Every time I blog, at the end, I ask for your thoughts and prayers for the members of our military and their families. Just this week alone we have lost 14 American soldiers in the War in Afghanistan. This past Sunday, as we were concluding four days of Orientation with our new students, we were all gathered in the Ross Sports Center for what has become known as CONNECTIONS perhaps the most important part of new student orientation. As it happened, we were set to begin at 9:30 Sunday morning - at 9:00 that morning a plane carrying the remains of Vermont National Guardsman Tristan Southworth, 21 years of age, from Walden, VT - one of two Vermont National Guardsmen killed in Afghanistan last week was being flown into the Burlington Airport. Local citizens had been asked to line the route that his procession would take from the airport out to I-89 and the 60 mile trip to Walden, VT. As we gathered, we had spread the word to our wonderful Orientation Leaders that IF they wanted to, they could quietly leave the gym and go out to stand along the road as his procession wound its way from the airport. Megan Powers, Director of New Student Programs opened the CONNECTIONS program by telling our new students that we had lost two VT soldiers this past week and asking for a moment of silence. It was amazing to watch over 500 people just get silent - each one, I am certain thinking about their own connection to the war. After the moment of silence the program began and soon all of our Orientation Leaders silently left the gym and headed out to Route 15 to pay tribute to a fallen soldier. We found out that his procession had already passed by but that does NOT take away from what our students did - they remembered, they stood in silence and they paid tribute to this young man they never even knew - it was an amazing moment.
So, please keep all of our military and their families in your thoughts and prayers - they truly need all of the support and prayers that they can get.