OAK HILL, WV (WOAY) – At Oak Hill High School, a small class of graduating JROTC students are enlisting into the military and were able to have a traditional graduation ceremony.
The school’s staff got together and planned out a small-scale graduation ceremony for their graduating class of JROTC students. Chris Selvey, a retired colonel and now football coach at the school swore them in and said the school wanted to go the extra mile and give the kids a graduation they deserve.
“[We] wanted to make a special graduation for these graduations and show their appreciation that they are enlisting into the military and their graduation from Oak Hill,” Selvey said.
Because the class was so small, with just five students, they were able to hold a safe and traditional ceremony outside and let their loved ones see them graduate in-person.
“Ms. Hayes and her staff have been trying to put the students first and battle the restrictions and restraints that they have as we battle this COVID-19.”
One of the graduating students, Christian Sanger said he appreciates what the school had done for them and is glad he was able to have a graduation after all.
“It feels actually good because we were all thinking we wouldn’t get one at all and I was just glad to know the school’s nice enough to do something for us. So we can at least look back and have some memories of graduation,” Sanger said.
On top of that, the students and their families are proud to see this ceremony, where the students bravely begin their journey into the armed forces.
West Virginia has always had a lengthy history with the United States military, having a very high enlistment rate per capita.
“It’s a never-ending story of West Virginia. West Virginians have always served very strongly in our military,” Selvey said.
Another graduate, Noah Casto, said it’s always been his dream to join the military and is excited that it can finally happen.
“I’ve been thinking about it since I was little. Just proud to serve the country,” Casto said.
After graduating, the students will begin basic training later this summer.