Retired World War ll Veteran Celebrates His 100th Birthday With Durant’s AFJROTC Students And A Police Drive By

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Chief Johnson

Durant’s AFJROTC presents a color guard for a World War ll veteran’s 100th birthday.

Ayla Yebba, Staff Writer

On Friday, April 2nd, around 9:30 in the morning, Mr. Fernando Roque, a retired World War ll veteran, was shocked by some of Durant’s Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC) students and a large celebratory police drive by right in front of his house.

The drive by line started off with about 10 police officers both on motorcycles and in cop cars, leading the way for the rest of the military jeeps/automobiles, a Home Depot van, and a mission barbecue truck.

“[We heard that] a World War ll veteran was in our community, that was turning 100 years old, and the sheriffs department [asked us if we could] do a color guard” said Durant’s JROTC Chief Johnson.

It is our belief that all World War ll veterans are heroes…[and we] always want to be able to recognize and thank those veterans.”

— Chief Johnson

“It is our belief that all World War ll veterans are heroes…[and we] always want to be able to recognize and thank those veterans.”

A typical color guard consists of four students with at least one alternate to step in if needed. Senior Corbin Wyatt, explains that the color guard, “…consists of someone holding the American flag who commands, someone who holds the state flag and then we have rifles on each side of them.”

The color guard demonstrates the proper way to post the colors (displaying the flags), take care of the flags, and follow commands given.

“They wanted to be a part of this special occasion [because] you don’t see [this type of event] very often and certainly not every day,” conveyed Chief Johnson.

This event was a big deal to Durant’s AFJROTC program because they want to help the community as much as possible and show thanks to those who have served in our armed forces.

Chief Johnson later mentioned that Durant’s AFJROTC program is usually involved with about “40-50 color guards easily” throughout the school year.

James Turner (junior) says,“It was really a heartfelt and touching [event] because we were able to present the colors and congratulate him in turning 100 and being a World War ll vet… who had to go through [all that he did]”.

On behalf of the Durant AFJROTC program, they want to wish Mr. Roque a happy birthday and thank him for serving our country.