Last week we opinionated on the ROTC program at Panther Valley High School, voicing the feeling that the school board should not eliminate it.

That feeling still exists.

In that opinion, we quoted school board member Irene Genther, who indicated she felt the program should be discontinued.

Since then, we've talked with Irene and she stressed she has nothing against ROTC but is concerned about PV's finances.

She also had what sounds like a worthy suggestion. Why not make ROTC a county-wide program? Why not have other participating school districts share in the expense of the program?

Genther stressed that she has had many relatives who have served in the military on active duty. She's very proud of them and the military. But she has serious concerns about the financial situation at PV.

It would be great if several - maybe even all - the school districts in Carbon County got together and formed an ROTC unit.

In many communities, as veterans age, it has become more difficult to put together a color guard for military funerals. That hasn't been a problem in the Panther Valley area thanks to the ROTC.

A county-wide unit could help with military funerals and related activities in other communities.

The ROTC is made up of youngsters who want to better themselves. It doesn't mean they are committing themselves to a continued military career.

Because it's something for improvement in our youth, every effort should be made to retain it.

We have programs for drug addicts, juvenile delinquents, and children with domestic difficulties. Children with mental and physical disabilities are given some special considerations. We are not implying this is wrong.

All we're saying is that we should be doing more to encourage children who don't get into trouble and who want to better themselves.

An ROTC program teaches discipline, leadership skills, and self-worth.

Possibly some veterans' organizations could provide some financial assistance if the program becomes county-wide.

The county-wide suggestion by Genther is certainly worth exploring.