Church gives cadets breakfast send-off

by Sean Dunlap

The pre-dawn hours rolled around quickly on Wednesday, May 3 not just for Franklin County High School’s Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps cadets, but also for Meadville Methodist Church volunteers who got up early to prepare breakfast for the group in preparation for its trip to Daytona Beach, Fla.

Shortly after 5 a.m., the cadets and their leaders made the short, two-block march from the Meadville armory to the church’s fellowship hall where generous helpings of pancakes, sausage, eggs and biscuits had been lovingly prepared to fill young stomachs.

The stop was ultimately a way to physically and spiritually feed JROTC participants as they headed to the 2023 National Drill Team Championships, according to Pastor Calvin Cosnahan.

“There is nothing more special than our taking care of the people in our community,” Cosnahan told those in attendance.

“Our congregation is located directly between the school and the armory that the JROTC calls home ... as much as we are physically in the center of those two places, we wanted to be a blessing to you as you prepare to make this monumental trip.”

Cosnahan, during a brief devotional directed to the young people, said the Franklin County community was proud of what the JROTC stands for and the caliber of participants in its ranks.

“From our standpoint, you are truly among the best of the best and we’re behind you every step of the way in going to drill competition,” he continued.

“We are a small county that is sending some of its best young people to represent us on a national stage, and that greatly encourages all of us.”

In citing the JROTC creed, Cosnahan said he was blessed by the cadets’ sense of loyalty, patriotism and devotion to duty as well as being personally responsible for their actions and deeds.

“In these difficult days in the United States, it is refreshing to see youth stand in the gap where the future of our country is concerned,” he went on to say.

“Your desire to practice good citizenship is a credit to your families and our school.”

The pastor noted Franklin County is blessed with outstanding programs like JROTC, the Chess Center, sports teams and clubs that promote and reflect positively on the area.

“God has His hand on Franklin County and its young people and we are blessed for that,” Cosnahan said.

In citing I Peter 2:9, he said, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praise of Him who called you out of the darkness into His wonderful light.”

To this end, Cosnahan said FC’s JROTC Bulldog Battalion was a perfect example of God calling His children for a purpose and a mission.

“You are not alone because Almighty God will be with you and will bless you and see you through,” he continued.

“Your sacrifices bring glory to God and honor to this community and Mississippi. Our prayer is that God will bless you today and every day.”

Franklin County Sheriff’s Department deputies provided an escort along U.S. Highway 98 for the JROTC participants in leaving on Wednesday morning and upon their return around 7 p.m., Saturday evening.