VMI cadet marched before president

Published 1:11 pm Saturday, February 4, 2017

A former Southampton Middle School student — now a cadet at Virginia Military Institute, experience a thrill of a lifetime when he and 1,699 other future officers marched in the Inauguration parade for President Donald Trump on Jan. 20.

“It was good,” said Trever Barnes, regimental color sergeant and CEA assistant investigator at the school. “I’m part of the color staff. I marched with the colors of the United States, Virginia and school flags.

VMI was sent an invitation to participate and the school accepted.

“We came back from break and practiced everyday,” said Barnes. There were 1,700 who went up that Friday in 32 buses. In the parade formation, VMI was last, but not least.

“It was thrilling,” he added.

His mother, Molly Rogers, said that the cadets, complete with the VMI Regimental Pipe Band, could be heard before being seen.

Barnes is the son of Allen Barnes of Southampton County; stepson of Ken Rogers; and grandson of Lonnie and Hope Barnes of Courtland.

A student since August 2014, the cadet will graduate in May 2018; medical school is planned for afterward.

“I always knew I wanted to be in service,” he said. “I dreamed of being a Marine.”

Later he looked into officer programs and was thinking what would be best for him. His mother suggested VMI. After a visit, he knew that was the place to be.

“I’ll be the first in my family to graduate from a four-year university,” Barnes said.

The recent parade was not his first. The school was flown out to march in the Rose Bowl Parade on Jan. 1, 2016, courtesy of alumni contributions.

“It was definitely a lot of fun,” he recalled. “It was my first time out in California. We got to go to Universal Studios as a side trip. I even had a buddy come up from San Diego.”