Easley NJROTC travels to Washington

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Easley High School Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) completed its annual trip to the nation’s capital on November 20 after three days of hands-on learning.

Following an 11-hour bus ride, the cadets’ first stop on the educational field trip was the United States Marine Corps Museum in Quantico, Va. Upon arrival in Annapolis, Md., the cadets checked on to yard patrol craft (YP-676 & YP-677) which would be their sleeping arrangements for the next three nights. Each craft can accommodate, in tight quarters, 30 people and is very cost effective.

Thursday started with a tour of the Capitol building, followed by pictures and questions with South Carolina senior senator Lindsey Graham. A stop in the Smithsonian Institute’s Museum of American History to see the Star Spangled Banner that was flown at Fort McHenry on September 13-14 of 1814 when the British tried to invade Baltimore was next on the agenda. Visits to the Holocaust Museum, World War II Memorial, Korean Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, and the Vietnam Memorial all came next to complete the Washington, D.C. portion of the field trip.

Stopping the British invasion at Baltimore played a vital role in maintaining the freedom of the United States of America. Visiting Fort McHenry is a priority stop on the trip and brings to life the Naval Science 2 curriculum of Maritime History taught in the NJROTC program. The visitors’ center at Fort McHenry displays a film depicting Dr. Beanes and the events that led up to the writing of the Star Spangled Banner. Easley’s NJROTC cadets helped the Park Rangers change out the after-hours 50-star 13-stripe flag to the daily 15-star 15-stripe flag, a replica of the flag flown in 1814.

Easley’s’ NJROTC Color Guard assisted with the opening ceremonies at the United States Naval Academy ice hockey game against Drexel Friday night and received many compliments from both staff and fans. Most cadets have never seen an ice hockey game and were so excited that they were the leading cheerleaders of the game, keeping the bleachers rocking! Navy lost in overtime, 4-3.

The trip was made possible by chaperones Melissa Little, Natasha Page and Laura Welsh. Support from YP Operations & the Blue Jacket Café also make this trip happen. The folks at the Fort McHenry National Monument also helped this trip be a success with the in-depth description of the battle and the hands on flag handling.

“Thank you all,” said Easley High NJROTC instructor Chief Mark Stauder.

The cadets that accumulated enough support points and chose to participate in the field trip were Richard Baehser, David Berryhill, Christopher Bishop, Jeffery Budesheim, Jacob Churray, Tyler Cummings, Hunter Dodd, Destinee Gilbert, Nathaniel Godfrey, Denton Griffin, Saudra Haire, Conner Hillegas, Andrew Jonakin, Ericka Jordan, Catlyn Lavigne, Ashley Little, Lauren Machen, Breana Manley, Austin Martin, Micharl Mayfield, Joshua McFadden, Dylan Norris, Jonathan Presley, Guner Raby, Shania Ramey, Rodney Rampey, Brittney Scurry, Steven Smith, Emily Thompson, Erica Thompson, Whitney Tripp, Thomas Trotter, Brett Vileikis, Brittney Vileikis, Candace Ward, Leland Welsh, Kaitlyn Williams, Jack R. Young.

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Easley NJROTC cadets help raise the daily flag at Fort McHenry in Baltimore during their recent trip to the nation’s capital.