A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

EKU’s Jackie Alexander: A unique journey from Army officer in Iraq to college basketball coach

Jackie Alexander was raised 30 miles south of Eastern Kentucky University’s campus, along the Dix River in a small, close-knit community called Brodhead. Population at the last census: 1,211. “There’s something special about growing up where everyone knows everyone,” she said. Alexander became a basketball star at nearby Rockcastle County High School. As a senior in 2010, she led...

Army recruiter John Dow’s ‘full-circle’ service experience made him the man that he is today

From left, Dennis, John and Steven Dow before John was deployed in April 2002 (Photo provided)   By Jonathan Coffman KyForward intern   John Dow’s mother asked him an important question as he neared the end of high school: How did he plan to pay for college?   His family would not be paying for it, so Dow found a solution. At 17, he enlisted in the Army Reserve on Jan. 7, 1999.   At...

JROTC training helps students to prepare
for a future career, not just military life

Sophomore Cameron Kinman inspects JROTC cadets' uniforms at McLean County High School. (Photo by Amy Wallot)   By Matthew Tungate Special to KyForward   When 1st Sgt. Sonny Long became Army instructor at Harlan County High School five years ago, he had a freshman in the JROTC program who was in trouble from the first month of school. He skipped classes, argued with everybody, used tobacco...