Sparky Edwards tells latest graduates to put past problems ‘behind you’

Fourteen years after graduating from Thunderbird Youth Academy, Sparky Edwards remembers his instructors — and what each meant to him.

“Sgt. Kirkpatrick led the honor guard,” Edwards said. “He was persistent in teaching discipline and motivation. Sgt. Townshend led the majority of the volunteer work. He always leveled with us. Sgt. Devore, this man was as strict and strong as nails. He was the motivating factor for me when I became a drill sergeant.”