‘This means so much to me’: Special graduation held for teen who will miss ceremony to attend basic training

This Memorial Day, a young woman in Lansing, Kansas, joins five generations of her family serving our nation.Because Shannon Jessup left for U.S. Army basic training Monday night, she missed Lansing High School’s graduation, which was pushed to next month because of the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, Jessup’s graduation came early on Friday. The pomp and circumstance came to her and unfolded in the senior’s family shed.It was a graduation ceremony meant for one.”That’s when I just started crying,” she said. “I was like, ‘This means so much to me.'”Out of Lansing’s 900 graduating seniors, school leaders wanted to recognize Jessup’s accomplishments.”It was a really special day,” said Lansing School District Superintendent Daniel Wessel.Jessup officially joins the Army Reserves this week. For her, military service is a family affair. Her father, sister and grandfather all served — a tradition stretching back five generations. “The support that we’ve been given by our military families through the years, it’s a very small token for us to be able to give back,” Wessel said. As Jessup continues the family tradition, her not-so-traditional graduation helped her celebrate her service and her future. “Even right now I’m kind of like, oh my gosh, this is happening. I’m doing this,” she said.Jessup is off to Fort Jackson in South Carolina. She’ll be back in the fall to attend Kansas City, Kansas Community College, where she’ll also be playing softball.

This Memorial Day, a young woman in Lansing, Kansas, joins five generations of her family serving our nation.

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Because Shannon Jessup left for U.S. Army basic training Monday night, she missed Lansing High School’s graduation, which was pushed to next month because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Instead, Jessup’s graduation came early on Friday. The pomp and circumstance came to her and unfolded in the senior’s family shed.

It was a graduation ceremony meant for one.

“That’s when I just started crying,” she said. “I was like, ‘This means so much to me.'”

Out of Lansing’s 900 graduating seniors, school leaders wanted to recognize Jessup’s accomplishments.

“It was a really special day,” said Lansing School District Superintendent Daniel Wessel.

Jessup officially joins the Army Reserves this week.

For her, military service is a family affair. Her father, sister and grandfather all served — a tradition stretching back five generations.

“The support that we’ve been given by our military families through the years, it’s a very small token for us to be able to give back,” Wessel said.

As Jessup continues the family tradition, her not-so-traditional graduation helped her celebrate her service and her future.

“Even right now I’m kind of like, oh my gosh, this is happening. I’m doing this,” she said.

Jessup is off to Fort Jackson in South Carolina. She’ll be back in the fall to attend Kansas City, Kansas Community College, where she’ll also be playing softball.