R.U.F.F. program brings teen volunteers to prep Veterans Day festivities

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Approximately a dozen teenage boys, aged 13-18, spent Veterans Day milling through the crowd with community service in mind.

It's just another day for the R.U.F.F. program.

"It stands for Ready yoUrself For the Future, it's a program for young men to become better leaders," explained member J.P. DiPietro.

The teenagers came out to Veterans Memorial Park hours ahead of the morning festivities to make sure that the entire area was clean and ready for veterans that were going to be honored.

"We were just helping out, cleaning up the benches out here and some of the memorials here too," said DiPietro.

"We passed out the flags [to the crowd], told the vets 'thank you for your service' and helping them with whatever they need, life if they need water, we pick it up for them," said member Godwin Ukwu.

They had the rare opportunity to enjoy the subsequent parade downtown alongside World War II vets and high ranking military officials, topping off their day of service.

"For us it just shows a sign of respect, it just makes us appreciate so much that they've done for us," said DiPietro. "We basically are trying to set an example, show ourselves as leaders and try to help out."

R.U.F.F. leaders hope to have the teenage leaders march in the parade next year.