Vilseck High School JROTC Commemorates the World War II Liberation of Czechoslovakia:
There are many advantages military high school dependents stationed overseas get to enjoy over their stateside counterparts. One of these advantages is getting to experience locations with significant stories in history. Many get to travel to places most high school students only read about in history books.
The Vilseck High School, 18th JROTC “Falcon Battalion”, makes it a point for their Cadets to make the most of these types of opportunities that exist while living in Bavaria, Germany.
On November 16th, 2014, eighteen Cadets from the Falcon Battalion traveled to Rokycany, Czechoslovakia to participate in the 25th anniversary celebration of liberation of Czechoslovakia from Nazi Germany during World War II. Czechoslovakia and the particular area around the town of Rokycany mark the furthest point East that US Forces advanced before Germany’s surrender. This is one of many unique opportunities Cadets in the JROTC program at Vilseck High School get to participate.
The Cadets provided a color guard and an exhibition drill team to help Rokycany remember the sacrifices of its own citizens and the allied forces that fought to help liberate this country. Many seem to forget that Czechoslovakia spent the longest amount of time under Nazi occupation. The German Army seized power in September of 1938 when Hitler was allowed to just move into the country unopposed when the Allies chose not to intervene.
The town of Rokycany has continued its special relationship with its American friends living in Germany after the fall of the Iron Curtain. Over the years the battalion has supported Veterans of Foreign Wars organizations, specifically Post 10394 in Grafenwoehr with several events like Rokycany. The Falcon Battalion has built a special relationship with the citizens of Rokycany, both American and Czechoslovakian veterans of World War II and the 2nd Cavalry Regiment stationed here at Rose Barracks. The 2nd Cavalry Regiment’s history is embedded with Rokycany liberation as it was Troopers from the 2nd Cavalry Group that first entered the town.
The experience is one none of the Cadets will ever forget for the rest of their lives. To take part in re-living history made memories and provided something a classroom education often lacks when studying history.
This commemoration gave Cadets a real connection to a piece of history creating a deeper understanding of one of the most influential events in the 20th Century. The Cadets are already talking about what they will do at next year’s ceremony. More Cadets interests want to take part in supporting next year’s Rokycany trip so the battalion expects an event better commemoration next year.
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