Freedom Days

The Camelot Retirement Home, 28 Aug 2010

A great start for the new school year, 24 cadets came out to help the Camelot pay tribute to veterans from Hemet and San Jacinto in a special dinner and show. The "Luau" theme was in stark contrast to the somberness of the ceremony, but it did add a bright finish to a great event. Cadets took posts at all the major entrances and greeted guests as they arrived; a couple of cadets distributed leis. The Color Guard started the ceremony followed by a short reading from one of the residents and then an explanation of the Missing Man table. Most were WWII veterans, along with a few who served in Korea and Vietnam. Some of the veterans wept as they remembered their comrades who were killed in action many years ago. Several cadets were privileged to be seated next to Fermin Rios, a Marine who fought on Iwo Jima. During the buffet dinner service, cadets took food orders from guests who had physical disabilities and stood in line for them, filling plates and delivering them to the diners.

As a special request, just before dinner was served, the manager asked if cadets could do something while a bugler played taps. Cadet Jasmine P. took charge of an ad hoc platoon and marched them in front of 286 veterans and their spouses and ordered a hand salute as the bugler played. They looked as if they had practiced the routine, and the loud applause and flattering comments as they marched off gave testament to how impressive was their performance.