All too often, this time of year brings multiple stories of school administations being jerks (and, yes, there are other terms but let's keep this family friendly) towards high school graduates going into military service. In fact, it has become depressingly regular and says much about far too many professional school administrators (Note: They are NOT educators).
This weekend, I attended the high school graduation of my "little" friend (he tops me by a good foot). Mr. J earned a gold cord with his robes, was heavily involved with the Jefferson High School robotics team, and has helped out at several Cooking with the Troops events. His long-suffering mother is our lead volunteer here in the Lafayette-area (and deserves a medal for dealing with Mr. J). Unlike my own modest class of about 70, his class had more than 400 graduate (plus about 8 or so beach balls who made an appearance, but that's another story).
During the ceremony, they had those graduating who were going into military service stand. It was impressive to see how many stood -- and how many showed the cords and other insignia of academic achievement. Even better, the audience (in excess of 1,500 people) gave them a standing ovation, and not a perfunctory one.
Yes, life might be easier in some respects elsewhere. This is but one example of why I like to live where I do. They are proud here of those who serve, and do much to support them in many different ways. It is a real pleasure to give an "atta boy" today to a school (and system) that does good, does it right, and did right by those going into service. Given what we usually have to write about, it does the spirit good to know that there is at least one out there.