SAN ANTONIO, Texas —
Although the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect many in Military City USA, it did not deter Our Community Salutes-San Antonio, or OCS-SA, from hosting its ninth annual “A Night in Your Honor” through virtual means June 17.
More than 200 local high school students graduating from San Antonio-area high schools received recognition. They represented the range of military services to include the U.S. Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Air National Guard and Texas Army National Guard.
“This unique event is often the only recognition these graduates and their families receive for choosing selfless military service as their chosen profession,” said. Dr. Cyndi Porter, president of OCS-SA. “It allows Military City USA to be the first to say ‘Thank You for Your Service.’”
The virtual event highlighted honorees individually and contained special messages from senior leaders throughout Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA), the San Antonio community, businesses and civic leaders, and various military and veteran support organizations.
Gift boxes were mailed previously to each honoree packed with meaningful items such as a “First to Say Thank You” certificate of honor, branch-specific embroidered stole, a USAA-sponsored OCS-SA challenge coin, and mementos from sponsors, including a box of Girl Scout cookies.
In addition to honoring high school graduates, the Gen. Colin L. Powell Award for Supporting Military Service Opportunities was presented to Alissa Pérez Karen, a college counselor at Susan E. Wagner High School.
OCS was created in 2009 to recognize and honor local graduating high school seniors who plan to enlist in the military after high school graduation. It also provides future service members and their families with access to educational resources and connects them with military support groups.
Initially beginning as one ceremony in southern New Jersey in 2009, OCS ceremonies have spread across the nation. The ceremonies are planned and executed by volunteers, including military veterans, high school and college educators, local businesses, community leaders, and active duty military personnel.
The event can be viewed in its entirety at https://OurCommunitySalutesSA.org/.