A memorial service will be held Sunday (Nov. 10) for former HHS student and U.S. Marine Carter Ross, who died last December in a mid-air collision during a training exercise in Iwakuni, Japan.


A monument in Cpl. Ross’ honor will be unveiled under the flag poles at the JROTC Compound at HHS.


Everyone is invited to the service, which will begin 11:30 a.m. with a ceremony in the HHS fieldhouse followed by the unveiling of the monument.


“We’re super excited that we’re making the whole school part of this,” said Laurie Smith, president of the school’s JROTC booster club and a manager of the event. “Our band is going to participate with the music. One of our band members is going to be playing taps at the end of the service.”


Chorus Director Elizabeth Evans will lead the select chorus and provide some vocals, and Band Director Dr. Jeffrey Phillips, who is also a pastor, will lead the Lord’s Prayer.


The Nov. 10 date was chosen because it is the Marine Corps’ 344th birthday. It also seems fitting that Monday (Nov. 11) is Veterans Day.


“You may not have known Carter Ross, but he was providing a blanket of protection while you were sleeping in bed at night,” Master Sgt. Tim Clenney, who leads the JROTC program, told The Ville News.


Clenney remembers Ross, a 2015 HHS graduate, as a “good kid” who had an “eagerness to learn something new” and to apply it.


Ross served in JROTC all four years and excelled as a member of the Raider, Drill, and Marksmanship teams.


After graduation, he went to college for a year but was undecided on a major and chose to do what he knew best and enjoyed most: he joined U.S. Marine Corps Aviation.

Friends say Ross was a good Marine and an even better person.


“He always had a smile on his face, and he could make bad days good and good days great,” recalled HHS sophomore and family friend Ian McCoy.


At a time when so many young people’s heroes are athletes, singers or actors, Ross should be remembered as a true hero who like many soldiers don’t always get the credit they deserve.


Story by Owen McClister, Cailsey Scott, Zach Kochan,, Gabriel Williams and Cynthia Maravilla


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