Hopi ROTC "Bruin Batallion" honor vets in Winslow parade

WINSLOW-On Nov.18, the Hopi Junior/ Senior High School Junior ROTC cadets fired up the Christmas parade in Winslow. The theme for this year's parade was 60 years on Route 66.

The Bruin Battalion honored all veterans who served during the past 60 years by dressing cadets in old uniforms from World War II, Desert Storm, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and other wars that occurred between the 1950s, as well as the current war in Iraq. Old uniforms from all branches of the military were worn. Melvin George, a Purple Heart recipient, also rode on the ROTC float.

The Color Guard, commanded by Cadet Major Jeremy Naha, who is also executive officer for the battalion this year, led the parade. An 18-wheel flatbed truck driven by the National Guard carried the cadets dressed in the old uniforms. This vehicle was followed by a "Hum-Vee," also driven by the National Guard, in which this year's JROTC King cadet Corporal Alan Shupla and Queen cadet SFC Raylene Dashner rode.

The cadets were ready, full of energy and motivated for the parade, giving their best and singing out cadences loud and clear. The parade has always had a good turnout with a total of 77 cadets in attendance this year. The battalion was commanded by Battalion Commander Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Lauren Lomatska, Battalion Command Sergeant Major Cadet CSM Diane Koinva, Cadet 2nd Lieutenant Randy Lovato, and Cadet 2nd Lieutenant Humewysie Sockyma.

It is always an honor for these cadets to attend the parade and represent their school, their community, and themselves by marching.

This year, the Bruin Battalion received the trophy for 1st Place Military Award.

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