Buchanan High School held its inaugural Military Signing Day on Wednesday, April 24, in honor of graduating seniors who joined the armed forces. The 13 students were recognized at Buchanan’s outdoor amphitheater in a ceremony that featured members of the different branches of services, a color guard and the National Anthem.
“To see the commitment they are making at this young age, to go serve for the freedom we have everyday, it’s emotional for me,” Buchanan High School principal Joe Aiello said. “I’m very proud of the young men and women we have.”
Each student took the stage wearing a shirt and hat from their branch of service while being introduced with that branch’s military song. Parents, friends and teaches watched as the students signed with their respective branch.
Tyler Rabone, Ryan Phillips and Timothy Moua signed with the Navy. Grayson Padilla signed with the Air Force, while Logan Kuyper signed with the Air Force ROTC. Joshua Dotson and Ben Holman signed with the Army ROTC, while Chris Fries signed with the Marine Corps.
The rest of the signees included Haley Barham (Air Force ROTC FSU), Christina Corliss (Air Force ROTC), Luke Gonzalez (Army), Anthony Carmona (Marine Corps) and Mark Hartounian (West Point) .
“What I was doing hadn’t settled in until today,” Holman said. “I appreciate our country and I want to protect that freedom that makes America how great it already is.”
Holman added that Buchanan has played a big role in helping him get to this point.
“All the teachers, all the different activities that I’ve been able to do and the education that I had, I know that I’m lucky to be at this school,” Holman said.
Aiello said the event serves as an opportunity to honor those who sacrificed their lives.
“We have had eight students fall in the line of duty serving our country,” Aiello said. “We’re very proud of honoring them and making sure their memory is always out there in the community and our students are aware of it. This is something we wanted to do to honor students who are that making that commitment to serve our country.”