Windsor Central High School hosted the 6th annual First to Say Thank You ceremony, sponsored by the Conklin Kiwanis Club. The event honors high school seniors who are entering the Military.
This year’s ceremony recognized 70 students from 32 districts who are entering the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines.
“It’s a unique opportunity to recognize a new crop of recruits. Not enough is done to recognize the newest members of the Armed Forces and this is a great way to do it,” said Captain Lawrence E. Weill, Commander, New York Naval Militia, Western Command.
Four graduating Windsor seniors joining the Military were among the honorees: Dovea Sibley and Shawn Ellis are joining the Army, Jenna Hill is enlisting in the Air Force and Kyle Sessler is entering the Navy.
“A lot of my family has done it and I wanted to serve my country and make a change,” said Sibley, who will join the Army Reserves for a year while she finishes her Associates Degree at SUNY Broome. She will then join the Army full time to become a military police officer.
“I wanted to be a cop and also wanted to serve my country. This lets me do both,” said Sibley.
As is the case with Sibley, a family history of service led Ellis to enlist. He will begin basic training on July 3 in hopes of becoming an Airborne Ranger.
“I’ve never been on a plane before and I always wanted to jump out of a plane, so this kills two birds with one stone,” said Ellis.
He plans to spend four years on active duty, then four more in the Reserves.
“People tell me that I’m going to want to sign up for more,” said Ellis.
Weill was the keynote speaker. He offered his ten rules of getting adjusted to military life. These included being responsible, recognizing that you are part of a team and making a good first impression.
“We have the best people we could possibly get,” said Capt. Weill. “I’d like to recognize those who chose the Military as a career path.”