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How You Can Honor Hero JROTC Cadet Peter Wang, No Matter Where You Are
Peter Wang gave his life to save his fellow classmates when a disgraced former student opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14, but hundreds of service members and veterans across the U.S. are working to ensure that the JROTC cadet’s sacrifice is remembered forever.
After reports emerged that the 15-year-old freshman was last seen alive wearing his JROTC uniform while holding the door for other Stoneman Douglas students to escape, the moderators of r/military — Reddit’s main military forum — immediately began working behind the scenes to honor Wang’s heroism.
Peter WangPhotographs by 21st Century Photography (888) 275-5752
“We saw so many posts by people who wanted to step up and come together as a community to provide support for the family,” rbevans, a r/military moderator, former Army fuel specialist, and Iraq veteran who asked not to be identified by name, told Task & Purpose in a phone interview.
The outpouring of support was immediate and tremendous.
“[The moderators] started with nothing,” rbevans said. “Within a few hours, we had folks stepping up for a color guard team, to send interpreters for mourners, folks reaching out to the Army band. People are passing this up the chain of command across all branches.”
While the Wang family plans on a JROTC honor guard at Peter’s funeral on Feb. 20, they told the r/military organizers that they “would love if there could be a military presence,” they wrote in a recent update. And for those unable to attend the memorial ceremonies for Peter, r/military has provided details on how well-wishers can send patches or challenge coins to the Wang family as a sign of respect for their son’s sacrifice.
“Giving someone a patch or a challenge coin is an honor, a sign of appreciation and respect for a serious achievement,” rbevans told Task & Purpose. “JROTC isn’t technically part of the military, but what Peter Wang did truly exemplifies and embodies that highest value of selfless service.”
Candles that were placed on crosses still glow after last nights vigil for victims of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, at Pine Trail Park, on February 16, 2018 in Parkland, Florida.Getty Images/Mark Wilson
Here’s how you can help honor Peter Wang and his family:
Attend the memorial services: Here’s the official information, courtesy of the Wang family:
Funeral services for Peter Wang will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 20th from 11:00am-2pm at Kraeer Funeral Home, 1655 N. University Dr., Coral Springs, 33071. 954-753-8960.
Burial to follow afterwards at Star Of David Memorial Gardens Cemetery, 7701 Bailey Rd., North Lauderdale, 33068. 954-722-9000.
Peter's family invites everyone to join them after the burial service at Miyako Japanese & Seafood Buffet, 1157 S. Federal Highway, Pompano Beach, 33062. 954-783-8883.
Send a patch or challenge coin: The moderators of r/military created a pop-up submission form for service members and vets to register before receiving a mailing address for the collection of unit patches or challenge coins. Though the form was closed due to volume after a whopping 276 submissions in 24 hours, r/military offered to reopen submissions when reached by Task & Purpose and is reachable through Reddit’s messaging system here.
Donate to Peter’s JROTC program: As Task & Purpose previously reported, the Broward County school system’s JROTC program boasts an average enrollment of 7,650 students annually across 28 of its 34 high schools. The family told r/military that the proceeds from a Peter Wang Memorial Fund GoFundMe campaign, established by family friend Chino Loeng, would go to supporting the program Wang attended at Stoneman Douglas.
“The family is overwhelmed by the level of support from everyone and wants to ensure that future kids get the level of support that Peter received from JROTC,” a family representative told r/military.
A West Point graduate received a waiver from the U.S. Army to sign with the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday, and play in the NFL while serving as an active-duty soldier.
The waiver for 2nd Lt. Brett Toth was first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter, who said that Toth signed a three-year deal with the Eagles. Toth graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 2018.
QUETTA, Pakistan/KABUL (Reuters) - The brother of the leader of the Afghan Taliban was among at least four people killed in a bomb blast at a mosque in Pakistan on Friday, two Taliban sources told Reuters, an attack that could affect efforts to end the Afghan war.
An Indiana Army National Guard soldier died Thursday night during a training accident at Fort Hood.
According to a Fort Hood press release, the soldier's injuries came from "a tactical vehicle accident in the training area." The name of the soldier is being withheld until the family is notified.
The incident, which occurred at around 10 p.m., will be investigated by the Army Combat Readiness Center at Fort Rucker, Alabama, the release said.
Nearly 32% of active-duty military deaths between 2006 and 2018 have been the result of accidents, according to an analysis from the Congressional Research Service.
The Army has had a number of vehicular deaths this year. In June, one West Point cadet was killed and 21 others were injured when a tactical vehicle rolled during training. A vehicle rollover at Fort Irwin, California killed one soldier and injured three others that same month, and in May, a rollover killed one soldier and injured a dozen others at Fort Polk, La.