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Student veterans lay wreath at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

WCU student veterans pay their respects to the unknown fallen American heroes after laying their wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery.

Four Western Carolina University students participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Friday, Nov. 16, at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.

The student veterans – Robert Buchmann of Colville, Washington, who is majoring in electrical engineering; Matthew Kiefer of Asheboro, a double major in history and education; Taylor Mitchell of Clyde, a nursing major; and Taylor Propst of Greensboro – marched alongside the tomb guard to place the wreath to honor the unknown fallen American heroes.

WCU student veterans making the trip to Arlington National Cemetery are (from left) Matthew Kiefer, Taylor Propst, Robert Buchmann and Taylor Mitchell.

“It was a very humbling experience,” said Kiefer. “Often in life we get in such a hurry, we forget to think about all those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the things we take for granted every day. Without a doubt, it was an absolute honor to get to partake in the wreath-laying ceremony, and a big thanks to those who made the trip possible.”

This was the second time WCU students have been part of the ceremony, with the first trip to the tomb occurring in 2016. The trip is part of the WCU Military Student Services office’s commitment to military students, veterans and alumni.

“This event is one of the ways we can honor our active duty and veteran students. By supporting these student veterans’ trip to Arlington National Cemetery to lay this wreath, we can honor all of those in the WCU family who serve or have served,” said Susan Fouts, the university’s executive director of educational outreach.

For more information about the Tomb of the Unknown Solider and Arlington National Cemetery, visit

For more information about Military Student Services at WCU, visit or contact Briana Ford, office director, at

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