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By: Kathleen Woods

Missouri Western has the honor of hosting a military appreciation football game once a season. 

This year, the game was hosted on Sept. 21 against University of Central Missouri. 

The Missouri National Guard and their organization of the presentation of colors kicked off the game with an American flag that stretched the entire length of the football field. The flag was being held by cheerleaders, veterans, mystics, active military and other students. 

Missouri Western senior Daniel Vanhorne is a retired cheerleader and active marine. One of the most difficult tasks Vanhorne faced with being a marine and student is drill weekends.

 “Trying to work with the professors when drill dates fall during the week so that we can complete labs or school work accordingly,” Vanhorne said.

Serving one’s country is a major responsibility, and Vanhorne had a legacy to continue for his family.

“I chose to serve because some of my family served, and I wanted to be apart of something bigger,” Vanhorne said.

Others like alum Seth Dittemore, who is a current marine, serves for different reasons.

“I chose to serve because I wanted to do my part and also get some useful training to be a police officer,” Dittemore said.

Feeling recognized for military services and showing that respect is important to soldiers during military appreciation week, especially for soldiers like Vanhorne who serves in the reserves. 

“I enjoy attending and being recognized,” Vanhorne said. “because as someone serving in the reserves I don’t often get to feel that recognition.”

It’s not only important to show respect but for the Missouri Western community to show their support is also really important. Dittemore believes that military appreciation is lacking.

“I think it’s good that they do this.” Dittemore said. “It shows support for the military and not everyone does that in today’s society.”

Being a part of this military is a commitment that will change your life in the best way. Vanhorne joined the military and considers it an honor.

“Being in the military is an honor, but you need to be committed,” Dittemore said. “Just be proactive while you’re in and just work hard because you will feel accomplished and proud of what you have done.”

The military also shapes you into a better person and aids you for the rest of your life.

Vanhorne believes that the military has shaped him into the person he is today.

“It helped me adapt to do things with a purpose and showed me that any job worth doing is worth doing right and to the best of your ability,” Vanhorne said. “It made me the type of person who is punctual and on time to everything I do.”

Serving in the military has multiple meanings to different people but their is one clear similarity and that is serving your community for the common good. Dittemore serves without the necessity of recognition but for the honor of his service.

“It means doing your part and not needing to be recognized for it.” Dittemore said. “It’s an honor to do it and everyone should try and join to gain the experience.”

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