BYU, UVU ROTC honor veterans at presidential review

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The combined BYU and UVU ROTC programs held their annual Presidential Review on Nov. 10 honoring BYU alumni veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the U.S.

Veterans Day, originally known as Armistice Day, is held on Nov. 11 every year.

The army ROTC program and air force ROTC program at BYU are designed to give cadets leadership skills and physical training that can prepare them for their future careers. Maf. Jason Spicer, assistant professor of Aerospace Studies, said, “The benefits of this program will far outweigh the demands on your time.” He also said they want their ROTC graduates to be resilient leaders.

BYU president Kevin J Worthen spoke to the assembled Army and Air Force programs, reminding them and other onlookers of the importance of Veterans Day. He said the goal of Veterans day was to honor those who were willing to give their lives to defend their country, both those who died in military service and those who were still serving.

Following President Worthen’s remarks, Capt. James Brau, a BYU finance professor, spoke to the troops and encouraged them to be an example to other military servicemen and servicewomen. He said to do this by applying a portion of the BYU Honor Code to their military career, such as respecting others and avoiding vulgar language.

Tech. Sgt. Kelli Fuggent, an enlisted soldier stationed at BYU’s ROTC program, was raised in a military household. She said her father retired after serving 20 years in the military and had encouraged his children to join the military. Now that she is a part of the military, she said she believes that Veterans Day is a day of humility and gratitude to those who have served their country.

“It’s not for me,” Fuggent said. “It’s for those that served before me.”

Cadet William Anderson, who has been in the ROTC program for four years, described military members as modern-day heroes, and said that Veterans Day was a time to prepare for the future of the country by looking back to the heritage of military servicemen and servicewomen.

Cadet Lauren Ethington, who has been in ROTC for two years and enlisted for a year and a half, said that she appreciates the public thanks that have been given to her and other cadets on campus, but wants the focus “on those that have made true sacrifices for their nation.” She said it was important to recognize veterans on Veterans Day and is “grateful and excited” to follow in the footsteps of Army veterans.

Cadet Easton Andersen, who has been in ROTC for only one semester, was also a part of the National Guard for a year and a half. Anderson credited the example of those that came before him.

“All of their sacrifices got me to where I am,” Andersen said. He also said Veterans Day allows him to use their example in his own life to move the military legacy forward for future generations.

Spicer was deployed three times during his career, with roughly 1,500 combat hours. He says Veterans Day is a time for “really sitting and thinking about the freedoms we have and why we have them.”

Spicer said he believes the people that serve their country in the military are the reason why Americans have those freedoms.

While servicemen and servicewomen take time away from loved ones and sacrifice their lives, they are not the only ones serving their country.

Jenny Taylor, whose husband gave his life for his country, said thanks to members of the military, she gets to “live the American dream because they were willing to sacrifice theirs.”

Taylor said she believes Veterans Day is a chance to celebrate the freedoms Americans have, and hopes that other civilians will “take the time to reflect on the freedoms” that military members grant them.

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