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Ceremony will celebrate students who serve

Athletes have their signing days, straight-A students their academic awards. But Farmington High School seniors who have enlisted in the military have rarely received much in the way of recognition for their commitment.

That's changing this year, at least at in Farmington.

On May 25, the Farmington American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Warrior to Citizen organizations will team up for an event that to pay tribute to members of the class of 2011 who have agreed to enter any branch of the armed forces or reserves.

The event is patterned after a similar ceremony held last year at Rosemount High School. It's a chance to thank students for the commitment they're making and to connect them with an older generation of military men and women. It's a way to let the students know there is a network out there to support them as they serve their country.

"It's something I'm actually very happy that it's going on, because it brings more awareness and recognition to the young men and women," said GM2 London Hubbard, a Navy recruiter who works in the Farmington area. "That's the biggest part of it. Before they even go to their training, they understand why they're doing it.... They can say, people really appreciate it."

Hubbard has recruited one FHS graduate who plans to enter the Navy. He said the event will be a positive because it will raise awareness of military service.

Organizers have invited FHS seniors, their parents, recruiters and other veterans in the community. There will be hors d'ourves and speakers. The recruiters will introduce the students who will enter each branch of the military.

"It's definitely promoting the military, and it's definitely a good thing," said SSG Jonathan Wiley, a local recruiter for the Army and Army Reserve. He has five FHS seniors who will enter the Army's Future Soldier Program after graduation.

The ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. May 25 at the Farmington American Legion. Anyone interested in attending should respond by May 18 to the American Legion at 651-460-9909.

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

(651) 460-6606