A Florida High School JROTC Hero

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By- Rancho High School AFJROTC Peter Shin

Peter Wang, a 15-year-old attending Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida was killed while saving his fellow peers during the shooting. Peter saved dozens of students that day by holding the classroom door open and helping students trying to escape from the gunman. While trying to help people escape, the hero was shot several times by the gunman and died in his ROTC uniform that day. He was 1 of the 17 people who died to the gunman that day, and 1 of the 3 JROTC students that were killed. Peter Wang was in the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) program at his school and dreamed of going to the West Point when he graduated from high school. The military academy, West Point, recognized Peter with the highest honor for ROTC students, the Medal of Heroism, and gave him a posthumous admission with a Class of 2025 acceptance letter. Cadets Alaina Petty (14) and Martin Duque (13) were the two other JROTC cadets killed during the shooting and received the Army’s Medal of Heroism too. Peter was buried wearing the medal and his JROTC uniform that he had worn when he helped others escape. A petition called upon Congress to give Peter a full military funeral had 139,738 signatures and needed 100,000 to get a response from the White House. On the day of his funeral, the honor guard covered his coffin with the American flag, and officers and people all around saluted him. The brave hero deserved, and received, a full honors military burial. Peter Wang is a hero and a true role model for not only JROTC cadets, but people all over the world. The Army Junior ROTC motto is: “I am an Army Junior ROTC Cadet. I will always conduct myself to bring credit to my family, country, school and corps of cadets. I am loyal and patriotic. I am the future of the United States of America. I do not lie, cheat, or steal and always be accountable for my actions or deeds. I will always practice good citizenship and patriotism. I will work hard to improve my mind and strengthen my body. I will seek the mantle of leadership and stand prepared to uphold the constitution and the American way of life. May God grant me the strength to always live by this creed.” Peter Wang demonstrated and represented this motto to everyone in the world that day, and saved dozens of lives doing so. I myself am part of the JROTC program, and seeing Peter represent the JROTC motto that day shows me what a true leader and soldier looks like.