History students were involved in the presentation. Brett Steffan, Tyler Wheeler, Christian Arguello, Ethan Jensen and David Spears wore authentic WWII uniforms that were supplied by Professor Peter Johnson, history instructor, from his personal collection.
“My grandfather was in WWII, so I decided to volunteer,” said Ethan Jensen.
They also presented letters written by Vol State students to WWII veterans at the end of the ceremony.
WWII veteran Charlie Hingst said he joined the military in 1942. He spoke about a few very close calls in battle and ended saying, “We live in the greatest country in the world.”
Ed Bruchas is a WWII veteran and said that he was still in high school at the time the war started.
“I shouted out through the entire neighborhood that we were at war,” said Bruchas. “I guess I was 17, and I wanted to go to war because as a young boy, I thought I could fix it.” He said the last part with a smile, and went on to say that he imagines most young boys felt the same way at the time.
“You go in as a boy, and you come out as a man,” said Bruchas.
Peter Johnson wrote an excerpt in the program from the ceremony that said, “This generation came home from the war and built America. Now each day they are slipping away to eternity. We sincerely owe them a great debt of gratitude. May this commemoration today be partial payment on that debt before the last one leaves us.”
Volunteer State Community College