Clovis hosts virtual Patriots Dinner to honor high schoolers entering military

The Clovis Veterans Memorial District and members of the community honored graduating high schoolers who are entering the military with its fourth annual Patriots Dinner, conducted online Wednesday evening due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event included Clovis Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Eimear O’Farrell, active and veteran military leaders, Mayor Drew Bessinger and others all delivered words of encouragement and gratitude to the graduates via an online video stream posted on the Memorial District’s Facebook page.

“Our usual Patriots Dinner, hosted by the Clovis Veterans Memorial District board of directors, is one of the events I most look forward to all year,” O’Farrell said. “The music of our armed services band, the heroic representation of all five branches of our military, the families and educational support teams of our students and their mentors together make for a much deserved celebration of our class of 2020 students entering the military service.”

The soon-to-be graduates have all enlisted in one of the military branches, or enrolled in ROTC programs or military academies.

Each branch of the military had facts presented on the screen, followed by a message from an active duty member and veteran.

“I want to thank you for really what you are about to embark on,” said Colonel David Hall of the US Army’s 40th Combat Aviation Brigade. “Very, very few people actually enter military service, and it’s truly awesome that you are answering your country’s call and heading off to basic training, and whether it’s the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, Marines or even Coast Guard.”

CVMD CEO Lorenzo Rios provided an introduction and closing for the program, while remarks were made to the graduates by CVMD Director and Army Veteran William Rice along with Clovis Mayor and Army veteran Bessinger.

Bessinger thanked the graduates for enlisting in the service and reflected on how the military improved his life and that it will do the same for them.

“On behalf of the citizens of Clovis, I want to thank those of you that are making the commitment to the safety and security of our nation by joining the United States military,” he said. “I was exactly where you’re at 45 years ago. As a high school senior, I joined the Army and the next four years I learned life skills, self-confidence and I got to see some of the world.”

The following is a list of students joining the military after graduation:

US Army

  • Devin Chee, Clovis Online School
  • Alexity Dean, Buchanan
  • Erik Gaither, Buchanan
  • Xitlali Ramirez, Buchanan
  • Grant Cozzi, Buchanan
  • Rebecca Lee, Buchanan
  • Garret Grace, Buchanan
  • Charles Wynn, Buchanan
  • Gray Hardcastle, Buchanan
  • Aimy Ortiz, Buchanan
  • Dimitry Boylan, Clovis North
  • Jennifer Brito, Clovis North
  • James Farris, Clovis East
  • Paige Davis, Clovis East
  • Micheal Gann, Clovis East
  • Adam Nava, Clovis East
  • Jared Torres, Clovis East
  • Gabriel Moua, Clovis East
  • Zanida Loya, Clovis East
  • Eric Avellaneda, Clovis East
  • James Farris, Clovis East
  • Komal Nahal, Clovis East
  • Nathan Machoian, Clovis East
  • Marijaine Novoa, Clovis
  • Dylan Stout, Clovis
  • Mikayla White, Clovis
  • Jonathan Halls, Clovis West
  • Peyton Chappel, Clovis West
  • Geonna Hall, Clovis West
  • Daniel Williams, Gateway

US Marine Corps

  • Jimena Serrato, Buchanan
  • Joshua Martinez, Buchanan
  • Connor Davis, Buchanan
  • Jonothan Caram, Buchanan
  • Arthur Apodaca, Buchanan
  • Jace Henson, Buchanan
  • Joel Flores, Buchanan
  • Ryan Neves, Clovis East
  • Francisco Depaz, Clovis East
  • Marcos Rosas, Clovis East
  • Lorenzo Mendez, Clovis East
  • Caylen Carstensen, Clovis East
  • Luis Gonzales, Clovis West
  • Gustavo Martinez, Clovis West
  • Andrew Valero, Clovis West
  • Coulter Whitlow, Clovis North
  • Jordan Zapata, Clovis North
  • Casey Pyzer, Clovis North
  • Pierson Phaphone, Clovis North
  • Joshua Kiggins, Clovis North
  • Brandon Thong, Clovis North
  • Connor Hazelrigg, Clovis North
  • Alexis Marquezrivas, Clovis
  • Alexander Gann, Clovis
  • Joseph Barrett, Clovis
  • Jared Wolfe, Clovis 
  • Collin Pence, Clovis 
  • Tai Lee Rojo, Clovis
  • Braden Cozby, Sierra
  • Thaddeus Long, Sierra

US Navy

  • Cameron Sarff, Buchanan
  • Amelie Bressoud, Buchanan
  • Hayden Smith, Buchanan
  • Jamy Ayala, Clovis East
  • Mary Barrett, Clovis East
  • Maxwill Vang, Clovis East
  • Kassidy Gudgel-Stewart, Clovis East
  • Katherine Tapia, Clovis East
  • Grant Addington, Clovis East
  • Dylan Vaughan, Clovis West
  • Jenna Still, Clovis
  • Wyatt Dority, Sierra
  • Owen Hollnagel, Gateway
  • Drew Blythe, Gateway

US Air Force

  • Jenesis Windfield, Buchanan
  • Taylor Bernhardt, Buchanan
  • Matthew Jones, Buchanan
  • Noah Munsey, Buchanan
  • Timothy Long, Buchanan
  • Brooke Costella, Clovis North
  • Kaitlyn Musick, Clovis North
  • Aaron Torosian, Clovis
  • Elizabeth Salazar, Clovis East
  • Joshua Martizano, Clovis East
  • Blake Gonzales, Clovis East
  • Chase Marquez, Clovis East
  • Christopher Esponilla, Clovis East
  • Bridget Lundin, Clovis East
  • Jordan Chavez, Clovis East
  • Vincent Vidal, Clovis East
  • Jacquelin Andrade, Clovis
  • Giano Petrucelli, Clovis

For full video, please go to the Clovis Veterans Memorial District facebook page, here.

Michael Ford
Michael graduated from Fresno State in May 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in print journalism. During his time at the university, he served as sports and managing editor for The Collegian, Fresno State’s student-run newspaper. In addition to the Clovis Roundup, Michael has written for The Fresno Bee, the Kingsburg Recorder and Selma Enterprise. He has a passion for sports and can be found on the sidelines at local games, bringing the citizens of Clovis the athletics news they deserve.