By CARL FEATHERfirstname.lastname@example.org
Thirty-four Ashtabula County high school seniors who have signed up for military service will be honored May 7 at Cleveland State.
Our Community Salutes of Northeast Ohio is sponsoring the regional, community-based initiative to honor graduating high school seniors enlisting. The concept was introduced in 2009 and has since grown to more than 100 similar programs across the United States.
According to Bill Willoughby, chairman of the Our Community Salutes of Northeast Ohio, the group has identified about 400 graduates from more than 130 high schools in 90 northeast Ohio communities who are eligible for the honor.
Those from Ashtabula County are:
Edgewood Senior High: Kimberly Cowles, Army; James Lyle and Joshua Orsulic, Marines;
Lakeside High: Jamie Azbill and Christian Burns, Navy; Tyler Georskey, Timothy Hines, Austin Knight, Blake Loga, Brandon Milbrandt and Triston Miller, Ohio Army National Guard;
Saint John: Jamie Au, Navy;
Conneaut: Stephan Acevedo, Army; Wanda Russell, Marines;
Geneva: Brandon Becker and Ryan Hall, Marines; Daltan Coffey, Joseph Joy, Sean Miller, Jacob Nichols and Timothy Stocker, Navy;
Jefferson: Jefferson Hamper and Jesse Skvarek, Marines; Tyler Hopkins, Navy;
Pymatuning: Rodney Bell, Marines; Austin Mathews, Ohio Army National Guard;
Grand Valley: Stanley Sirrine and Nathanael Wengerd, Army; Andrew Adams, Kyle Brown, Joshua Kovats and Timothy Steed, Marines; Jesse James and Austin Wagner, Navy.
The celebration is 4:30 to 9 p.m. at the Cleveland State University Student Center, 2121 Euclid Ave., Cleveland. First-come seats are offered to the public for the recognition ceremony. Doors for public seating open at 5:30 p.m. and the ceremony gets under way at 6:15 p.m.
During the ceremony, each enlisting senior will be individually recognized with distinction. A general officer, admiral or senior official from their branch of service will welcome them and they will receive a copy of a U.S. Senate Congressional Record honoring them.
A college fair and information about service support programs will be available to the enlistees prior to the ceremony. Catered food and beverage will be provided to the high school students and their parents beginning at 8 p.m.
The event’s cost is underwritten by private and corporate donors. Our Community Salutes is an Ohio non-profit; more information is at ocscle.org.