Air Force Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps cadets from Kaiserslautern American High School took a day-long trip Oct. 12, to see multiple World War I battle sites in and around Verdun, France.
In addition to giving cadets a chance to explore Europe, the trip reinforced the curriculum on the history of aviation that they have been studying.
Cadets began an early day, leaving for France at 6 a.m. and soon arriving at the American cemetery at St. Mihel.
Cadets toured the cemetery, seeing many heroes from the Army Air Corps, such as Lt. John Mitchell, the brother of Brig. Gen. Billy Mitchell. They also explored a museum of World War I history and walked through the destroyed town of Fleury.
“It was a very somber experience, walking among graves all the way from 1918,” said Cadet Staff Sgt. Andrew Collins.
Finally, cadets stopped at the French Fort Douaumont, and its nearby memorial.
Cadets said the fort was amazing, but, they most enjoyed seeing history.
After a brief experience with French culture in the city of Verdun, cadets ate dinner in a French restaurant and made the trip back home.
“This trip was cool,” said Cadet Airman 1st Class Cody Ewest. “We got to eat great food, and have a great time exploring monuments and forts.”
Cadets said they now have real-life experiences to help understand the history of the airplane and Air Force.