FDU salutes high school seniors who are enlisting in the military

our community salutesAbove: More than 100 northern New Jersey high school seniors who have committed to enlist in the military were honored at Fairleigh Dickinson University on May 10. Congressman Rodney Freylinghusen (center, front row) addressed the recruits. (Photo by Dan Landau)

By Dan Landau

May 12, 2017 — Fairleigh Dickinson University and Our Community Salutes partnered to honor graduating high school seniors from across northern New Jersey who have committed to enlisting in the United States Armed Forces.

More than 100 high school seniors joining the U.S. Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and the New Jersey National Guard received recognition in the May 10 event at the Florham Campus. The West Point Military Academy Regimental Brass Quartet opened the ceremony with a rendition of the “The Star-Spangled Banner” and subsequently performed each branch’s service song.

“It is important to honor and recognize these young men and young women who are volunteering to serve in the military. They need to know that we are here for them now, during their service and when they get out. They are part of the less than 1% of Americans who currently serve in uniform. I am proud of each of every one of them,” said Martha Papson Garcia, director of veterans services for outreach at FDU.

Congressman Rodney Freylinghusen (R-11) attended the event to acknowledge the recruits and their families. Other speakers included Ken Hartman, founder and president of Our Community Salutes; Lieutenant Colonel Edward Croot, commander of the U.S. Army Mid-Atlantic Recruiting Battalion; Lieutenant Colonel George A. Peasant, commander, 314th Recruiting Squadron, U.S. Air Force; and Major Joseph Gagnon, commander, Recruiting and Retention Battalion, New Jersey National Guard, National Guard Joint Training Center.

The event was sponsored by FDU's Office of Veterans Services and Our Community Salutes. Our Community Salutes is a national, non-profit organization helping communities recognize, honor and support high school seniors who plan to enlist into the U.S. Armed Services after graduation.