Alex Marana says he is willing to die for his country.
Alexander Marana is a senior at Evans High School. He is the Knight Drill Team commander for the JROTC program there. He is awaiting word of an appointment at West Point. Having been raised in a military family, he has a strong sense of patriotism.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
"Since the beginning of high school, I've thought about what I've wanted to do with my life," said Alex, the 18-year-old son of Maj. David and Marjorie Adams, of Evans.
"I admire my dad and grandpa and have looked at the benefits of the military."
Alex's father, who has been in the Army for 22 years, is currently stationed in Korea. He plans to return home in late January. Alex's grandfather served in the Philippines during World War II.
"I really feel dedicated to my country," Alex said. "And, honestly, I am willing to die for my country."
Through service in the Knight Battalion of JROTC at Evans High School, where he is a senior, Alex is preparing for military life. He serves as the Knight Drill Team commander, working with the group at 6 a.m. and after school five days a week.
"And sometimes on Saturday," said retired Lt. Col. Patrick Rivette, Evans High School's JROTC instructor. "He has done an outstanding job with this group of young men and women this year."
Alex will lead the drill team during the battalion's formal inspection by Brigade Headquarters in February. The team already has accepted an invitation to compete in the National JROTC Drill Team Championships in Daytona Beach, Fla., in April.
"He achieves in all that he does and represents the best in American youth," said Carol Shrout, Alex's advanced placement language teacher at Evans High.
Alex, who recently was awarded his Eagle Scout badge after collecting old cell phones and redistributing them to area high schools for use in the event of an emergency, said he is hopeful about a career in the military. He is awaiting word of a West Point appointment.
The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, bolstered Alex's desire to join the military. To those who think America's presence in Iraq and Afghanistan is unwarranted, Alex has his own thoughts.
"I know veterans of past wars are dying by the thousands every day," he said.
"I would remind people to never forget the sacrifices that other people have made for their own families and for you."
Additionally, Alex said that while soldiers' families are their primary source of strength, knowing that their fellow citizens stand behind them also gives them strength.
"They are over there protecting the people and our way of life," he said.
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