‘Tis the season — or so we thought

Published 8:47 pm Monday, December 19, 2011

To the editor:

What better way to kick off the holiday season than by participating in Suffolk’s annual Christmas parade earlier this month? This is just what more than 30 of my Navy JROTC cadets from Booker T. Washington High School and I did on Dec. 10.

Dressed in our pristine uniforms and proudly carrying the American flag, we were anticipating a joyous event.

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Although we were somewhat chilly, we began our march. As we proceeded along the route, we experienced something that no one would expect during a parade this time of year — or at any time of year, for that matter.

My cadets were jeered at and subjected to obscenities, and some people in the crowd threw gum at us throughout the event. Undaunted, we continued to march until reaching the end.

As if this mistreatment were not enough, upon the conclusion of the parade, we returned to our buses, only to find that they had been ransacked. My cadets had car keys, electronic devices and money stolen from them.

On the brighter side, a very kind and understanding Suffolk policeman took notice of our plight and helped us find the unwanted car keys. The other items were not found then\ and have not been returned since that night.

After a very long and tiring day, we all agreed that we should forego paying the $25 entry fee and skip next year’s Suffolk Christmas parade.

I’m sure we’ll find a better, more receptive place to partake in the spirit of Christmas and perhaps a more hospitable place to spend the unit’s money.

Merry Christmas, Suffolk.

RMCM Sandra Montoya

Booker T. Washington High School JROTC Unit