On the morning of November 11, 2015, Brigadier General Michael Fantini was not getting ready to go to work at the Pentagon; he was preparing to run with his daughter during Syracuse University’s second annual Veterans Day Fun Run/Walk. This would be the start to a busy day for both father and daughter.
General Fantini was the keynote speaker at this year’s Veterans Day Ceremony. General Fantini knew about his part in the ceremony, but did not know that his daughter would also have a key role in the ceremony. Cadet Elizabeth Fantini carried a flag down the aisle to be saluted by Chief Petty Officer Jake VanMarter, U.S. Navy Reserves, before being passed along to Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud. It was easy to see that it was not Brigadier General Fantini watching the interaction; it was a father watching his daughter carry on a Syracuse University tradition.
While General Fantini was pleased to be asked to be a part of this ceremony honoring veterans, he might have been looking forward to another, possibly greater honor. Later in the day, General Fantini enlisted his daughter into the United States Air Force. Cadet Fantini knew that she would be receiving an Air Force ROTC scholarship in advance of the Veterans Day Ceremony. She could have chosen to enlist sooner, but she chose to wait, giving her dad the opportunity to enlist her.