LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – A group of students at Coral Academy of Science Las Vegas on Nellis Air Force Base are taking the first steps towards understanding and appreciating the significance of military service.

They are part of the school’s first student honor guard. The program originated from the initiative of a single military-oriented student named AJ, who wants to attend Veterans Tribute for high school.

“If the students get a better connection to their family and understanding of what the military is and what it represents, it’ll be a positive thing, and I think that it’ll be a great benefit for them both growing up and if they decide to join the military themselves,” Nellis AFB honor guard Staff Sgt. Christian Olivieri said.

The six, eighth-grade students were selected by their teachers and were trained by the honor guard.

With 90% of its students coming from military families, it’s a way to engage in military service.

“The flag wasn’t always up, there wasn’t much respect for it, but as kids kept kicking the lights down, so it went to solve that,” Jayden Haerer, a student that’s part of the program said.

Students perform tasks such as saluting the flag, raising it to full or half-staff, and carefully folding it.

“I love this country, and I want to respect the flag because it’s a great country,” another student said.

For some students, it’s a tradition.

” My mom was in the honor guard before me, so it is cool to be like passed down,” Elijah Mckinney said.

And for parents who were a part of the program before, a sense of pride.

“Discipline, honor, respect, you know, for people, for our country, and it just means a lot that he is a part of that,” Elizabeth Hildebrand said.

The students want to eventually volunteer at sporting events around Las Vegas.


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