The Lakeland Community College Veterans Center and local chapter of the Student Veterans of America have collaborated with the national organization Team Red, White & Blue to form Ohio’s first all-female American Legion color guard. The color guard is a unit charged with the protection and presentation of our nation’s flag, the colors. It is an honor to be the bearer or protector of the colors, which is why the term honor guard is often used in place of color guard. The presentation of the colors and the color guard are steeped in military tradition and history. Today it is mainly used in ceremonies that honor our nation and military.
This all-female color guard is comprised of six members, all of whom are veterans affiliated with Lakeland Community College. The members include Lakeland students, alumni, faculty and staff, and are veterans of multiple branches of the U.S. military.
“To be the first all-female American Legion color guard in the state of Ohio, knowing that there have been fewer than 10 in the nation, is something really special,” says S. Rhonda Osagie-Erese, manager of Lakeland’s Veteran’s Center. “There will never be another first. Female veterans are now starting to gain recognition.”
This Friday, July 1, the color guard will be presenting the colors at the Lake County Captain’s game at Classic Park in Eastlake. The colors will be presented during the pregame show starting at 6 p.m. For game details, tickets and more, visit captainsbaseball.com.
Speaking on the importance of this first for Ohio, Osagie-Erese continues, “Our brothers in arms have emulated the discipline and bravery it takes to protect the freedoms we enjoy – and so have women. Women too have sacrificed, died, and bravely fought for our way of life since the Civil War. This color guard stands for all the women who served, yet were never regarded as veterans. We see the female veterans of Ohio and worldwide and we honor them.”