EASLEY — The Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) of Easley High School spent three days in November on an educational field trip to the nation’s capital.
The group left Easley on Wednesday, Nov. 14, and returned home on Saturday, Nov. 17.
“Included on this trip were visits to the United States Capitol with an introduction to Easley’s Congressman, Jeff Duncan, many museums and monuments, the United States Naval Academy, and the National Monument of Fort McHenry,” said Chief Stauder USN ret.
The field trip provided students the opportunity to visit a variety of government buildings and military attractions.
“The first stop was at the United States Marine Corps museum located at Quantico, VA. This stop was en-route to Annapolis, MD. and was a brief visit due to time constraints but was enjoyed by all. Thursday was a busy day starting with the opportunity to meet with Congressman Duncan expressing his views on the importance of representing us in Washington DC and posing for a photograph with the Cadets on the steps of the Capitol,” Stauder said.
Stauder said that the students also visited Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum, the Museum of American History, and Museum of Natural History.
“The United States Naval Academy was the first stop on Friday, visiting the tomb of John Paul Jones, the academy’s museum, ending the morning with a short cruise on a Yard Patrol craft. Friday afternoon was spent at Fort McHenry with a fantastic video presentation of how the United States fought back the British invasion during the war of 1812; this was when Francis Scott Key wrote the poem “The Star Spangled Banner” which became our National Anthem in 1931,” said Stauder. “Our final stop of the trip was attending an ice hockey game between the Naval Academy and Drexel College. Easley’s NJROTC Color Guard performed in the opening ceremonies presenting the National Colors during the National Anthem. The game was very exciting from the beginning (face-off) to the end, the game went into overtime with Navy winning 5 to 4.”
The cadets included in the trip were, Richard Baehser, Courtney Boyd, Matthew Bradshaw, Zyde Copley, Ashley Covington, Esan Cruell, Hunter Dodd, Chasity Gamble, Case Godfrey, Kenny Goubert, Michelle Green, Allen Hall, Nicholas Hawkins, Tyler Hawkins, Justin Hill, Conner Hillegass, Elliott Hunter, Savannah Kalasinski, Sidney Kilpatrick, Haley Lane, Catlyn LaVigne, Natanael Lopez, Brenda Lopez-Perez, Leanne Lusk, Lauren Machen, Ben Marlow, Michael Mayfield, Sebrina Nicholson, Emilza Porras, Amanda Poston, Pamela Rico, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Colton Sheriff, Joseph Sigler, Steven Smith, Jessica Taylor, Elizabeth Vaughn, Matthew West, Mitchell Whitener, and Jack Young.
“It was very rewarding to see the interest of the Cadets as they progressed from seeing the original flag at Smithsonian’s Museum of American History and then to Fort McHenry where it was flown when the Star Spangled Banner was written and then presenting colors as The Star Spangled Banner was played at the opening ceremonies of the Navy ice hockey game.” said Stauder. “It’s like a real life history lesson.”
Stauder expressed his gratitude to everyone involved in making the trip a reality.
“It was a great trip, with many to thank. Congressman Duncan’s staff for being so flexible with his busy schedule to enable the citizens to connect with their voice in Washington, Fort McHenry’s crew for adjusting their schedule to accommodate the visit to such a monumental location and Yard Patrol ops for also adjusting their schedule to ensure Easley’s cadets were able to get underway on a Yard Patrol craft. Also the two chaperones, Mrs. Bruce and Mrs. Hawkins, without them the girls would not have been able to go. Thanks to all,” said Stauder.