With honors: JROTC remembers one of their own at annual banquet

VERNON – Vernon High School JROTC took a moment to honor the memory of one of its own during the organization’s annual banquet, held Tuesday, April 27. Amid the usual presentation of certificates and accolades for the cadets’ achievements throughout the year was the notable absence of Kuryis Hernandez, who passed away in March. Hernandez’s memory was honored with the display of the Fallen Soldiers’ Table.

In addition to the high school JROTC cadets, the event saw eighth grade students from Vernon Middle School in attendance and recognized for their achievements with a total of about 40 cadets in attendance.

1st Sgt. Tim Pickens says he is proud of the cadets for their hard work and for overcoming difficulties from the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“Vernon cadets have worked extremely hard this year overcoming the strains from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Pickens. 

“The instructors could not be more proud. The Seniors will be missed but have left a legacy and excellent cadets to move into their large shoes.”

VHS Principal Brian Riviere spoke of his pride in Major Bill Chomos, Pickens and the JROTC program.

“Major Bill Chomos and 1st Sgt. Pickens were tasked with growing our Vernon Army JROTC program, and their work was very evident tonight,” said Riviere.

“A packed gymnasium was required for tonight’s award ceremony and banquet. With one quarter of our school population enrolled in JROTC, and being one of seven middle schools in the State of Florida to have a JROTC program, we couldn’t be more proud of their devotion to our Jacket Battalion.”