Roscoe VFW Post 2955 Commander Reuben Hernandez presented an American Flag to Jackson Cross in support of his decision to join the U.S. Army following his graduation from Harlem High School. VFW members Tom Cleland and Ed Suchowski presented a challenge coin and prayer coin, and a Blue Star Banner was given to Jackson’s parents, Adam and Jaime Cross.

Jackson Cross graduated from Harlem High School a few weeks ago. Like high school seniors all over the country, graduation day this year was a far cry from what he had imagined. No graduation ceremonies or parties would commemorate his completion of high school.

As it turned out, Jackson would also be missing his last summer at home.

Jackson’s parents Adam and Jaimie Cross said their son thought long and hard about what he wanted to do after high school. “He had no idea what he wanted to do with his life.” His father said.

Last January, Jackson talked to a friend who is in the Marines and to an Army recruiter. He decided to join the Army instead of going off to college

His interest in electronics led to aptitude and placement testing for a position in Network Systems Operator Maintainer (NODAL.)

He left May 31, for nine weeks of basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina then 25 weeks of advanced training at Fort Benning.

Since their son would not be having a typical summer, his parents wanted to do something to encourage him and to brighten his spirits before he left.

They got in touch with the Harlem Roscoe Fire Dept. and Roscoe VFW to help make Jackson’s last day at home a special one

A caravan of fire trucks, VFW members, auxiliary and friends arrived at the Cross residence on Sunday, May 31. The surprised young man was presented with a certificate of support, a challenge coin commemorating the Vietnam War and the Cross of Malta, an American flag and a prayer coin.

The VFW Auxiliary presented the family with a Blue Star banner to place in their window.

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