WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — One area high school recognized several students as they signed their letter of intent Friday, but these signings were not for athletic scholarships.

These students recently made a commitment to serve their country in the military after graduation. They enjoyed a first of its kind ceremony at Wheeling Park High School as they honored some of their best and bravest students.

It was an emotional day for several students and their families. Fourteen seniors were recognized for their commitment to serve their State and Country in the armed forces.

The ceremony was planned and organized by School Counselor and Military Liaison Jennifer Mathieu. She says the celebration is something the students deserve for their hard work and dedication as they get set for the next chapter in their lives.

” I think that being at Wheeling Park and having been through a pandemic and all of the other trials and tribulations they have been through they are ready to face the next challenge in life. I think they have been prepared very well and have a sense of community and a sense of giving back.”

Jennifer Mathieu. WPHS School Counselor, Military Liaison

Two of the students recognized will be joining the U.S. Air Force, one will join the Marines and eleven students will enlist in the National Guard.

The following students enlisted in the U.S. Air Force:

  • Brooke Carney
  • Zachary Brady

This student enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps:

  • Alan Rojas

These students enlisted or are preparing to enlist in the National Guard:

  • Corbin Cutlip
  • Eddie Connor
  • DaeShawn Gordon
  • Gilliam Connors
  • Naliah Lekanudos
  • Kaden LaShare
  • Delaney Walter
  • Christian Bryan
  • Bre’Onna Milbert
  • Jaden Palmer
  • Bryanna Nally

Sgt. Andrea Gump is with the West Virginia Army National Guard. She is also the school’s Military Careers Counselor and served as keynote speaker. She says that making a brave commitment at such a young age is commendable and she is proud to be their advisor.

“These students have made a commitment that only one percent of the population will ever make. I’m so thankful that I have over ten commit to joining the West Virginia Army National Guard; five of those are already enlisted in the West Virginia Army National Guard and again seeing their commitment to State and Country says a lot about their families and their character.”

Sgt. Andrea Gump, Military Counselor, Wheeling Park High School

“All my family had matching shirts on. They are the biggest supporting family, so it was nice to go in front of them and see that they are proud of me.”

Bryanna Nally, West Virginia Army National Guard

” Since I was a little kid, I always thought about the military. Growing up it was the main thing I wanted to do. I love that they set this up for us. It shows that they really, really care and they value our commitment and courage to go and serve our country.”

Christian Bryan, West Virginia Army National Guard

Students were presented with a certificate, while the mothers of each student were given a flower arrangement which symbolizes new beginnings. Following the ceremony, a reception was held for the students and their parents.

We at 7News want to congratulate all of the students and thank them for their commitment to serve their country.