“Veterans Day is a day of remembrance. To honor those who have served our country, the University of Akron Army ROTC program is conducting a ceremony. The idea is to honor all that have served, said Lieutenant Colonel Rick Young. We do it for community outreach.””
Veterans Day is a day of remembrance.
To honor those who have served our country, the University of Akron Army ROTC program is conducting a ceremony.
The idea is to honor all that have served, said Lieutenant Colonel Rick Young. We do it for community outreach.
According to Young, this ceremony is one of the largest in the country.
Young said that the ceremony will begin around 9 a.m. in the Martin Center, where they will have guest speakers. It will conclude with a wreath-laying ceremony, where veterans from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard and National Guard will lay their wreaths. A 21 gun salute and an F-16 fighter jet flyover will accompany the ceremony.
We’ve been doing it for 10 years now, he said.
The is just one way the ROTC program helps the community and the country.
An alum of the ROTC program, Lieutenant Lane Gonzales, spoke highly of this tradition.
When I did the Veterans Day ceremony as senior, I learned a lot, Gonzales said. The veterans have a lot of good stories, and shared a wealth of wisdom with us. It was a very rewarding experience, in all.
Gonzales graduated last May.
According to Young, the Akron – ROTC program began 1918. It has served through WWI, WWII, Vietnam, the Korean conflict, Operation Desert Storm and during the Afghanistan and Iraq War.
We send people everywhere, Young said. We have people on active duty, and we have some doing civilian jobs.
Young said the ROTC program in general is one of the best leadership training programs offered around the country. The University of Akron has students in almost every major and discipline in the ROTC program.
It’s a golden opportunity for a student to get an education without expense, said Gonzales. All that we ask is that you defend your country.
The ROTC program offers tuition and books paid, as well as a stipend.
The money’s not bad, Gonzales said. I ended up enjoying the money, but I enjoyed the growth as an individual more. I became the leader I knew I could become.
Nico Alatis, an ROTC senior in electrical engineering, said the friendships he gained were the best part of ROTC.
I love the camaraderie, said Alatis. We are building friendships here. I was assigned a battle buddy my freshman year, and we’ve been best friends ever since.
Gonzales said that the last two years of the program focus on leadership.
You have to learn to teach younger students, and you have to be tested in leadership positions and in combat situations, he said. The army helps define you as a leader, and companies love it on a resume.
Jeff Parrott, an ROTC junior in political science, mentioned the value of the education in the ROTC program.
After talking to some other guys from different colleges, we seem to have the best professors around – they have open-door policies, and they make our experiences here great, he said.
I like the small classes, added Alatis.
The ROTC program also helps the Akron community in other ways besides holding ceremonies, Gonzales said. Among other things, they helped clean the Rubber Bowl and set up flags for Sept. 11 remembrance ceremonies.
The amount you put in is the amount you’re going to get out, said Parrott. You have to work hard and try hard to get what you want, and to be of any use to the army and your community.
I want to be a part of something, and I want to make a difference, concluded Alatis. There’s an old saying that ‘everyone wants an adventure to pursue, a beauty to win and a battle to fight.’ I’m looking for the battle to fight.