BUCKHANNON – When students are choosing a future path in school, they usually select either a college path or a career path, but there is actually a third path: defending the United States by selecting a career in the military.
Now, students at Buckhannon-Upshur High School who are interesting pursuing a career in either the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard can learn about the Armed Forces as part of a new club.
B-UHS Principal Eddie Vincent said the school this year started a military club which meets during club period at the school each week. According to Vincent, members of the new club are currently working to plan a Veterans Day celebration to honor veterans in the community.
“There was a growing idea to start an ROTC-type program at the high school,” Vincent said. “We have been exploring options with that. One of the things we have done in the meantime is starting a military club.”
Vincent said a small group of kids approached him about starting a club for students interested in joining the military.
“We did that and we have that off the ground,” Vincent said. “Cheryl Cain is sponsoring the club and we have some local recruiters who are helping with it. It is growing and has somewhere between 15 and 20 members.”
Hopefully, Vincent said the school will grow into having an ROTC program or a Leaders Program sometime in the future.
Vincent said the students in the military club came up with the idea of doing something to honor local veterans.
“We are going to do some things here in the building with a special wall of appreciation,” he added. “We will have a Military Appreciation Wall. During our Veteran’s Day ceremony, we will invite local people [to participate]. We hope this, too, will grow over the years.”
The members of the B-UHS Military Club are also planning to march in the Buckhannon Veteran’s Day Parade.
The military club’s Veteran’s Day event will take place in the main gymnasium at B-UHS on Thursday, Nov. 7 from 2 to 3 p.m.
Veterans and those who would like to attend are asked to RSVP by Monday, Nov. 4 to any club member.
The club sponsor Cheryl Cain said the group’s vision is for the Veteran’s Day celebration to be an annual event.
“This is our first annual celebration,” Cain said. “Our military club has members who are military-minded and have plans, upon graduation, of enlisting in some branch of the military. Our club is not particular to any certain branch.”
Cain said some seniors in the club have their recruiter and boot camp days already set up.
“When they graduate, they are definitely headed off to the service,” she said.
Cain said another goal is to establish a permanent public display of B-U graduates who have enlisted in the military.
“That is part of what we will be introducing at our ceremony,” Cain said. “We are having a formal plaque made and that will be presented by our club members to the principal to designate that area.
“The plan is then to collect information from the community, faculty, staff and students so we can post 8×10 photos of B-U grads in their military uniforms. We will list who they are, what year they graduated and what branch of the military they enlisted in.”
Cain said military club members are working on painting the area.
“It’s pretty exciting,” she said.
Students will be able to invite veterans they know to the Nov. 7 ceremony.
“Students can pick up an invitation for the veteran and fill out a form with information about the veteran,” she said. “During the program, there will be two veterans who will speak with students and encourage more graduates to enlist in the military.”