TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – Washburn Institute of Technology was among the local organizations that honored veterans on their special day Friday.
A ceremony took place at 10 a.m. in the conference center at Washburn Tech, located at 5724 S.W. Huntoon in west Topeka.
The featured speaker for the event was Bob Sines, a Vietnam veteran from Hiawatha whose granddaughter Amy Payne works at Washburn Tech.
Sines, 76, said he was honored to be asked to speak at the event.
He said Veterans Day is a chance to show people who served in the military they’re not forgotten, and that their sacrifices are appreciated.
“There’s a lot of veterans out there,” Sines said, “and they deserve some attention, and I think we’re seeing a lot more of that today than we did when we returned home in the ‘60s. And people are very, very interested in how we’re doing and appreciate what we have gone through.”
Sines said he served from 1966 to 1968 in the U.S. Army, including a tour of duty in 1967 in Vietnam. He began in infantry and ended up in artillery.
He also serves as the chaplain of the Homer White American Legion Post 66 in Hiawatha.
Also participating in the Washburn Tech event was the Highland Park High School Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps group, which presented the colors at the outset of the ceremony.
Group member Jhessdiel Santiago, a Highland Park freshman, said he and his classmates were thrilled to take part in the program.
“It really means the world that we can just come out and do this color guard event for them, and we’re really grateful for what they’ve done,” Santiago said. “We’re just really grateful to be here and really happy to honor them as best as we can.”
Santiago said it was his hope one day to serve in the military.
“It’s always been my mom’s lifetime dream to have one of her kids be in whatever branch,” he said, “so it would just make me really happy to just honor my mom in one of the branches.”
Which branch is he considering at this time?
“I think Air Force would be good,” Santiago said.
Boys and girls from Washburn Tech’s Little Learners child care center led attendees in the Pledge of Allegiance near the beginning of Friday morning’s program.
About 85 people, including Washburn Tech students and several veterans, were on hand for the 35-minute ceremony.
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