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Comrades in arms reunite

New London — Four years after leaving New London High School on their separate military careers, three Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps classmates gathered at The Connecticut College arboretum to celebrate their accomplishments with family members and their former unit commanders.

Kate Ashbey, who graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy on Wednesday, Rebecca Weigel, who will graduate from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point next month, and Alyce Cornish, who is headed to the U.S. Naval Academy after four years of enlisted duty in the U.S. Marine Corps, celebrated with ceremonial oaths and salutes.

Retired Navy Commander Ted Ward, who commanded the NJROTC unit when the three were students, offered words of congratulations and encouragement before administering ceremonials oaths for Ashbey, who took her official oath during Wednesday's virtual commencement for the academy, and Weigel, who will take hers next month.

Weigel's parents, Alan and Diana, who will not be in attendance for their daughter's graduation, took the chance to pin her 2nd lieutenant shoulder board on her uniform. Both graduates also completed a traditional first salute with an active duty service member with Cornish, exchanging the traditional silver dollar in the process.

Ensign Ashbey is headed to Coast Guard Station Key West, where she will be weapons officer on a Fast Response Cutter. Lt. Weigel is headed to artillery training at Fort Sill in Oklahoma. Cpl. Cornish will report to Annapolis later this summer for her Plebe Summer indoctrination.

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