Trip to D.C. Invaluable for Alvirne CadetsMarch 21, 2014
The Alvirne Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps. took an action-packed trip to Washington, D.C., over February school break. The group’s sixth trip ever to the nation’s capital, this was by far the most successful. A five-student team, headed by Deputy Group Commander Carolyn Deneault, planned the trip in detail, securing bus transportation and rooms, coordinating with the state congressional delegation, figuring out where 44 people were going to eat, and determining all the places to be visited and people to be seen. They coordinated two years of fundraising events like cleaning up the New Hampshire Motor Speedway after the races and running the concessions at all of the drill competitions. Cadets also reached out to local civic and military support organizations including the American Legion, Kiwanis, the Knights of Columbus, and the VFW, all of whom made generous donations.
The trip started the Sunday morning of winter break with an eight-hour bus ride to the hotel in College Park, Md., specifically chosen because of the indoor amenities like a pool, Jacuzzi, and indoor “Fundome.” During the next three days in Washington, the students traveled from location to location, touring museums, monuments, historical sites, memorials, and government buildings. While on the trip, each student was responsible for giving a short presentation about a site that would be visited. Day-one highlights were numerous: visiting the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum to see the space shuttle Discovery, touring Arlington Cemetery to witness the Changing of the Guard, and viewing all of the monuments and memorials on the mall. On the second day, all of the cadets were in uniform to tour the Capitol and Pentagon and then made a trip to Andrews Air Force Base to see where the VIP airlift wing operates. On the last day, the group toured the White House, the Supreme Court building, and met with all three congressional delegates. The final stop was the Air and Space Museum where, after the final presentations were given, students had the opportunity to visit any museum in the Smithsonian complex.
The cadets even dealt with a little bit of snow while there and still kept to their busy itinerary. This opportunity to visit the nation’s capital and meet with elected state officials was an invaluable outside-the-classroom experience. Alvirne JROTC freshmen and sophomores can’t wait until February 2016 when the group will once again visit Washington, D.C.