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Junior ROTC program revived

A former Letcher County resident is heading up a Navy Junior ROTC program in Cairo, Ga., that budget cuts shut down earlier this year. The program at Cairo High School has since been reinstated — the only one of 29 programs that were shut down that the Navy has begun again.

Commander Alex Baker has charge of the program, which now includes 134 cadets.

Georgia Congressman Sanford Bishop and Navy Rear Admiral David Steindl recently reviewed the cadets in a pass and review ceremony.

Bishop had fought for reinstatement of the program under the urging of Baker and his cadets. Losing the program would have been devastating for the community as well as the school, according to Bishop.

Baker recently retired from the U.S. Navy. He is now the senior Naval Science instructor in the Navy Junior Reserves Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) at Cairo High School.

A son of Clarence and Lois Baker of Millstone, he is married to former Whitesburg resident Susanne Ritter Baker, daughter of Pauline Ritter Combs and the late Gobel Ritter. The couple have two children, Alex and Sarah.

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