Copperas Cove military graduates honored with community support

Special to Leader-Press


More than 40 Copperas Cove ISD 2020 graduates were invited not just once, but twice to walk the stage at Lea Ledger Auditorium. Copperas Cove ISD ensured that students were honored for successfully completing high school. A national organization with a local chapter also honored those same graduates who have committed to military service.

Our Community Salutes is a national, non-profit organization helping communities recognize, honor and support high school seniors who plan to enlist into the U.S. Armed Services after graduation. The organization honored Copperas Cove’s military graduates at Lea Ledger Auditorium on Monday.

Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army Jean Shine started the local area chapter and serves as the organization’s president.

“These young men and women step up to serve their country. They sign up knowing they may be putting their selves in harm’s way,” Shine said. “Only 29 percent of high school students qualify to serve in Americans armed forces, only one percent of the American public serve their country.  These students and their parents have earned our respect. 

The organizing body of Our Community Salutes includes community leaders, government officials, educators, businessmen and women, and veterans who feel strongly in the importance of community support and recognition of the courageous and patriotic young adults who will serve in the U.S. Armed Services after graduation and join the one percent of Americans who serve in uniform.

2020 Copperas Cove High School graduate Donovon Blow is no stranger to life in the military, at least not as a family member. Both his mother and father served as active duty service members in the U.S. Army and he comes from a long line of descendants with military service. Blow heads to the West Point Preparatory School.

“Serving my country has always been a dream of mine. I am blessed beyond measure to have an opportunity presented to me like this, and I can’t wait to defend my country for many years to come.” Blow said.

Although Shine is affiliated with the U.S. Army, each graduate was honored for his commitment regardless of which of service, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, National Guard or the Reserve Component, he was entering. Each Copperas Cove student received a certificate and his first official coin from Shine who thanked each one for his commitment to serve the nation.

2020 CCHS graduate Jerome Gaillard will attend the U.S. Air Force Academy Preparatory School in Colorado.

“It was an absolute blessing to be acknowledged for such an amazing opportunity that has been placed in front of me,” Gaillard said. “I hope to make my family, Copperas Cove and this nation proud.”


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