SHADY SPRING, WV (WVNS) — It is not every day a person gets to come back to their high school and showcase their accomplishments since graduation. One Shady Spring alumnus got the chance to do so in a pretty exciting fashion.

Matthew Sweeney graduated in 2020, during the height of the pandemic. At that time, he was not sure what he wanted to do. Sweeney said even up to his senior year he did not really have a plan, and where he is now, he never considered it before.

He became a member of the Air force Color guard drill team. As part of the team he travels around the world, and it even brought him back to his alma mater.

“We get to travel all over the world I have performed in NBA games NFL games but this is probably my favorite performance getting to be back here and back home,” said Sweeney, an Airman First Class.

Sweeney came back to his old high school to show family, friends, and former classmates a glimpse into his life now.

Completely synchronized marching and flying rifles captivated the students and staff at shady spring high school, condensing the twenty-minute performance they prepare for packed stadiums and presidential inaugurations into a seven-minute assembly.

He said it was surreal returning to the school where his future was so uncertain years ago.

Sweeney decided to join the military ultimately after an air force recruiter presented to his class. And it was that very recruiter who helped set up this performance.

“During my time in recruiting this will probably be my most memorable event to have someone that I have put in the Air Force, see what they have been doing and then have them come back to their home town to perform what they have been training for,” said TSgt. Franco Pace with Air Force recruiting.

Sweeney hopes this performance may impact some students in the crowd the same way TSgt. Pace impacted him.

“I’m hoping they join the air force, in my opinion, it is the greatest branch, I mean we need people in all branches of the military but in my opinion air force is the way to go so hopefully we have some recruits that come out of this performance,” said Sweeney.

From here the team will go to Phoenix to perform in front of high schools and even on Monday Night Football, but they plan to be back in Raleigh County very soon.