• Junior ROTC cadet trains Junior Guard

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  • Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
    Children in military families often have to adjust to moving to new schools every few years due to the demands of the profession. Therefore, it is rare to find military children who can say they’ve been able to attend the same elementary school kindergarten through sixth grade, the same junior high school seventh through ninth grade and the same high school 10th through 12th grade, all within the same city, but such is the case for Leavenworth High School senior Holly Humes.
    Humes attended MacArthur Elementary School from 2006 to 2013, Patton Junior High School from 2013 to 2016 and will graduate from LHS in the spring.
    Now, to give back to her alma mater, Humes is commanding the MacArthur Junior Guard for the third time.
    “I love kids and I want to teach them, and the ability to come back and help future generations be better is a good feeling for me,” Humes said.
    Gretchen Martens, MacArthur art teacher and Junior Guard staff sponsor, said she asked Humes to come back after she took a break her junior year.
    “I had her in school all those years and she was a really good art student. I’d see her and she’d come talk to me and she’d always come back. You get attached to them. It is unusual that you have them for six or seven years,” Martens said.
    “She was one of my favorites. She was just a good artist and then when she came back as a high school student, she was extremely mature. She’s extremely organized and she’s driven, which is very impressive.”
    Humes participated in the MacArthur Junior Guard in fifth grade and is now a cadet captain for the LHS Junior ROTC.
    “At first it was just that I wanted to be better than everybody else, but then by understanding what the program is and understanding just life in general and growing up, I realized that I just want to be a better person,” she said.
    Since September, Humes, and her fellow JROTC members junior Cadet Pfc. Will Halstead, senior Cadet Sgt. Carisma Mueller and freshman Cadet Pvt. Rámon Jones have been teaching the 18 Junior Guard participants drill movements, how to salute, march and facing commands. They are also teaching them discipline, character and respect.
    “Respect is a big thing that we have to teach them, especially since what they do here reflects on what they do during school,” Humes said. “We want to see their improvement of character, respect, their discipline to the teachers and overall their future.
    “It’s been pretty hectic but as the kids understand what they’re learning, they mellow down and understand what they’re doing. It’s pretty cool because they grasp the concept really well and really fast so it has been a lot easier than I thought it would be,” she said.
    Page 2 of 2 - “Personally, I think they could be growing up to be great cadets and, if they join the program and do drill, I think they would be spot on and far ahead of everybody else.”
    Humes said she thinks being a part of a military family helps with that.
    “Parents show a lot of discipline at an early age and it comes with them throughout their life,” she said. “It happened to me and it is happening to these kids.”
    MacArthur sixth-grader Andrew Johnson said he was enjoying Junior Guard.
    “Holly is very nice, but you just have to do what you’re supposed to be doing and if you don’t, she gets mad,” he said. “But that makes her a good commander.”
    Currently, Humes is planning to join ROTC in college and pursue a career in nursing.
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