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Future service members celebrate signing day at Bedford’s National D-Day Memorial

Central Virginia school divisions gave recognition to the young men and women who decided to enlist in the military as the next generation of recruits.

The backstory to the Region 2000 Military Signing Day, while short, has led to an event organizers hope will lead to an annual celebration.

Friday was ‘Virginia Military Signing Day’ with a big state celebration out in Richmond. With the state capitol being a far enough drive for some students to not make the trip, Bedford County Schools Superintendent, Marc Bergin, wanted to have a local celebration closer to home.

The event was held at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford.

“We do college signing days for kids. We do career signing days for kids. We were missing a military signing day,” Bergin.

With very limited time to plan, the event came together with invites to students from Amherst County, Appomattox County, Campbell County and Lynchburg City Schools.

Overall there were 20 recruits amongst the various school divisions. With a tight timeline, many were unable to make the event on Friday. However, three students did.

Gavin Ashwell (Campbell County), Ayden Carter (Campbell County) and Abigael Mills (Bedford County) received the certificate in front of friends and family.

“It makes me feel very proud actually. Honestly, if you would have told me five years ago I would join the Navy and gone through all this, I wouldn’t believe you. Honestly, I feel very proud and I hope that I make my family and those who I love and love me very proud,” Carter said.

Each of the students have their own reasons for enlisting. All three however are joining the Navy.

“There’s nothing I’m going to do in the next five years that’s really going to make an impact. I’d rather serve my country in those five years,” Mills said.

10 News asked the students what the phrase ‘to serve your country’ means to them.

“Defending the constitution, following the oath, following the appointed officers above me and fighting the freedom of others,” Ashwell said.

Below is a list of all the students who are enlisted from Region 2000:

Amherst County

  • Jessi Barron Sevilla | US Army

Appomattox County

  • Jacob Howald
  • Noah Will

Bedford County

  • Abigael Mills | Navy
  • Benjamin Chewning
  • Adam Uttley | US Marines
  • Brianna Bartnett | US Air Force

Campbell County

  • Ayden Carter | Navy
  • Jason Berkley | Air Force
  • Thomas Kaiser | Navy
  • Rios Avilez Nahun
  • Thompson Aedan | Air Force
  • Jack Turner | US Marines
  • Gavin Ashwell | Navy
  • Blake Dease | US Marines
  • Edwin Oliveros | US Marines
  • Wesley Harmon | Navy

Lynchburg City

  • Caiden Cash | US Marines
  • Matthew Hall | US Marines
  • Luke Kerelejza | US Marines
  • Jaclyn Perez Rodriguez | US Marines
  • Kristopher Seawright Jr. | US Army

Source: WSLS News 10

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