Air Force ROTC at Kent State Makes Appearance at 2013 Timken Grand ParadePosted Sept. 2, 2013 | Foluke Omosun
The Air Force ROTC (AFROTC) at Kent State University joined in the 2013 Timken Grand Parade in downtown Canton on Aug. 3. Members of the Air Force ROTC were given the honor to walk alongside the Ohio Fallen Soldier Dedication Float during the parade.
The float was dedicated to honoring local heroes who have been killed in action in recent conflicts and was made by Steve Toohey of Rapid Response Restoration Inc. The Air Force ROTC also was allowed on the float a day before the parade at the Stark County Fair Grounds during the judging ceremony, where the float was awarded in the Best Non-professional Builder category.
Members of the Air Force ROTC program at Kent State who participated in the parade included Capt. Phillip Bergeron, 2nd Lt. Kevin Papp and Cadet Theodore Rask.
“Participating in the parade allowed the AFROTC to show our support for the Ohio Fallen Soldier Dedication Float, which honors the many heroes of our state that made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation,” Rask says. “Many AFROTC cadets will soon commission as active duty officers in the United States Air Force; supporting such a cause as the Ohio Fallen Solider Dedication Float seems only natural.”
Thousands of spectators lined the 2.2-mile parade route and stood to honor and appreciate the soldiers when the float passed by them, clapping, whistling, placing their hats over their hearts and shouting, “Thank you for your service.”
“The love and respect shown by the parade audience was a very humbling experience,” Rask says. “It's great to know that the local community supports our military with such drive and dedication. However, the support was pale in comparison to that shown to the Ohio Fallen Soldier cause and rightfully so. We still have yet to serve and are honored to be held in anywhere near the same light as the heroes represented on the dedication float at the parade.”
For more information about the ROTC programs at Kent State, visit www.kent.edu/academics/rotc/index.cfm?ref=nav_academics.