Local schools hold military signing days Published May 2, 2023 By Douglas Hays 434th ARW Public Affairs GRISSOM AIR RESERVE BASE, Ind. -- In the sports world, national signing day is the day many schools and recruiters celebrate an athlete joining their teams, but a few local schools are doing a twist on signing day, with the help of Airmen at Grissom Air Reserve Base. Three area schools dedicated time for military enlistees to step into the spotlight and be recognized for their dedication serving in the military. Western and Northwestern High Schools in Kokomo held ceremonies on April 27, and 28 respectively and Peru held a similar ceremony May 1. “We wanted these future warriors to be recognized for showing their patriotism and willingness to serve,” said Col. Thom Pemberton, 434th Air Refueling Wing Commander. “We don’t care which branch of service they choose, we want their decision to be celebrated.” Commanders from the base led oath of enlistments and the Grissom Honor Guard presented the colors during the ceremonies. It is estimated that only 12 percent of Americans ages 17-24 are qualified to serve without a waiver. “When you read information like that, it is even more important that we recognize these young folks,” Pemberton said. While the three schools were the first to hold a ceremony, Maconaquah High School is holding one on May 12. The 434th ARW is the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command. The Citizen Airmen from the Hoosier Wing routinely deploy around the world in support of the Air Force mission. Stay connected with the 434th ARW on Facebook and Twitter.