Photo | MOAA
Successful businessman and former cadet himself, Robert Kennedy, Jr. will address Mobile area ROTC cadets on May 9.
BY CATHERINE RAINEY
The South Alabama Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America, or MOAA, in Mobile county meet on the second Thursday of each month at Heron Lakes Country Club, but a little something extra will occur on May 9th.
“Military officers- retired, active and prior service, meet every month,” affirmed John Butler, who is a retired Circuit Judge of Alabama and served as colonel in the United States Army. “We sponsor all of the events pertaining to veterans and military in Mobile County, which includes more than 25,000 people. This time we are honoring the JROTC and ROTC cadets of the area. These are young men and women who have achieved a great deal, and most of them are going to go into active service. We assist them in any way we can, be that getting into appointments at Indianapolis and West Point [for example].” Mentioned are highly ranked military academy options for high school graduates looking to further their military experience.
With currently over 350,000 total members, the MOAA was founded in 1929 and is the most influential and largest association of military officers in the United States. It works to push the interests of maintaining a strong national defense and aiding military officers and their families along every step of their journey. Their meetings and events are usually geared toward helping other military personnel, but it doesn’t end there. “We worked with Derrick Booth, our captain in the marines, in establishing the veterans’ cemetery over in Baldwin County,” commented Butler. “We’re looking into a veterans’ medical center off of Rangeline Rd., and we strive to help veterans who’ve become addicted to drugs. So many of these guys come back from places like Afghanistan and just can’t adjust to life.”
While honoring the JROTC and ROTC cadets on May 9th, esteemed speaker Robert Kennedy, Jr. will attend as well. “He was in 12th grade at the time; this skinny young kid blew us away,” Butler fondly remembered. “He knew so much and wanted to go into the Naval Academy. All I did was introduce him to the right person, he did the rest.” Mr. Kennedy, who ran for congress against Bradley Byrne in 2018 and served a total of nine years on active-duty in the United States Navy, will be sure to have some captivating words to share. From his start in Prichard, AL, he left Shaw High School with honors and attended the prestigious United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Here, he served as class president, travelled the world with the US Navy, and made his way through Duke University to earn a Master of Science in Business Administration, not to mention his other various awards and degrees obtained.
Students who are honored by the MOAA are selected by schools. They are chosen by their performance in the JROTC and ROTC programs, their activities involving community service, and academic accomplishments.
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