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Future service members sworn in from Space

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PRINCETON, WV (WVVA) -- Anyone entering the Military must take an Oath of Enlistment to 'reaffirm their commitment to the Constitution and the country.'

Enlistees from our area experienced a one-of-a-kind ceremony at Princeton Senior High School Wednesday afternoon.

Army Astronaut Col. Andrew Morgan swore in nearly 1,000 future service members across the country -- but he wasn't in the room. In fact, he wasn't even on the planet.

He led the ceremony from 250 miles above the Earth, while on the International Space Station.

"It's really a great honor for me to administer oaths of enlistment today from this magnificent ship," Morgan said in his opening remarks. "I'm here as a direct result of the incredible opportunities I had in the Army, and I'm a solider through-and-through."

More than 150 high schools nationwide had new recruits participate. PSHS hosted more than 20 enlistees from area schools who are entering different branches of service.

"It's a great community, we chose this Princeton/Bluefield area for that reason," said Capt. Brooks Demmer of the U.S. Army. "They're incredibly patriotic and very supportive of the Military, and that's why we decided to bring this special moment to the Princeton area."

This is the first time an Oath of Enlistment has been read from Orbit.

"I tell you what, it was definitely something," said future Army Soldier Jon Michael Bugh. "Just to be able to not only swear in, but to be able to be the first to do something like that; it's an honor, it's humbling."

"It's a big honor," said future Marine Dallas Blankenship. "My dad loves Space, and it was really cool for me to be the first one to be sworn in from Space."

Future service members from Princeton, Bluefield and Pikeview High Schools were sworn in during the once in a lifetime ceremony.

Jade Burks

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