Salute our heroes

ROTC Veterans Vigil remembered ASU alumni of WWII

By Kierstyn Wiley
On November 16, 2018

Photo by Ian Saint: A single rose placed in
commemoration of those who fell in WWII.

ASU’s Air Force ROTC Detachment 847 honored military veterans Nov. 7 with a vigil at the Memorial Oak Grove.

The ROTC Veterans Vigil remembered 29 ASU alumni veterans of World War II that never made it home to their families. ROTC began the event with a flag retreat ceremony and read short biographies of the veterans.

Vietnam War veteran Mike Thompson said all the soldiers were brave and courageous to go to war.

Thompson also told personal stories about war and spoke of his service in different military branches. It was all a blur, he said.

"You only remember two things during war: when you go to war and the day you’re going home," Thompson said.

ROTC students said they appreciated Thompson’s speech as it allowed them to see his perspective on war and how it can change a person.

"He was telling us how he was in the Air Force and the Army," said sophomore cadet Joseph Williams. "It was pretty neat how he was in two branches."

Many cadets involved said they were excited to guard the memorial tomb and plaque dedicated to the 29 veterans at the Memorial Oak Grove.

"My favorite part of the event will be guarding," said sophomore Mallory Rauker. "I’m doing it for our people. We’re guarding it from 4:30 p.m. to midnight."

Fifty flags stood next to the memorial tomb and plaque to represent troops from each state who fought in World War II. There were also 29 roses to represent each departed soldier who left San Angelo College, before it became ASU, to go to war. Pictures of the soldiers were displayed on trees that were originally planted in honor of their sacrifice.

Many students enjoyed being able to participate in the event.

"It’s respecting our veterans," said sophomore cadet James Ochello. "We’re actually remembering the people who fought and helped give us our rights."

The public and donors attended the outdoor event and enjoyed refreshments of water, hot chocolate and cookies.

"It is open to everyone," said sophomore cadet Austin Krambeer. "We got more Goodfellow people than we’ve had the last few years, so I’m excited about that."

For more information about future events, contact ASU Air Force ROTC at or visit their office in Room 227 of the Rassman Building.

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