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Necessary Legislation

An Open Letter to Congressman Bishop and Staff:

It is with great appreciation that the Southold/Mattituck/Greenport NJROTC Parent Group writes to you today.

Earlier this year, the Southold NJROTC Unit from Southold, New York, was asked by the Department of the Navy to stop operating as a satellite program with the Mattituck High School. Due to your unwavering support and dedication to our cause, our accomplished NJROTC Unit, an Area 4 Distinguished Unit with Academic Honors 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003 and 2002, will remain one JROTC Unit for at least one more year!

We brought our plight to your attention at a Southold Town Hall Meeting, held at the Mattituck Fire Department in February of this year. From that day, you and your staff were on the job in Washington and helped bring about the necessary legislation to resolve our problem!

We appreciate all of the work you and members of your staff, especially Leah Sullivan and Nick Holder, performed on our behalf. From the very beginning you made yourself accessible to our parent group, educated yourself on the issue at hand and personally brought our petitions to the Department of the Navy.

Your ability to have wording added to the National Defense Authorization Act 2007 (NDAA 2007), asking the Navy to review its decision regarding JROTC Satellite Programs, gives us at least one more year to operate, status quo. Hopefully, the Department of the Navy will understand our unique situation and grant our NJROTC Unit the permission to continue instruction at the Mattituck satellite location, permanently.

The success of our combined efforts has enabled the Mattituck students to continue to take their AP and elective classes and still be members of the JROTC Unit they love so much. There has been no loss of academic time to travel to Southold for these students.

For those of us that pay school taxes, your efforts have saved the Mattituck School District $36,000 for additional busing costs that would have been incurred due to the Navy requirement. In addition, the Southold School District will continue to benefit by sharing the cost of the NJROTC Program with Mattituck and not have the burden of the total cost of the program.

Again, we are extremely grateful to you and your staff for all of your work on this issue.

Southold/Mattituck/Greenport NJROTC Parent Group

(PS Thank you to the hundreds of community members that supported our cadets by signing the petition presented to Congressman Bishop.)

October 24, 2006

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