the 1196 individuals aboard had survived. Fortunately for Gidcumb, he was not on board at the time. Gidcumb talked about the KVPM saying, “There are many, many pieces of history in this museum.”
Before letting the cadets loose in the museum to explore, Hart asked them about their plans for the future and said, “The secret isn’t how much schooling you get, but what you do with it.”
The JROTC is a Federal program sponsored by the United States Armed Forces in high schools across the U.S. The JROTC program stresses military discipline with an emphasis on the study of military science and military history. According to Title 10 of the United States Code, the purpose of Junior ROTC is “to instill in students in secondary educational institutions the values of citizenship, service to the United States, and personal responsibility and a sense of accomplishment.”
Upon leaving the museum, Lt. Taylor assured Hart that the Paducah Tilghman JROTC would make the museum a destination for future fieldtrips to help the cadets learn about military history.