DHS Air Force JROTC visits NYC

DERON TALLEY @DeRonTalley
DHS Air Force JROTC sergeant and cadets stand in the Times Square on their visit to New York City earlier this month.

The Donaldsonville High Air Force JROTC cashed in on hard work put in throughout the year with a trip to New York City during the second week of April. Sergeant Rob Oates and seven cadets spent their Spring Break period visiting the city that never sleeps and learned it is a city that offers so much.

Sgt. Oates said the purpose was to broaden the students’ horizon on what goes on outside of Donaldsonville and “let them know it’s a real world out there.” That purpose was fulfilled.

“The main emphasis was for them to see the 9/11 Memorial and allowing them to see it in person,” Sgt. Oates said. “They have all taken my Sept. 11 Class that I teach every year and they are aware of what happened, but telling them what happened and showing them pictures on the Internet is one thing but bringing them to New York and letting them see the actual grounds; they were very appreciative of what service means.”

The group was able to tour the city’s major landmarks, taste different food choices, attend a Broadway show, and even visit Ellis Island. Five of the students flew for the first time, and all of the students and Sgt. Oates rode a Subway Metro for the first time as well. The experience was like no other overall as the group walked about 25 miles during the course of their visit in the Big Apple.

But by far the consensus was that the 9/11 Memorial Museum was the most special visit the group experienced.

Cadet Jacoby Shepard said visiting the Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building was pretty cool too.

“But the most important thing that I liked about the trip was the 9/11 Memorial Museum,” Shepard said. “It showed so much information and it was special being there.”

Shepard said taking trips like this is very important to them as it “teaches us leadership and shows us there are more places out there that we can see.”

Cadet Tyrek Brewer echoed Shepard and added “when you stay in one place too long you get bored and annoyed with it so it’s always good to see the world and experience all it has to offer.”

“I learned a lot. I liked a lot,” Brewer said. “And I even recognized a building from a movie. But the American Flag that has all the names of the victims who died in the 9/11 attack was really cool to see at the 9/11 Memorial Museum.”