Tempe Community Salutes new service members each year
The Tempe community gives an annual sendoff salute to graduating Tempe Union High School seniors and other community members in a ceremony called Tempe Community Salutes. The ceremony recognizes them before they join the ranks of the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy, and the Arizona Army National Guard.
City officials and military representatives join family and friends of the recruits as each one is brought up on stage to a round of applause and given a challenge coin – a small medallion bearing the insignias of the U.S. military branches with the message, “The First to Say Thank You.” Additionally, the seniors are draped with special neck stoles - ones imprinted with their chosen military branch, which they also can wear to their high school graduation ceremonies.
“We’re thrilled to host a ceremony that recognizes young community members and their families for their commitment to national service,” said Army veteran and Tempe Councilmember Robin Arredondo-Savage.
Tempe Community Salutes is modeled after the program promoted by the national Our Community Salutes organization to recognize and honor high school seniors who plan to enlist into the military immediately following high school graduation.