Dan Armes 0W9 is serving in Afghanistan with the Florida Army National Guard and is making sure Williamson College of the Trades is well represented — by displaying a Williamson flag.
Arme’s came up with the idea of having a flag that Williamson graduates serving in the military can take with them when they are deployed to various locations in this country and abroad, representing the patriotic spirit of Williamson. The flag features three large stripes, each with one of Williamson’s three colors — red, blue, and gold, and the name of the school and the year it was founded.
“Williamson is a patriotic school and many alumni have served in the military,” Armes said. “There are plaques at Williamson honoring Williamson’s veterans from past wars. There’s a war going on now in Afghanistan and people here at home don’t always realize that. I want to give some recognition to today’s alumni who are serving, whether it’s in Afghanistan, another country, or here in the United States.
“I have it with me in Afghanistan, hanging in my hut. When I return to the United States, I will bring it to Williamson and help locate other alumni serving in the military so they can take it with them.”
For Armes, joining the Army and volunteering to go to Afghanistan for nine months came easily — he comes from a patriotic family that has been serving in the military since the 1600s. His ancestors fought in the Indian wars before the United States was a country and in most of our country’s wars since. “Now it’s my time to carry on the family tradition. I’m glad to be serving my country in Afghanistan.”
Armes is part of an Army team deployed to a Marine base in support of Operations Task Force South-West operating in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan. He is managing food and fuel logistics and oversees the team that manages the flight line and all material handling equipment (MHE).
He enjoys serving his country in the National Guard and has helped local law enforcement with such natural disasters as Hurricane Irma.
Armes studied horticulture at Williamson with the idea of going into aboriculture, until he realized he didn’t enjoy climbing trees. He then turned his attention to landscape maintenance and pesticide control.
He refers to his Williamson education as an experience. “I got an education in landscaping, but there was more to my time at Williamson than just that; I learned things outside of the classroom. I was in Campus Crusade for Christ and the Federation of Christian Athletes and my Christian background helped keep me grounded.”
He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in landscaping and horticulture at Florida Southern College and currently works as an EMT for an ambulance company.
In the future, Armes hopes to fulfill another plan, starting a group of millennial alumni who have served in the military since 2001, when the Afghanistan war started. It would provide an opportunity for alumni who have a Williamson education and military service in common to socialize.
If you are a Williamson alumnus who has served or is currently serving in the U.S. military the Office of Institutional Advancement would love to hear from you. Please send us your name, class year, branch of service, and place of deployment to firstname.lastname@example.org.