GRC Cadets Send Care Packages Overseas to National Guard Unit

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, March 1, 2022

When there is war, there is a homefront, and when there is a homefront, there are care packages.

The JRTOC unit at George Rogers Clark High School is doing its part to continue the cycle of kindness by assembling care packages for a Kentucky Army National Guard Unit for its annual service project.

“We do a service-learning project every year. In the past years, they have done things like clean up the Winchester city creek area and volunteering time at a veteran’s hospital,” said one of the cadets’ instructors, retired Lt. Colonel Tom Krupp.

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The cadets’ packages are going to Bravo Company of the 1-149th Infantry, based out of Somerset. The unit is currently deployed on a peacekeeping mission in the African nation of Djibouti.

“This 175-member unit is made up of folks–men, it’s an all-male unit–from all over Kentucky. Many from this area, the Lexington area,” Krupp said.

The care packages include heavily requested items such as non-perishable food products, wet wipes, sunblock and puzzles that the soldiers can enjoy during their downtime.

Another gesture of gratitude will accompany the care packages.

“The cadets are working on letters of appreciation,” Krupp said. “Just to show that Kentucky is behind everything that these men do for us as service members.”

To read a cadet’s letter, see the Sun’s Opinion page. 

Besides being a show of support, the letters also function as an educational opportunity.

“On the practical side, we teach them how to write a letter. Everything from addressing it correctly, formatting correctly, and to addressing the envelope,” Krupp said.

The cadets are also learning the steps to mail a package overseas

For some of them, learning about the unit’s mission is a preview of their future.

“Many of our cadets here, the seniors in particular, are deciding what they want to do later on in their lives. Some are even enlisting in the Kentucky [National] Guard coming out of high school, so I think it hits home for them that the community, high school, and folks from around the community support what they do,” Krupp said.

A soldier from the unit has sent video clips showing cadets what life is like in Djibouti and has exposed them to the nation’s culture and the level of poverty that exists in the Horn of Africa.

The soldiers have a tough assignment, and the cadets understand that.

“This is our way of saying thank you to soldiers for doing what most people don’t want to do. It takes bravery and commitment to do what they do,” senior Ethan Muncie said.