The Middletown Lions Club has helped in many facets of support, especially financial, over the years for our dedicated LEO Club members. Two of them are two young ladies; both graduated Eastern High School in 2013; one attended the United States Military Academy at West Point (USMA), the other, the United States Naval Academy (USNA) at Annapolis, MD. I have pictures of them facing each other and saluting one another at the Army/Navy games.
Shelby, USMA, served all 4 years of her high school in the LEO’s and was President her senior year. Amber, USNA, joined EHS halfway into her junior year and fell right into step working everything with the LEO’s for the next year and a half. The summer between their junior and senior years, they wanted to participate in the summer camps offered by the Service Academies. Each applied for USMA’s, USNA’s and the United States Coast Guard Academy. Each got accepted into all of them. Finances were a problem for both as neither could afford the camp and the travel, of one of them separately, all three were a dream.
I hope no one thinks this is hokey but when I think or write about what our Club did, I well up. Our Club, not only funded the camp and travel for one camp, it did it for all 3 camps for both young women! Amber and Shelby just asked for one and behold, as was asked by LIONS, why just one, let’s do all three for each. Community support does not get any better than that.
Both Shelby and Amber graduated from their respective academies in May 2017. I was most fortunate to attend Shelby’s commencement and was able to commission her a 2d Lieutenant in the US Army Field Artillery, thanks mainly to another LION, who drove me to West Point and return for the event since I was still recovering from my heart operation. Amber invited us to her commencement but it was too close to Shelby’s and I couldn’t make the trip. Amber was commissioned an Ensign in the US Navy.
Here is something that will give you an additional respect and appreciation for whom these young women are and to whom our Club contributed so importantly. Shelby had orders to go to a certain Post after attendance at her officers’ basic course. About 2 weeks before her graduation from it, in December, she called me and told me her orders had changed from one Post to another. Having been around the block, I asked her what caused the change in orders. She hemmed and hawed for a moment or two and then said she had requested the change. She said that she had requested the change to a unit that was deploying. I sat there a little stunned but not too much because I know how strong her commitment to her God, her family and her country is. I told her I didn’t like it but respected her decision. Shelby deploys very soon. May God protect her and speed her return when she does.
Amber’s name came up in a conversation with someone and I texted her about where she was in her process. She said that she had completed her Navy Officers’ basic course and was a company leader aboard t an Amphibious Assault Ship. She said that she would be deploying. May God protect and speed her return when she does.
Unfortunately, we don’t ever read about young people of this caliber. Anyway, Shelby and Amber’s story is just one story about what our LIONS Club has done over the years and the tip of the iceberg concerning the successes of other LEOs who came to us for assistance, received it in abundance and are now very successful. Who knows where Shelby and Amber might be if not sponsored by the LIONS.