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Western Harnett Cadets Showing Off Colors for Clinton

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RALEIGH — A group of young cadets is especially excited about President Clinton's visit. Members of the Western Harnett High School Junior ROTC drill team have been practicing hard for their presentation of the colors before the president.

Thursday night is an exciting one for U.S. Senate candidate John Edwards, who has President Clinton coming to town to provide support for Edwards' campaign. But it could hardly be more exciting for Edwards than it is for the students on the JROTC drill team.

The 10 members of the team have been working at perfecting their presentation since they were first invited by the state Democratic party Monday.

"At first when I found out, I was like 'The president!'" said cadet Kim Berly. "It sort of didn't sink in yet. Then when we started practicing and everything, I was like 'Wow! We're performing for the president ... the man.'"

The team has posted colors on many occasions, but the students agree that this is the ultimate honor.

"I think everybody is really excited about going in front of the president," said cadet Jeremy Brown. "I know I am, because it's a really big honor to just go up in front of the commander in chief of all the armed services."

It will be a challenge for the cadets. The color and honor guards have been asked to perform in an area much smaller than the site they're used to. The group's instructor says it's a great learning experience.

"It teaches you how to parade under pressure," said Senior Army Instructor Col. Andy Anderson. "It teaches you to be part of a team and gives you an appreciation for teamwork."

The student cadets say their skills are not rusty at all. They've participated in performances and competitions all summer long. They say they feel they're in good shape for this ultimate performance, despite the fact that school has not started yet.

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Melissa Buscher, Reporter
Michael Joyner, Photographer
MJ Ainsley, Web Editor

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