Madison Co. Military Heritage Commission to promote patriotism in partnership with area schools

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - During Monday night's veterans dinner at the VBC North Hall in Huntsville, the Madison County Military Heritage Commission inducted six new service members into their 'Hall of Heroes.'

Screen Shot 2014-11-11 at 1.21.52 PMBefore the ceremony, Heritage Commission President Bob Marshall announced a renewed venture by the commission to promote and promulgate the message that freedom isn't free; this time, with our youth in the classroom.

Retired Air Force Major, Vietnam Veteran and Military Heritage Commission Secretary Bob Karwoski already plays a role in furthering the organization's mission in schools.

"To point out to the American public anymore that freedom isn't free and nobody gives it to you. You have to get it and protect it and the only way we can do that is to point out what people have done in the past," he says.

Karwoski visits area classrooms to tell his stories and often answer student questions about his military experience.

"We have too many people who are unaware of our history and how we got to where we are. At the beginning nobody wants to say anything because they don't know what to ask," Karwoski says of his school experience.

The Military Commission is determined to change that lack of perspective.​

"We owe them an answer about what it takes to keep a nation great and a people strong; and they won't find that answer on primetime or in an Xbox," Bob Marshall told ceremony attendees Monday night.

Marshall said the Madison County Military Heritage Commission is about to undertake a new and vital mission, one which they are uniquely equipped to carry out. They aim to make a significant and lasting impact on the future of our county, state and nation one young life at a time.

The Commission is making plans to capture the stories of the Hall of Heroes members by recording their individual histories on archival video to include their biographical information and their personal recollections of the places, circumstances and people surrounding their experiences in defense of our country.

Starting next spring, the Commission plans to present videos and Hall of Heroes members themselves to area high school students. The main goal is to inspire our young people to act with selfless courage and heroism in their own schools and communities - having learned of the hard-fought price of freedom by the example of those who paid it before them.

The program will be tailored to encourage interaction between veterans and the students to enhance the learning experience.

"Honor and heroism are alive and well in Madison County, and I'm dying to find a way to use smartphones and SnapChat to get the word out," Marshall closed.

WHNT News 19 is working on a similar project with this year's Hall of Heroes inductees. Our 30-minute special 'Saluting Our Heroes' is scheduled to air on Christmas morning.

In the meantime, check out our introductions to this year's Hall of Heroes inductees here.