Jordan Cochran | North Plains EC, 2018
By Jessica Ridge | June 1, 2019
As Jordan Cochran stood on the steps above the Tomb of the Unknown soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, she readied for her role in a wreath-laying ceremony. She knew she was about to follow in the footsteps of her grandfather, Navy veteran Warren Rivers, who took part in the solemn ritual a decade earlier. She had no idea, however, that her mom would make a surprise appearance to see her reprise the nascent family legacy.
“I was actually a little bit nervous because I had never done something so special and important,” Cochran says. “I was really missing my mom and home when I saw her. It was a really great surprise.”
As welcome and emotional as the reunion was, Cochran knew she had to maintain her composure. “I wanted to cry, but I didn’t want any makeup to be smeared for the ceremony,” she remembers, laughing about that humid summer day of Youth Tour in 2018.
Of all the experiences Cochran enjoyed on the trip to Washington, the wreath-laying ceremony and a visit to the newly opened Museum of the Bible were among the most personally meaningful for her. But she’s still amazed by all she saw in those chock-full days in D.C. When she looks back at the itinerary—a copy of which she has held on to as a keepsake—she’s almost incredulous. “I don’t understand how we did that in so little time. It’s crazy,” says Cochran, who was sponsored by North Plains Electric Cooperative.
As she negotiates the transition to college, juggling her job as a barista and work as a library aide, the former Canadian High School basketball player attributes a newfound self-assurance to her time on Youth Tour.
“It’s made me more of an independent woman,” she says. “I’ve had a few times where I’ve had to do college things, like talking to admissions counselors, and I’ve done it on my own. I feel more confident.”