The rising military generation

By By Rochelle McConkie

By Rochelle McConkie

Standing at attention before 12 Utah veteran honorees and a full audience, David Shepard presented the American flag at the Veterans Day commemoration ceremony held on Friday in the Union.

“It’s an honor to carry the flag–it’s a symbol of their sacrifices,” said Shepard, a junior history major and a member of the U Army ROTC.

Like most other ROTC students, Shepard will be deployed soon after his graduation in 2008.

Jon Umber, a sophomore finance major and a member of the Army ROTC, said, “Most of us know we’ll be deployed soon after graduation. You join (the military) knowing that you’re going to be deployed–it’s an honor to serve.”

Umber’s said honor and respect for veterans motivate him in his desire to serve in the military. “It’s good to see the trials of what others go through,” he said.

As part of the U’s Veterans Day events, a full-dress military ceremony was held in the Union Ballroom, honoring 12 Utah veterans who served in World War II and the Korean War.

The 2006 honorees were Ralph Tracy Clark, Elbert L. Day, Robert L. Epperson, Reuben Joseph Farnsworth, James A. Faulkner, Blair A. Hale, Charles “Mont” Mahoney, Floren Bennion Nelson, William R. Pastore, Gale H. Patterson, Charlie F. Pharr and Donaldson B. Robbins.

Each veteran was escorted to the stage and presented with a medal. All past veteran honorees in attendance were asked to stand, totaling more than 100 veterans.

Members of the U Army, Air Force and Navy-Marine ROTC conducted the ceremony, which included a 21-gun cannon salute on the Union lawn and music from the U Army band of the Utah National Guard.

Prior to the ceremony, the Associated Students of the University of Utah’s Government Relations board conducted a service project creating care packages for U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Packages were made up of items requested by soldiers, including emergency goods, beef jerky, toothbrushes and toothpaste, CDs and magazines. Local Utah businesses and community members donated all the items.

ASUU Government Relations Director Ingrid Price made it a goal to assemble 100 care packages. Sixty of the packages will be sent to Utah soldiers in Iraqi reserves, and the remaining 40 will be sent to soldiers serving in linguistics units in Afghanistan.

Price, who has a brother who served in Afghanistan, said, “This is good to do during the holidays–it’s good for students because they often don’t know where to start (to help the soldiers).”

Katie Miller, an associate director of the Government Relations Board, also worked on the project with fellow associate director and Chronicle opinion writer Jessie Fawson. Miller said, “It’s important for students to be thinking about Veterans Day. A lot of people over there are our age–college students. It’s important for them to know that people their age support them.”

Lisa Teran

Professional bagpiper Chris Harris played “Amazing Grace” during Veterans Day celebrations held in the Union Ballroom on Friday.

Lisa Teran

U.S. Army Cadet Stephanie Nielson escorts Veterans Day honoree Ralph Tracy Clark. Clark served in both the U.S. Army and the U.S. Navy and was one of 12 veterans honored for their service on Friday in the Union Ballroom.