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In This Month's Johnstown Magazine

ROTC

Integrity & Discipline

❝The creed lays out a tough path for men and women to follow, but it's even tougher for high school students who make commitments to serve their fellow students, their communities and the citizens of the United States. ❞

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“I am a cadet in the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps. To me is entrusted my honor and well-being. I must act honestly and faithfully to live up to my ideals and standards. It is my duty to be true to myself. I must not give into negative peer pressure, and I must stand up for what I believe is right. The only person I must impress is myself. I am proud of myself. I will always conduct myself in such a manner that my honor and the honor of the cadet corps will be upheld.”

The creed lays out a tough path for men and women to follow, but it's even tougher for high school students who make commitments to serve their fellow students, their communities and the citizens of the United States.

Large letters adorn the back wall of the Air Force JROTC classroom at Ligonier Valley High School. “Cleared for Takeoff” means more to the students than just a common flight line phrase. It reminds them each day that hard work and training prepare them for life in the fast lane, better known as adulthood.

JROTC benefits America’s youth in so many different ways,” says Col. Paul Lips, Director, Headquarters, AFJROTC, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. “In short, it is a citizenship program wrapped in military traditions which instills integrity and discipline in young men and women.”

The corps combines that citizenship training with an aerospace science program for high school students, but the man in charge at Ligonier Valley knows the intrinsic value for his students.

“I saw what the program did for my son,” says Col. Chuck Johnson, Senior Aerospace Science Instructor and former maintenance group commander at Barksdale AFB, La. “We moved right before his junior year. He had been (a JROTC cadet), and was able to move into another unit (at his new school). It was an instant group of friends.”

So, when he retired from the Air Force, it seemed like a natural progression to share his leadership expertise with a future generation.

“I like working with the kids,” he explains. “They’re all good, and there’s a sense of satisfaction in seeing them grow up to become leaders themselves.”

To continue this article and many more, pick up this month's Johnstown Magazine or subscribe today.

Triplets

By Randy Griffith

❝Two Johnstown-area families celebrating the first birthdays of their triplet girls admit the triple blessings have upended their lives, but say they wouldn't want it any other way. ❞

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Two Johnstown-area families celebrating the first birthdays of their triplet girls admit the triple blessings have upended their lives, but say they wouldn't want it any other way.

Branden and Shelby Hill’s daughters – Adalyn Mae, Brinley Ann and Presley Rae Hill – celebrated their first birthday on Feb. 18.

The family lives in Ferndale and includes a 4-year-old daughter Peyton
Andrew and Courtney Swanson’s daughters – Auden Joy, Blaken May and Cameron Lyn Swanson – turned 1 year old on March 29. The family lives in Adams Township.

The first year has been a learning experience, the couples say. Even already having one child barely prepared the Hills for triplets.

“Just feeding them their baby food is a challenge,” says Branden Hill.

“We had so much free time before,” says Courtney Swanson. “Back then, it was just deciding what we were going to do on the weekend. Now we never sleep past 7 o'clock. That's when they get up.”

The couples have developed routines and rely on friends and family for assistance as both mothers returned to work.

“They all go to bed at the same time,” says Courtney Swanson. “They all eat at the same time. Even if they are not ready to go to sleep, they to go to bed.”

And everything requires organization.

To continue this article and many more, pick up this month's Johnstown Magazine or subscribe today.

Listen Up

Cajun Norm Chynoweth

❝Few musicians in western Pennsylvania have had experiences quite as unique or varied as Norm Chynoweth of Johnstown. Interested in music since he was young, Norm has played all over the country throughout his life with multiple acts, including his current band Cajun Norm & The Jam Session Band. ❞

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Few musicians in western Pennsylvania have had experiences quite as unique or varied as Norm Chynoweth of Johnstown. Interested in music since he was young, Norm has played all over the country throughout his life with multiple acts, including his current band Cajun Norm & The Jam Session Band.

Norm has always loved music, saying he caught “the music bug as a kid listening to Black Sabbath and The Carpenters.” When he was a toddler, his father introduced him to the Magnus Chord Organ, which he started playing seriously when he was a preteen. Norm’s passion for music led to him meeting local DJs, who introduced him to a wider range of music like Pink Floyd, Miles Davis, and Gary Wright.

While he was in high school, Norm became a part of his first band Ryder, a Johnstown rock band which he formed with his friends. After graduation, Norm became the keyboardist for The Brooks Paxton Show, which gave him the opportunity to tour the United States. Inspired by Dr. John and Steely Dan and singers like Al Jarreau and Gino Vannelli, Norm had a full-time job for seven years, playing six gigs a week for 48 weeks a year. With The Brooks Paxton Show, he got to travel as far west as Eugene, Oregon, playing in Las Vegas and Austin along the way, and getting to visit landmarks like the Grand Canyon and Lake Tahoe.

More than once during his time with The Brooks Paxton Show, Norm was in the right place at the right time. Once at a laundromat, he ran into rocker Pat Benatar. Another time, he met Johnny Winter, a Grammy-winning guitarist and brother of Edgar Winter, at a Holiday Inn in Tampa Bay. Norm also had the unique experience of being in Middletown for a show during the Three Mile Island accident in 1979.

To continue this article and many more, pick up this month's Johnstown Magazine or subscribe today.

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