See the Congressional Record of the statements made by Representative Robert E. Andrews honoring the decision to serve by the enlistees.
High School Counselor
I was so proud to see our students get the recognition that they deserved. I also wanted to share with you the impact that this program had on our principal. Once a month, he invites students to have lunch with the principal. Most of the time these students are our highest academic achieving students or our athletes. After reading the article in the paper last weekend, he decided to invite those students enlisting in the military to lunch with him. These students were thrilled. I just thought that you should know that all of hard work went farther than you could see last evening."
My husband and I are touched by your efforts to recognize young adults like our son. Although we're exceptionally proud of him, the reactions we get to his decision aren't always as we would hope. People are often surprised that he's chosen service over college and can't understand his calling to do both. It often feels as though there is a lack of enthusiasm for these kids when they're standing next to peers that are heading straight for college.
From the bottom of our hearts,
As a senior my daughter has had to sit through many "college days" and came home upset because the High school focuses on those students going to college and though unintentional, sends the message that anything else is worthless or wrong.
She knows that's not true but still had the continual struggle every college event day. Today, in her words, she felt like she was valued and really excited to be going into the Air Force. For me, the event was inspiring and made me want to be more involved in the community that would support it's children and the military so well. Thank you sincerely for the positive impact this event had on my daughter. For showing her the community does value her and she is appreciated for her choice to serve in the military."
Your passion and dedication to 'Our Community Salutes' is inspiring; it is so heatening to know there are folks who care about our young heroes in the same way we applaud those pursuing other disciplines in life. I can't wait to you post the pictures from that exceptional night—I'm going to have a viewing party for the rest of my family, so they too can feel what we felt-pride."
I just wanted again to extend my sincere gratitude to you for honoring my son and making him feel that he is appreciated. It's been a rough road for him with his peers saying he was foolish (calling him Capt. America), with non-stop harassment about his choice to serve our country; and teachers agreeing only because of his academic potential being a national honor society student. So again thank you so, so, much for letting him know that there people other than his family support his decision to serve as a United States Marine... ooh-rah!!"
What a spectacular idea "Our Community Salutes" program is. I was stunned by the power of it, and the impact the celebration had on the kids and their families."
Once again, we were deeply inspired by the program and by the impressive young adults who are dedicating themselves to the service of our nation. You are to be applauded for making an event like this possible."
It was a wonderful event and we were glad to be a part of it. Please keep us on your contact list for sponsorship of the Second Annual Operation Recognition Ceremony."
Fabulous, fabulous event. I am so glad to have been part of the first annual High School Enlistee Recognition Ceremony. I was able to network with new people and share new information with those I knew. Thank you to the team and I look forward to the 2nd Annual Event!"
Active Duty- Branch Representative
Wanted to pass on my congratulations and thanks for conducting such a successful event to recognize the future warriors in our nation's military....our new recruits had an excellent time and were even more proud to serve after the recognition they received."
United States Army Recruiting Command
Because of your vision and leadership in mobilizing businesses and members of your local communities, these 54 young American's have been given the recognition they deserve for deciding to serve their country. It is my firmest hope that others around the country follow your great example and recognize other young heros across the nation."