Western Technical College had the honor of hosting a re-enlistment ceremony for Staff Sergeant William D. Franklin, which was held in the Diesel Technology shop area on Thursday, October 18th. In attendance were several of SSG Franklin's unit including: 1LT Eulogio Garcia, who administered the re-enlistment oath, SPC Kierra Jones, SGT David Salaswat, SPC Tiffany Summers, 2LT Landon Miller, SGT Michael Wolfe, SPC John D. Hopkins, and SGT Jesse Brown. Also in attendance to support SSG Franklin was his wife Tracsean and daughter Lisa. The re-enlistment ceremony was held at 4:00 pm and was immediately followed by a celebratory reception.
During the ceremony SSG Franklin asked his Diesel Technology Instructor Jose Molinar to hold the American Flag. Molinar says, "It was an honor and a great pleasure that a student wanted me to participate in holding the American flag on his important day. At first when he asked me, I thought he was joking, but he asked again. I looked at him and now realized that it was not a joke. Of course I told him with great pleasure that I would hold the American flag. After my response, I was speechless; I've never had anyone ask me to do anything that important." Of SSG Franklin, Molinar says, "Mr. Franklin is a great student. After a long day at his work in performing his duties in the military, he still comes in to college to learn a different career. His motivation to learn makes my job easy and enjoyable."
According to SSG Franklin "Every Soldier that chooses to Re-Enlist has the option to have the ceremony anywhere (reasonable) they may choose. I chose Western Technical College because I feel that I am winding down one career and starting another. I feel that it is only fitting for me to have it there... I joined the Army in 1997 and have served 4 deployments to Iraq. I have a wife and three children, but I chose to re-enlist because I love my job. I chose Western Tech because after doing the research and meeting with the counselors, it was the best decision I could make."
Of his time at Western Technical College SSG Franklin says, "As a Soldier, it is imperative that you have an education aside of the training you receive... The only way to progress in and outside the Army is with education... My experience at Western Tech thus far has been an enjoyable one. I've had the privilege of meeting interesting people and have learned a lot, in this short period of time." Finally SSG Franklin has some advice for others thinking about an education: "If you want to go to school then GO! Stop making excuses. Western Tech has 11 different programs and three time blocks that you can adjust your schedule around."
Jack Werner, Director of the Automotive, Diesel and Tuner Programs at Western Tech, says "Western Tech is honored by the individual choice made by SSG Franklin. He has dedicated his life to defend his country, the Constitution, and the values of America set forth by the founding fathers and he allowed Western Tech to be part of it. We are part of the history of his life and his Military Career, in twenty years when he looks back, Western Tech will be part of his Military memories and the platform that helped prepare him for a career after the Military. Without soldiers like SSG Franklin, Western Tech would not have students with the freedom of choice to follow the career paths that we train them for."
As a Top Military Friendly School, as named by G.I. Jobs Magazine, it is a great honor for Western Technical College to be able to give back to our military community through education and being able to host events like the re-enlistment ceremony for SSG Franklin.