04/22/11 — Rosewood honors military children

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Rosewood honors military children

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on April 22, 2011 1:46 PM

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The Rosewood High School Chorus performs for the children of military personnel. Rosewood High School held a Military Child Celebration on Thursday to honor the contributions of military family members. The ceremony also included a musical presentation by the Rosewood High School Band and a distinguished guest speaker, Lt. Col. Ron Stallings.

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Lt. Col. Ron Stallings speaks to Rosewood High School students about being a military family at the school's Military Child celebration.

Lt. Col. Ron Stallings may have been decorated with some of the Army's highest awards, including the Bronze Star and numerous commendations, but as a father he is also keenly aware of the effects that deployments and multiples moves can have on a child.

"My family was impacted every day by some of the unique experiences that we had," said the retired Army intelligence officer who is now senior Army instructor in the ROTC program at Rosewood High School.

During his own military career, he recalled how his children -- now 21, 17 and 7 -- changed schools every three or four years. Each time he was deployed, sometimes for six to 14 months at a stretch, the long separations were difficult on the entire family, he said.

So on one occasion, as he prepared for departure, he decided to leave something for his children.

"I wrote a special prayer for my daughter, in her young teenage years preparing for high school," he said.

It started out as a poem, he pointed out, but became a prayer to sustain his wife and children in his absence.

He shared that "Father's Prayer" during a student-led assembly Thursday at Rosewood High as part of its military child celebration.

"Help me, Father, to tend this garden from near and far, help me to remain within the lines of Your will," he read, choking up at the recollection of what prompted the poem.

This was the second year for the assembly. Charles B. Aycock High School started the trend at its school three years ago, and had a similar ceremony on Tuesday.

"This is something for our students and their families to show our appreciation for what they (the military) have done for our country," said Rosewood Principal Dean Sauls.

Greg Lamm, counselor, organized the event and recalled being asked to serve on a committee 10 years ago to create the Wayne County Action Plan that addresses the needs of military families in the community.

Its purpose was to ease the transition for students transferring from other schools or to better equip them for subsequent moves and ensure they had everything required to graduate.

Military family members and veterans, as well as military students from adjacent Rosewood Middle School, also attended the 55-minute student-led assembly.