Neshoba County Economic Boom

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One of the fastest growing areas in East Mississippi is the city of Philadelphia and Neshoba County. Full Story
Steven Byars

Sparks, NV

#1 May 4, 2006
This is the only place I could find to post a msg. I read an article about Pearl River Central High refusing to allow a Marine to attend his fiance's Senior Prom. I can understand a certain amount of protectiveness... but protecting people from the people protecting them? Makes a rather odd political statement, don't you think? What has happened to Southern honor and dignity? Hospitality and Duty? Southern Soldiers and Gentlemen will be fretful in their graves on May 13th. A day of dishonor. Shame on you.

US Marine can travel "from the halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli," but not to the senior prom at Pearl River Central High school in MS.
The school's 'age' policy prohibits a high school senior from taking her boyfriend to the prom.
Leah Lott, an 18 year old senior at the school and Marine LCpl Christopher Raffo, stationed at Camp Lejeune have been dating for several years and plan on marriage.
Leah had reserved a dress for the prom on May 13th and Chris is scheduled to be home on 30 days leave prior to deployment to Iraq.
Things seemed to be working out perfectly...except the school board says Chris Raffo is too old for the prom. Here is a US Marine traveling over 700 miles with plans to escort a young lady to her senior prom. A one-time event that is supposed to be meaningful and special in her life.
This LCpl is not someone who has the opportunity to visit his young lady often. He is serving his country and will soon be going in harm's way to do this. As we all know, his ability to get leave is limited.
To enforce a blanket policy of age restriction in this situation is contemptible. The school board members, who this Marine has volunteered to protect, and possible give his life for, have so far stood fast to many appeals and requests on this couples behalf.
However, the school board has stated "though the couple is not allowed to attend the prom, they can stop by for a few minutes to take photos, but then they will have to leave." Ms. Lott has stated that they would not be going. " We're not be getting all dressed up just to take pictures."

It's history repeating it's self. The ancient Romans wanted their army for protection, but wouldn't let the soldiers enter the city. Fortunately, since the beginning of this great Nation, Marines have always stood front and center to protect and serve God, Country and Corps in spite of insensitive, unappreciative people like this school board.

This Marine and his lady may not be able to have senior prom memories to look back on in later years, but I know that they will find the support and care of the Brotherhood of Marines to make up for it.

LCpl Raffo, your brother and sister Marines will never treat you in this manner. Had I been able to be there, I would have proudly stood and voiced my support for you, and displeasure with the school board's decision.

Semper Fi, to you and all Marine's, inactive, and active.

Joe Newman SSgt
USMC 65-71

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