‘Guardians,’ ‘Blue Jays’ reaffirm partnership
Lt. Col. Kevin Comfort, commander, 97th MP Bn., left, and Ronald Walker, superintendent, USD 475, right, hold up the charter agreement between the “Guardians” and JCHS during a signing ceremony Sept. 3 at JCHS. Photo by: Julie Fiedler, POST.
Story by: Julie Fiedler
1ST INF. DIV. POST
It takes a village to raise a child.
"We have all heard the sentiment before, but its meaning continues to hold true for communities today," said Melissa Sharp, principal, Junction City High School. "A huge part of the Junction City community revolves around our neighboring village: Fort Riley."
As JCHS students and Soldiers with the 97th Military Police Battalion gathered in the gymnasium at JCHS to witness the signing of a partnership charter Sept. 3, the 97th MP Bn. renewed its commitment to help and support the Blue Jays.
"With the recommitment of our charter signing, we all acknowledge the importance of community participation and support … on impacting the lives of our student population, and, more specifically, the teenagers at Junction City High School," Sharp said.
A charter between the two organizations was first signed in March 2011, and the 97th MP Bn. has since participated in events, like a Tribute to the Troops football game, graduation ceremony support and more.
"We'd like to expand our involvement in the activities of the Blue Jay students," said Lt. Col. Kevin Comfort, commander, 97th MP Bn. "JROTC, sports, athletics, band – anything we can do to support the high school, we really want to reach out."
Citing more than 8,000 military children in the Central Flint Hills Region school system, Comfort expressed the unit's desire to do its part to help support those children, Families, schools and communities.
"We just want to be part of that in any way, shape or form that we can," he said.
That support and involvement is critical to the youth, according to Sharp.
"I think it's important, particularly for our military children, to see (the Soldiers') faces in our school, that they see that there's community at the high school. Some of (the children) have been all over the world at different schools as they've grown up, so it's important for us to show a sense of community with our neighbors at Fort Riley," she said. "We serve our Army's children, and we're proud to do so. And, we think it's important to partner with the 97th MP (Bn.) to help raise our students."
With the signing of the charter, Sharp and Comfort, along with Ronald Walker, superintendent, Unified School District 475 Geary County Schools, and Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin Rogers, 97th MP Bn., officially recognized the renewal of the partnership between the two organizations.
"I'd just like to offer our sincerest helping hand, shoulder. If there's some heavy lifting, something we can do for Junction City High School Blue Jays, please don't hesitate to ask," Comfort concluded.