FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – A new generation of American patriot is coming home after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, many now walking the campuses of universities across this nation.
Several of those veterans were honored today at the University of North Alabama’s Veteran’s Day Program.
“Corporal Matthew Conley, Specialist James Lindsey, and Major David Blair Faulkner,” names of the men from Lauderdale County who have died since September 11, 2001 said Florence Mayor Mickey Haddock.
Monday’s service at UNA took place to honor the men and women serving in the armed forces, in an effort to spread democracy and freedom to those around the world.
Many of those served along-side men and women who are now part of the University of North Alabama ROTC Program.
“My grandfather served back in Vietnam, and then my dad served during the time of the first Gulf War, so I felt the same need,” explained Cadet Sergeant Colton Weimann. “This is to support my country right after high school.”
For UNA ROTC Cadet Sergeant Colton Weimann it’s a patriotic duty to his country.
Weimann served two tours of Afghanistan as a Sergeant in the Marine Corp.
Now in college, he sees the face of America’s veterans changing.
“2007 was a big recruiting class, especially for the Marine Corp. and Army. I had seven buddies of mine that joined the Marine Corp. at the same time,” said Weimann. “And they have actually served in Afghanistan as well, so youth is a big thing today.”
After his five years in the Marine’s, Cadet Sergeant Weimann say it’s good to be home, and humbling to be with those who served both before and with him who are honored on this sacred day.
“Today will be the first Veteran’s Day I’ve actually been recognized and also seeing the effect of others, it’s a little emotional.”
University of North Alabama leaders say hundreds of men and now women from the university have deployed to fight in every war since the United States Civil War.