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NEWS | Jan. 26, 2016

Marysville Armed Forces Reserve Center’s MLK assembly in step with his dream

By Capt. Marvin Baker 364th Expeditionary Sustainment Command

MARYSVILLE, Wash. - The Soldiers stationed at the Armed Forces Reserve Center in Marysville, Washington, saw the legacy of Martin Luther King’s Dream during it an annual special observance during battle training assembly Jan. 23.

This year, the 364th ESC Special Observance Committee and the Marysville School District helped bring together nearly 200 Reserve Soldiers and the district’s Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Drill Team for a special performance of singing and choreographed marching based on military drills that validated King’s message of diversity, equality and economic opportunity and advancement for all. 

“The Marysville NJROTC program is open to everybody and our whole focus is employability and opportunity,” said Chief Kathy Wilde, Navy Junior ROTC instructor. “The City, community and parents avidly support the program, helping to make sure any student who wants to participate — can. And that represents the dream of Martin Luther King,” she added. 

The Navy JROTC drill team has a reputation for supporting all seven Marysville High School MLK celebration events along with performing in several community events throughout the year, Wilde said. 

“The cadets set a goal this year to conduct 2,500 hours of community service. They have 1,800 hours so far this year,” Wilde said. 

“Events like this help to unify the community and bring people together,” Cadet Austin Buchanan, a drill team commander said. 

“We do a lot of events as a team throughout the year. We honor diversity everyday by treating each other with respect and getting to know our teammates families,” Buchanan said. 

The MLK performance also included the showing of a Martin Luther King video that highlighted the challenges and successes of his mission which culminated with the signing of the 1968 Civil Rights Act by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Throughout his life, King continued to lobby the government to end all discriminatory practices. King once said, “And I guess one of the great agonies of life is that we are constantly trying to finish that which is unfinishable.”