At 11:00 a.m. on Nov. 11, 1918, the guns went silent as the armistice went into effect and the “War to End All Wars” was finally over. A dedication to veterans is now honored yearly on Nov. 11. The Warrior Battalion views this as a day to commemorate; therefore, they set out to help both the Post Exchange and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Starting at 9:40 a.m., the cadets began to show up at the Post Exchange on Hainerberg dressed in their easily distinguishable uniforms. To begin the event, all who were present observed two minutes of silence in honor of all the soldiers lost in war. The cadets then assisted the Post Exchange by posting the Colors and singing the National Anthems. Cadet Corporal Kiron Villa bore the US Flag and led the Color Guard consisting of Cadet Corporal David Matz holding the German Flag, with Cadet Private First Class Angel Contreras and Cadet Corporal Elaina Colon carrying rifles and providing the guards. Cadet Private Theresa Carballo sang the German National Anthem and Cadet Kayla Pham joined her for the US National Anthem as the Color Guard presented arms.
Post Exchange general manager Jordan Flint expressed his gratitude to the veterans and introduced the main speaker, Mitchell Jones, the Deputy Garrison Commander. Mitchell Jones thanked all veterans for their service and acknowledged the debt that US citizens owe them. The Post Exchange provided cake and the privilege of making the first cut was given to representatives of each organization involved including Warrior Battalion Commander Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Ella Griffin. Being military-affiliated students, the Warrior Battalion always finds it to be an honor to serve veterans. The cadets then performed an honor guard by forming a saber arc for veterans to pass under as they received commemorative coins from AAFES.
Following the ceremony, the cadets assisted Veterans of Foreign Wars by passing out Buddy Poppies and collecting donations. The Buddy Poppy is symbolic of all of the soldiers that died during World War I. The idea is based on the poem “In Flanders Field'' by John McCrae. McCrae expresses the idea that those who follow after the fallen soldiers should “hold the torch high” and continue in their honor. The VFW certainly holds this message to heart, and the Warrior Battalion also takes up this role.
The cadets were stationed at three different tables throughout the exchange and engaged shoppers in conversations about JROTC and the history of Buddy Poppies. All donations went directly to the VFW.
From 9:40 a.m.-4:00 p.m., 30 Warrior Battalion cadets volunteered their time to appreciate and honor the veterans. It was also apparent that the veterans appreciated the effort and the support from the cadets as they were taking pictures with the cadets. The PX expressed wishes to work with the Warrior Battalion in the future. The Battalion looks forward to supporting its community in future events.