SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — A special graduation ceremony of sorts was held at the 185th Air Guard base Thursday to honor several Siouxland high school students on their decision to join the armed forces.

To do so, stoles were placed on the future servicemen with symbols representing their chosen military branch.

Bishop Heelan sophomore Maria McGowan said her older brother wore a similar stole when he graduated and that’s where the idea began.

“This needs to go bigger, this needs to reach more people, and we took it into our own hands and made this possible. We had an incredible graphic designer who was able to create these stoles and now we’re able to have this program up and running to spread across the nation,” said McGowan.

Nine seperate military recruits were represented from the Air and National Guards.