Moffat County grad’s West Point class ring connects generations of veterans with today’s military leaders
November 10, 2016
Craig — Class rings worn by graduates of West Point connect today's military leaders with generations of veterans and those who died at the World Trade Center.
The metal used to make the rings comes both from the World Trade Center destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001 and from rings of past graduates donated to be melted down to create new rings.
Jake Teeter, a 2013 Moffat County graduate, who is in his final year attending West Point, received his ring earlier this year during Ring Week.
"On the surface level it represents the first three years at the academy. Times of many ups and downs, successes and failures, and the relationships and bonds that I have developed in those three years," said Jake by text message.
The ring has a deeper meaning.
"It also serves as a constant reminder for the sacrifices veterans have made for our freedoms and the reasons I have decided to pursue the profession in which I am about to enter come May 27," Jake texted.
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According to the academy website, in 1853, West Point became the first school in the United States to issue graduating class rings.
The tradition of including metal of old rings, some a century or older, was started in 2000. Metal from the World Trade Center has recently been included in the mix, according to West Point Association of Graduates.
For Jake the World Trade Center metal, "symbolizes pain and struggle we have gone through as a nation."
Military service is a proud tradition for the Teeter family of Moffat County and Jake's father Bobby Teeter, an Army veteran, attended Jake's ring ceremony.
"I was just so proud of him making it," Bobby said. "The class ring binds my son to the long grey line of men and women who commission as officers from West Point."
Next year Jake will be leading an artillery unit as a second lieutenant, and his younger brother Josh is thinking about entering the military.
The men are following a path into service taken by Bobby, grandfather Eugene Teeter, grandmother Mary Teeter, Uncle Dave Teeter, Aunt and Uncle Susan and John Anderson.
"The fact that my father and mother served, I think that's why Jake and Josh are going into military service. To serve is a family tradition," Bobby Teeter said.
For the Teeter family Veteran's day is an important day.
"It's a time to reflect on what the men and women of our country have sacrificed," Bobby Teeter said. "We are one nation."