PILOT MOUNTAIN — Surry County Schools is planning a military and JROTC appreciation event for the same night as the Surry Central vs. East Surry football game scheduled for Sept. 16.
The event, which is the first of its kind for the school system, will take place before the Friday night game, around 6:30 p.m., in Pilot Mountain. The Air Force JROTC programs from North Surry and Surry Central high schools and the Army JROTC program from East Surry High School will help to lead the pregame ceremony. All current and former service men and women in attendance at the game will be recognized during the ceremony and each service branch’s song will be played as its flag is marched across the field.
Members of active duty military, reserve forces and veterans are invited to attend the program and wear their uniforms. All military identification card holders will be admitted to the game free of charge.
“Surry County Schools is blessed to have three of the very best JROTC programs in the country. As a system we are extremely proud of the teachers and students in these programs,” said Superintendent Dr. Ashley Hinson, a retired sergeant major in the U.S. Army. “This program held on Constitution Day and less than a week after 9/11 will recognize the accomplishments of our JROTC programs and honor our service men and women, past and present.”
The county’s JROTC programs have participated in a number of events to contribute to the community over the years. According to East Surry JROTC commander 1st Sgt. Ronald Montgomery, the East Surry program helps with the USDA food distributions in the county, the North Surry JROTC program created and dedicated a veterans memorial in 2010, and Surry Central’s JROTC program completed more than 1,500 hours of community service last year.
“I’m extremely proud of all of the JROTC programs and cadets in Surry County and continue to enjoy motivating young people to be better citizens,” said Montgomery. “A lot of times, these cadets don’t get recognition for things they do for the community.”
Organizers hope to have a large turnout from the community for the game. They planned it specifically for a night when two of the county’s teams would be playing in hopes of gathering as many people as possible. Kick-off for the game is set for 7:30 p.m.