Updated: Sep 21, 2022
Sept. 7, 2022, three Medal of Honor recipients were invited to Morristown-East and introduced by Superintendent, General Arnold Bunch, and shared many advices. The three Medal of Honor recipients were Major General Jim Livingston, Colonel Doc Ballard, and Sergeant Allen Lynch. The Medal of Honor is the United States Armed Forces most prestigious and highest military award that can be presented. The first Medal of Honor award was awarded on Mar. 25, 1863. There have only been 3,525 recipients and 66 are currently living.
Many students were invited to sit in and listen in East High’s auditorium. A select number of students from Morristown-West and East as well as the middle and elementary schools were chosen to attend and listen to the recipients share their advice. Colonel Doc Ballard shared that he, “grew up in a military family,” and all the men in his family, “came back from the second world war” and he “was influenced to get into the military.” He also expressed, “I grew up in a poor family [where] our objective was to feed the family and make sure our bills were paid.” He also explained that he was bullied in school and fought back, “only to find [himself] in the principal's office more than class.” Ballard expresses, “I quickly learned, in sixth grade, that if I was going to get anywhere I had to change my attitude.”
Sergeant Lynch shared that he was bullied in elementary school and didn’t have many friends, but, “Being bullied was a whole new experience. I learned to be comfortable in my own skin; I learned to be very comfortable being all by myself, so in short it toughened me up” He also shares, “My dad was the greatest man I've ever known[but]he was horribly flawed. He had a problem with alcohol. He had a problem with depression, but he taught me so much. He never gave up; he always tried to be the best man he could be. He failed over and over again, but he always tried. The day he died, he tried. He tried teaching me morals, teaching me values.”
General Livingston shared,”My teacher, when I was in fifth grade, taught me the importance of studying, academics, and being the best you could be in school.” He also shared that there were many others that left a great influence and impact on his life, he then shares, “I want you to look at yourself, particularly students here, and think about what kind of influence you want to be on people in your lives.”
"Life is about choices" - Colonel Doc Ballard