TROY cadet gets first salute from brother stationed in Iraq

Posted: Friday, 24 August 2007

TROY—Troy University student Eric J. Sattelberg enjoyed a visit with his brother Ryan on Friday, but it was not the usual get-together between siblings.

Sattelberg, 27, an Army ROTC cadet, received his commission as a second lieutenant in a special ceremony in the Trojan Center Theatre. Part of the ceremony included the newly commissioned officer’s first salute from an enlisted person. Ryan, 29, an Army staff sergeant, delivered the first salute—from the field in Iraq.

The first salute was broadcast over the Internet via satellite and was made possible by Freedom Calls Foundation. Freedom Calls, based in New York, is a non-profit foundation that allows soldiers in the field to make direct contact with their families on special occasions such as weddings, birthdays and anniversaries.

Eric Sattelberg, a native of La Luz, NM, came to Troy University after being stationed at nearby Fort Rucker as an enlisted man. He enrolled in the Army’s “Green to Gold” program that trains enlisted personnel to be officers. He majored in criminal justice while enrolled in the Army ROTC program at Troy.

“When we set up the commissioning ceremony I said it would be nice if my brother could salute me,” Eric said. “I had told him when I first came into the program that he would be my first salute. We had to find a way to make it happen.”

Troy University’s Army ROTC staff contacted Freedom Calls and, with the help of the University’s information technology department, put the system in place to make the salute possible. Eric and Ryan were able to visit a few minutes by telephone after the ceremony, as did his parents, Vern and Sharon Sattelberg.

The ceremony also featured remarks from retired Gen. Gerald Dial, a member of the Troy University Board of Trustees and executive director of the Rural Alabama Action Commission. He thanked the ROTC cadets for their willingness to serve their nation.