Young men and women who have their sights set on a career in the nation’s armed services got a sendoff at Tempe Center for the Arts during a recent ceremony presided over by Tempe Mayor Corey Woods.
“Though we remain in very challenging times, these incredible men and women are stepping up to serve their country,” Woods said. “We are thrilled to recognize these individuals and let them know they are in our hearts and on our minds. We are grateful for their decision to serve.”
Each received a commemorative First to Say Thank You coin.
The hundreds of young men and women across Arizona who serve also were saluted.
Col. Wanda Wright, U.S. Air Force retired; the national anthem by Sophia Pizzilo and an appearance by the Marine Corps Color Guard were part of the festivities.
It was the seventh year for Tempe Community Salutes, which was the vision of Vice Mayor Robin Arredondo-Savage, who is a U.S. armed forces veteran.
“It was the first program of its kind in the state to demonstrate support for high school seniors and their families,” Arredondo-Savage said.
Sponsors included Gorman & Company, Waste Management, Gammage & Burnham, Napa Auto Parts and USAA Financial Services Company.