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Excerpts from a Speech Given by Robin Morris
Correction Officer 7th Platoon Graduation 2003
Mr. Beyer, Mr. Rivera, Ms. Morton, Mr. Bernstein, Mr. Cleary, Academy Staff, honored guests and family members. On behalf of the 7th Platoon, I would like to thank School Director Cleary, LT. Bechtold, Sgt. Wright, Sgt. Graves, DI Buchalski, and DI Moore for encouraging us and preparing us for a career as Juvenile Corrections and or Parole Officers. Over the last twelve weeks you've taught us to lean on each other, laugh at ourselves, motivate one another and come together as a team. We would also like to thank our family and friends. Without you, some of us would not have been able to participate in this wonderful experience. Your encouragement and support at home has sustained us all at times when we were adjusting to this new environment.
These past three months have been extremely interesting. The morning of June 24th 2002 was not a typical morning. Some of us didn't even know what to expect. We heard many different stories about the Academy, but until you experience it for yourself, that's when you get the big picture. For some of us this was our second go-around with the academy experience.
According to some recruits, there were two main groups from the two JJC Institutions. Recruits from JAMESBURG and Recruits from JMSF. That division did not last long because we discovered that without a cohesive group, we would not be a team. We learned quickly that UNITED WE STAND AND DIVIDED WE FALL. We had to clean our barracks, the LT and the DI's office the State Police Gym and the classroom. Whenever we did something we had to move with a sense of purpose. Some of the recruits felt like we were being treated like residents. Whew - this has been an experience.
And then there was PHYSICAL TRAINING! We motivated each other, sang cadence, yelled at our fellow recruit - encouraging them to keep running, waited for recruits, led the platoon in exercises and looked at your fellow recruit's face for help when we forgot the name of a particular stretching exercise.
We learned a lot during this experience. Our faith got stronger. We built lasting relationships/friendships. We strengthened our interpersonal skills. We are in better shape because the JJC is no joke. We learned how to adapt and overcome. We are stronger and smarter.
It took a lot of heart for us to get to this point.We prayed, talked about this day, dreamt about this day and now it's here. Every morning we had to report, and thanks to Recruit Ostermueller we had our greeting for the DI's when we reported. We'd say "Getting up before the sun, 110 gets it done, 7th Platoon staying alive, all heart never dies!" So in closing I'd like to tell you that our heart is unbreakable! We learned that PAIN is TEMPORARY and PRIDE is FOREVER! Whoa!!! Congratulations 7th Platoon!!!
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