By Elaine King
At 6 in the morning, students of the JROTC program at Bellbrook High School arrived at Parris Island where they would kick off their next four days in South Carolina with a grueling march on base. Each year, the JROTC students take a trip to a military base and learn what it means to serve beyond what the program can teach in the barricades of BHS. February 14-18, the students visited the Marine Corps base out of South Carolina as well as The USS Yorktown, Fort Sumter, and Myrtle Beach.
The students spent thirteen hours on a charter bus to travel to South Carolina. Senior, Billy Powell says, “We hardly got any sleep on the bus and when we arrived, a drill instructor hopped on the bus and started yelling.” To simulate the life of a Marine, the students experienced a 10-mile march in the early hours of the morning with the screams and shouts of drill instructors in their ears. The instructor made them run, march, and move through obstacle courses for 3 hours before the students had breakfast. Despite the difficulty and hardships of the march, junior Taylor Seitner revealed that it was an experience she’d never forget.
Sophomores Katie Licher and Cara Fine also deemed the trip unforgettable. Powell, Seitner, Licher, and Fine all responded with the same response when asked what made it such an unforgettable trip: “The friendships I made and the time spent at the beach with my classmates.” On the last day of the trip, the students spent a couple of hours soaking up the sun at Myrtle Beach. It was at the beach that these students felt they bonded with some of their classmates.
Although the beginning shocked and tired the students, the trip did not deter the students from the armed forces. Billy Powell may not see a future in the Marine Corps but he does see a future in the Air Force. Even as underclassmen, Fine and Licher know they want to be in the armed forces. Neither have chosen a branch, but Fine admitted that the Marine Corps was probably not for her.