EASLEY – The Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps is all about tradition. In keeping with that tradition, Easley High School’s NJROTC made its annual visit to the nation’s capitol.
“The unit makes this orientation trip every year and the 2015 version included many meaningful events for the cadets,” said retired Navy Chief Mark Stauder, instructor for Easley’s NJROTC. “We started by meeting with Congressman Jeff Duncan, our local representative, on the steps of the U.S. House of Representatives.”
Because the trip was only scheduled for four days, the unit wasted no time and crammed in as much sight-seeing as possible around the D.C., Annapolis and Baltimore areas.
“Following the Capitol Hill visit, the cadets toured the Smithsonian Institute,” said Stauder. “(They saw) the Air and Space, American History and Natural History Museums along with the Holocaust Museum.
“Next on the agenda was witnessing the changing of the guard at Arlington National Cemetery, WWII Memorial, Korean Memorial, Lincoln Memorial and the Vietnam Memorial. That was done on Thursday, it was a busy day.”
That Friday started off with a visit to Fort McHenry where Francis Scott Key penned his now famous poem “The Star Spangled Banner,” followed by a tour of the U.S. Naval Academy, where the cadets were staying.
Later, the group visited the tomb of Admiral John Paul Jones and the Naval Academy’s museum before wrapping up the evening by attending the Navy vs. Towson ice hockey match.
Four of Easley’s cadets participated in the opening ceremonies by presenting colors as the national anthem was played.
“This trip is always a great experience for the cadets,” said Stauder. “There are very few teenagers that have had the opportunity to do what these did in that short amount of time, and hopefully the memories will last a lifetime.”
Cadets that made the trip this year included Wesley Adams, Brady Beckman, Madison Boiling, Thomas Breazeale, MacKenzie Cole, Jacob Davis, Zackery Davis-Winarski, Andrew Dover, William Frazier, Chasity Gamble, Drew Gonzalez, Kelsie Hart, Dylan Henderson, Ryan Jeanes, Jacob King, Rose Kwasniewski and Brenda Lopez-Perez.
Also, Audrey Mangum, Brandon Marsh, Cody Marshall, Katherine Martin, Michael Mason, Brandon McGee, Anthony Miller, Sebrina Nicholson, Emma Nieves Cruz, Dalton Ostraco, Alexandra Poston, Pamela Rico, Jay Scozzaro, Colton Sheriff, Joseph Sigler, Christopher Torres, Jocelyn Torres, Damian Tripp, Griff Von Schmittou, Jordan Watt, Matthew West and Elijah Williams along with chaperones Monica Santiago and Cassie Mangum.
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.