On October 28th, the Air Force Junior ROTC students from Oxnard High School visited Hillcrest Retirement Home in Thousand Oaks, as part of their commitment to serving members of their community. The AFJROTC were invited to visit Hillcrest by resident, Lois Kurt, whose two sons had served in the Navy. The AFJROTC Cadets started the event by posting the colors and performing a rifle demonstration. They sang the National Anthem,as well as several other patriotic songs with the residents. Major Weaver, Director of the AFJROTC Program at Oxnard High School, spoke briefly about the United States and what makes it great. Later cadets met one-on-one with residents and interviewed them, asking them to share about their lives, the places they’d traveled, the experiences they had, and any advice for young people today. Several veterans from WWII and the Korean War were interviewed. One of the residents had even been imprisoned in Auschwitz but had managed to escape. The students were amazed at some of the experiences the residents shared with them.
Following their time at the Hillcrest Retirement Home, the cadets visited the Camarillo Aviation Museum and were given a tour of the facility by volunteers, all of whom are military veterans. Cadets saw many aircraft that were used during World War II, including a B-25 Bomber, a Japanese Zero, and they even walked onto a C-47 cargo transport aircraft. After speaking with so many WWII veterans just earlier that day, the AFJROTC cadets had a fresh and profound interest in learning about military history. It was a truly experiential lesson, one not found in a book.