Rivercrest High School Wins "Military Salute" - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Wilson -- Heather Flanigan Reports

Rivercrest High School Wins "Military Salute"

May 3, 2004 -- Posted at 3:49 p.m. CDT

WILSON -- Military personnel came by land and by air Monday to a school in Region 8. And no, it wasn't for security reasons, it was to reward students at Rivercrest High School for a job well done. Students at Rivercrest High School received a 'military salute' today as a reward for their recent accomplishments.

Charlotte Patterson is the advisor for the A-TEAM, a group that promotes abstinence from risky behavior.

"We won first place last year, the 2002-2003 school year from our projects that we did relating to drug prevention, traffic safety and premarital sexual abstinence," said Patterson.

But just how does the National Guard and the A-TEAM go together?

"The group from the National Guard is our drug prevention group with the Army and the state of Arkansas and so they help participate and do things for the schools about drug prevention. That's why they brought their group up here," said Patterson.

Experiences like sitting in a tank and a humvee are not what students get to do everyday. But the military says meeting with students is a great treat for them as well.

Sgt. First Class Lee Blagg said, "We've got a recruiter here also, and they can ask questions about what the guard has to offer for them. So, it goes over pretty good. It's a win-win for them and us and were just glad to be able to do it."

Students were able to watch a Huey helicopter land and get behind the wheels of several military vehicles...the same as those used in Iraq.

"It's pretty cool. You get to see what they drive and what they do out there," said Sophomore Tyler Bennett.

And one of the cooler 'salutes' to the school...a peak through night vision goggles, priced at $6,000 dollars a pair.

"You work so hard and you finally get something to reward and your classmates say hey, you know, the A-TEAM's pretty cool, abstinence is pretty cool because they get to see all of this stuff," said Senior Gina Warhurst.

But it's really about the message both the military and the A-TEAM are tying to send....

Sophomore Natalie Cissell said, "Abstaining from risky behavior isn't bad. You're not going to be uncool if you don't do that and everything."

Whether cool or not, students got a chance to be all they could be...

"A lot of them ask a lot of questions, and a lot of them are just glad to be out of class," said Blagg.

Students from the Rivercrest High School A-TEAM also won a public service announcement from KAIT. They will tape commercials later this month that will focus on drug prevention, traffic safety and sexual abstinence.

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