Veterans Day is a very important day for many students here at Embry-Riddle. Not only does it help students remember sacrifices given by our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines, but it also helps many of the veterans on campus reflect back to their time serving our nation. Embry-Riddle has a large Veterans population on campus and has also been named a Top Military-Friendly University for the fifth straight year.
The Air Force ROTC Honor Corps of Detachment 028 does something special every year for Veterans Day here in Prescott, Arizona. Honor Corps is comprised of three teams; Rifle Drill Team, Sabre Drill Team, and the Honor Guard. These three teams get together 24 hours before the Veterans Day Parade and stand guard at the Northern Arizona Veterans Affairs Center in Prescott. Being home to one of the largest VA Centers in the nation, the Northern Arizona Veterans Affairs significantly helps the Air Force ROTC community for Vigil. This 24 hour event is called Vigil. The first picture in this blog was taken by me at around 4:00 am. This goes to show the commitment and the courage of the Cadets that volunteer for this self-less event.
Being an Alumni of the Sabre Drill Team, this year was no different. I started doing this about three years ago, and it was one of the best experiences of my life. Starting at 10 am on Monday, November 10th, our Cadets held one hour shifts to guard the flag pole at the VA Center. The flag was guarded non-stop for 24 straight hours by around 30 cadets, taking multiple 4 man shifts. The Vigil ended at 10 am on Tuesday prior to the Prescott Downtown Veterans Day Parade. By doing this, personally, I have learned quite a bit about myself and what it means to be a future officer in the Air Force. When not on a shift, cadets are usually inside a building, with tons of food, either bonding with each other or spending time getting our homework done. At Embry-Riddle one thing is for sure, as our Colonel always says, “Student First, Cadet Second!”