FSU ROTC shows respect at Florida Vietnam Veterans Memorial

By: Sophia Hernandez | WCTV Eyewitness News
November 11, 2019

The FSU ROTC continued their changing of the guard from noon Sunday until noon Monday.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) — The FSU ROTC program began its 24 hour service at the Florida Vietnam Veterans Memorial to honor local veterans at noon Sunday. It is an annual tradition that has gone on for years and allows cadets and others in training to say thank you to their fellow brothers and sisters.

Guadalupe Castro says she has spent three years in the program.

"It is not everyday that you get to guard a wall that means so much to so many people that come and watch it," Castro says. "Also to have their names, and people that they, love names on it. So I am just very grateful and humble to be here.”

Castro says she is humbled to honor those who have passed.

"I also hope that they feel a sense of pride to see that we are doing it and that we obviously care enough here to do something like this,” she says.

The cadets practice for an hour before the grand event takes place. After executing their practice trials, they then walk in honor, with each of them saluting for an hour.

Chase Williams says he paid attention to every detail during his changing of the guard.

"We want to make sure that whatever we do we are the best at it and we are perfect in the way we do it," Williams says. "And if not perfect, trying our hardest and doing the best we can.”

Jacob Wynn says he takes his role as Seminole Guard Commander seriously.

"To come out here in our dress uniform and guard the memorial to people that sacrifice their lives is a big deal and it is something we do not take lightly,” Wynn says.

Wynn has been out by the memorial for four years for the changing of the guard. It is a long hour of walking, but he says it has meaning.

"Especially with every single movement that we do and how robotic it is during the ceremony," Wynn says. "Reflecting on the history behind it, it definitely helps you answer the question okay why am I doing this?”

The pairs of cadets switch every hour on the hour, totaling up to almost 50 students within 24 hours that will pay their respects at the memorial.

Williams says it is a tribute to those who made sacrifices.

"Our country was founded on the military and fighting for freedom... And I think that is why it is so important," Williams says. "People join into something that is bigger than themselves and it is one big family, and they give their life up, giving this country more freedom.”

And with every change of the guard, Castro says she hopes others see the importance.

"To reflect on like everyone who has served our country, everyone who has died for our country, everyone who will die or will serve, and kind of appreciate that they live in a country where they are safe and they can do x, y, and z," she says.

FSU ROTC continued its changing of the guards for 24 hours, ending Monday at noon.

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