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Connecting past and future soldiers for Veterans Day

Hundreds of family and friends attended a Veterans Day ceremony and celebration.

CARLISLE, Pa. — Hundreds of family and friends attended a Veterans Day ceremony and celebration today. 

The event took place at the U.S. Army Heritage and Recreation Center (USAHEC) partnered with U.S. Army War College and the U.S. Army Recruiting Command. 

Lieutenant Colonel Clay Huffman was the guest speaker at today’s Veterans' celebration. LTC. Huffman has served for 18 years and has two years left in his contract. He told FOX43 News his message to new recruits would focus on the theme “From Recruit to Veteran.”

“My personal goal was to go in and get out in four years, and here I am 18 years later, you never know where life's going to take you. I think I've gotten more from the army than the army gave me,” said LTC. Huffman.

The event started at 10:30 Friday morning when 12 recruits were sworn in during the Oath of Enlistment Ceremony. 

The new recruits range in age as young as 18 years old. Veterans were also among the families in attendance to welcome the new recruits and share tips, tricks, and advice. 

U.S. Army Recruitment Command for USAHEC Sergeant Joel Gothel said that young people will gain the opportunity to learn from the very people who walked in their shoes and understand the experience and benefits of the army. 

“For Veterans Day it’s an opportunity for us all as brothers and sisters in these armed forces to come together and remember each other and what we’ve given in pursuit of this country, what makes this country great and wonderful,” said Sergeant Gothel.

Of the 12 recruits sworn in today, three were female and eight were male. 

Austin Simmons, an E1 rank who will be heading to basic training in June of 2023, shared how excited he was to join the army because his relatives have also served. 

“My dad served eight years in the marines, four combat tours in Iraq, and my grandfather was 22 plus years in the army…they had a lot of experience, and I’m very proud of what they did and they’re very proud of it too,” said Simmons. 

The event concluded at 11:30 a.m. on Friday morning with refreshments and live music from The Carlisle Town Band. 

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