UPDATE: Sen. Rockefeller Visits Parkersburg, Announces ROTC Program Returning to PHS

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UPDATE 11/4/2013 11:05 AM

Senator Jay Rockefeller was in Wood County Sunday, praising veterans of foreign wars and recognizing our leaders of tomorrow.

It's been two long years, but now the Navy Junior ROTC program is coming back to Parkersburg High School.

"All credit I think belongs to the community of Parkersburg," says Rear Adm. Dee Mewbourne.

After record low enrollment, the program lost federal funding and was canceled in 2011 after nearly 25 years of service.

With the help of the community, the Navy and West Virginia's Senior Senator, enrollment is up and the program is scheduled to be reinstated in 2015.

"They have done this fantastic thing at Parkersburg High School - just the will of the students and their patriotism and their desire to succeed," says Senator Rockefeller.

Sunday, Senator Jay Rockefeller came to Wood County to praise what he calls a shining group of future American leaders.

The day was also a time to recognize the Mountain State's veterans of foreign wars.

Renowned for her tour in Iraq, Wirt County native Jessica Lynch told her story of service, and time as a prisoner of war.

"The biggest fears came when we were lost and didn't know where we were at," Lynch says. "I wasn't aware of what was going to happen or what was about to happen."

Lynch's story was one of four shared by veterans Sunday - all to be archived as part of the Veterans History Project.

Senator Rockefeller says learning from the sacrifices, dedication, and hard work of West Virginia's veterans is the best way to honor their service - a message shared with all in attendance.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Sen. Jay Rockefeller is hosting a panel of military veterans in Parkersburg Sunday as part of a statewide tour of West Virginia.

Officials say the tour begins Saturday in Dawes, where he'll attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a project at the Cabin Creek Health Center.

He'll also be honored later Saturday at the West Virginia Democratic Party's annual Jefferson-Jackson dinner in Charleston.

Vice President Joe Biden is set to deliver the keynote address at the dinner that will celebrate Rockefeller's 50 years of public service to West Virginia.

After visiting Parkersburg Sunday, he's set to address the West Virginia Broadband Summit in Morgantown Monday.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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