VINEMONT, Ala. – The last couple of weeks have been busy as Cullman County and Cullman City Schools each held commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2021. Each valedictorian and senior class president spoke poignant words. The top academic students of each class were recognized and applauded before moving on to the next chapter of their young lives.
While covering one high school graduation, one moment stood out above all the rest. The recognition of those students who have made the commitment to serve our country in the United States Armed Forces. They wore no honor cord to indicate their decision but they, without a doubt, deserve to be commended and appreciated for taking this step.
In the coming days, The Tribune will spotlight these young men and women as they prepare for military service.
Vinemont High School
Chandler Reese- United States Navy
Chandler has always known that he loved the water, and he knew as young as 8 years old that he wanted to be in the military but wasn’t sure which branch was best for him. Three of four years ago, it would become clear to him that The U.S. Navy is where he belonged. He is scheduled for basic training Sept. 21, but he intends to try out for Special Forces, where he hopes to be a part of Air Rescue.
He thanked his parents and step-parents–M’Kori (Mark) Johnson and Shane (Cheranda) Reese.
Vinemont High School
Brandon McClure- United States Army
Brandon has always had an interest in the military and an admiration for those he saw wearing military uniforms. Having members of the military in the family, he knew the opportunities that joining would create. He decided on the Army when he learned he could fulfill his hopes of doing Apache Helicopter repair. He attended MEPS last fall and will leave for basic training in Ft. Jackson South Carolina on July 6.
He thanked his parents Jennifer Roberts and Christopher McClure. He said, “I appreciate everything they have done to help me get here and all they have done to help me be successful.” He also thanked his JROTC instructors Colonel Bud Jones and Sergeant Chad Ullery, saying, “They helped me become a better person mentally and physically and I probably wouldn’t have made the decision as soon as I did without them. They helped me through emotional and family issues, and no matter what, they always stood by my side and gave me advice to get through things and be successful.”
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