In Clovis, 14 high school seniors bound for the armed forces were honored at Buchanan High.
It’s the first ceremony of its kind at the school known for its long list of brave soldiers.
This includes the Hubbard brothers. Back in 2004, Jared Hubbard was killed in Iraq.
Less than a year later, his two brothers, Nathan and Jason enlisted in the Army.
In 2007, there was another tragedy for the family; Nathan was killed in a helicopter crash also in Iraq.
Buchanan High School lost a total of eight former students in the line of duty from 2004 to 2010.
The ceremony on Wednesday was not only about them and their sacrifice but honoring those who are willing to be just as brave and courageous.
14 seniors headed for the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines are being applauded for their decision to enlist.
Mark Haroutunian says witnessing the Boston Marathon bombing in person is his inspiration.
“I watched the carnage that it created and the chaos that followed,” Haroutunian said.
At 12 years old, Haroutunian watched off-duty soliders that were running the race charge directly toward where the bomb had just gone off without any regard for their own safety.
“That’s what helped me overcome the depravity of that moment and it just gave me a goal to set my eyes on,” Haroutunian said. “I wanted to be like them.”
“Literally from that day on, he has been in radar lock to try to do whatever he could to prepare himself to be in a position to help defend our country,” said Mark’s father, Greg Haroutunian.
Haroutunian will be attending the United States military academy at Westpoint.
The posting of the colors, the National Anthem, and even a Blackhawk flyover by a Buchanan High School grad rounded out the first-ever Military Signing Day for Buchanan High School.
“We wanted to do something to make them feel like they’re special and what they’re doing is meaningful to us,” said Joe Aiello, Buchanan High School Principal.
“I think it’s the right way to honor people that are giving up what would be the normal college experience to put their lives on the line and serve our country,” Haroutunian concluded.
The students will graduate on June 4th. All the flowers from graduation will be put on the graves of the eight fallen soldiers like they are every year.