East Rowan graduate honored to be behind the scenes at inauguration
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009
East Rowan High School graduate Rion J. Ehrman had special training to be at President Obama’s inauguration.
Air Force Airman 1st Class Ehrman is son of Robert and Cindy Ehrman of Log Barn Road. For him, weeks of training and coordination, along with many early morning and late night rehearsals in rainy, frigid weather, paid off in helping to make this historical inauguration a huge success.
Obama’s inauguration marked the 56th time the U.S. military has helped welcome the incoming commander in chief. The tradition goes back to the first U.S. chief executive, George Washington.
Ehrman is one of more than 700 members supporting the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee, a joint-service organization formed to coordinate all military participation and support for the 10-day period of Inaugural events.
Ehrman escorted foreign dignitaries during the inauguration. “What an honor,” said Ehrman, a 2007 graduate of East Rowan High School.
Whether performing as a member of the color guard, as a driver, street security, usher or escort for distinguished visitors, participating in marching bands, or salute batteries, to working behind the scenes as contingency support personnel, Ehrman, and the others undergo intensive training and preparation for the ceremonial support that they will provide.
“We’ve been training for a few weeks for this event. We’re ready to make everything work perfectly,” Ehrman said shortly before the inauguration.
For Ehrman, it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“I’m extremely honored knowing that there are millions of people trying to get into the inauguration, much less be in it,” he said.
For Ehrman, Jan. 20 goes down as a day in history that he will never forget, and a day that begins a fresh start for a new president and the nation.
ó Army & Air Force Hometown News Service