PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. - The Seaside High School Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps students helped the Army celebrate its 234th birthday June 11 by performing for the children of the Porter Youth Center on Ord Military Community.
Performing for the children were a color guard and armed and unarmed drill teams.
After the children sang "The Star-Spangled Banner," the teams performed for what may have been less than three minutes, but was rousing enough to leave a lasting impression on the kids.
"I think they were cool," said eight-year-old Kelantae Jordan. "I liked the guns going up into the air and (being caught)."
The JROTC team shared the same sentiment as the children after their performance.
"We wanted to show the kids that the Army isn't just about shooting guns, but being able to do things like this and being like a family," said Lauren M. Villaber, unarmed team captain and upcoming junior at Seaside High School.
Afterwards, Jordan was able to talk to some of the drill team members and show his appreciation for their demonstration.
"I like the (Army) and I plan to join," said Jordan, who hopes to follow in his grandmother's, Master Sgt. Gloria Samuels, footsteps.
(Samuels has seen many Army changes in her career: http://www.army.mil/-news/2009/02/25/17438-master-sergeant-looks-back-on-career-of-hard-work-perseverance)
Villaber joined the JROTC to be able to perform and inspire children to see that the Army is more that just fighting.
"I joined because it would give me a better military background, so that I can be better disciplined, have more respect for myself and to make friends," she said. "And it has given me more than that."