UT Students Sworn Into Military During Halftime

By  | 

On this Veterans Day weekend when we honor those who've proudly served our country, several Tennessee families a proudly saluting their sons and daughters.

Volunteer TV's Whitney Daniel joins us with more on a special Tennessee National Guard swearing-in ceremony.

The crowd stood silently at Tennessee's men's basketball game against Middle Tennessee State Friday night, not because of the team's performance, but because of a half-time show. The Tennessee National Guard has had it's highest recruiting year in history, and Friday they welcomed several dozen of it's newest members.

"This holiday is about the heritage of the military," Master Sgt. Doug Pritchett from the Tennessee National Guard said.

But for Master Sergeant Doug Pritchett, Veteran's Day 2006 means so much more.

"When I retire, there will be another Pritchett carrying on the name in the military," Pritchett said.

His daughter, Brandi, is following in his footsteps.

"I've been raised military, military, military," Brandi said.

And now that she's become a part of it. Private First Class Pritchett is holding her head high.

"It makes me proud. It makes me feel good about myself that I can do something," Brandi said.

Major General Gus Hargett swore these soldiers in.

"It's a chance for them to be honored to start a career that most people refuse to do," Hargett said.

He says showing a crowd of people their American pride is admirable, and in a year where the Guard is showing record numbers for recruitment.

"It says that there are still a lot of young people out there who are prepared to defend the U.S. Constitution of America," Hargett said.

"The way people look at you when you say you're in the military, they show so much gratitude," Brandi said. "It really brings your spirits up."

Sixty-seven men and women joined the guard at Friday's ceremony, and two Tennessee Guardsmen repelled from the rafters to present the game ball.