News: Ansbach High School Junior ROTC colors return from Afghanistan
Story by Spc. Ondirae Abdullah-Robinson
By Spc. Ondirae H. Abdullah-Robinson and JROTC cadet 2nd Lt. Shanice T. Daugherty
KATTERBACH, Germany - The Ansbach High School Junior ROTC colors were cased in April and carried to Afghanistan by the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade. While in Afghanistan, the colors were flown over each of the bases where 12th CAB soldiers were stationed. Thursday marked the return of the colors to their home station and the Junior ROTC held a ceremony to mark the occasion.
Inside the crowded gymnasium, the crowd is quiet, the music is playing and the cadets are in formation, standing at attention. The ceremony is about to begin.
On Sept. 14 the cadets of the 9th Army Junior Reserve Training Corps battalion, at Ansbach Middle/High School here held a ceremony where their unit colors which traveled with an army brigade around Afghanistan were uncased.
The colors were given to Col. Jay Voorhees Jr., the commander of the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, during a ceremony last May at the helicopter landing pad near brigade headquarters on Katterbach.
“Sgt. 1st Class Randy Dolph and Lt. Col. Dennis Kirstein asked me if I would carry the battalion’s colors with us to Afghanistan,” said Voorhees. “To be quite candid, it was an honor and a privilege to be able to do that because it is what these kids represent.”
The battalion’s colors stayed with the brigade’s colors and traveled with the brigade commander to all of the regional commands and forward operating bases. The colors also flew in helicopters over the Hindu Kush Mountains and over places where the brigade lost soldiers.
At the ceremony Thursday, Command Sgt. Maj. Micheal Clowser, the command sergeant major of the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade and cadet Command Sgt. Maj. Rahim Beatty, the cadet command sergeant major of the 9th AJROTC Battalion, uncased the battalion’s colors.
Voorhees and cadet Lt. Col. Xavier Rodriguez, the cadet commander of the AROTC battalion, attached a streamer that has “Afghanistan” sewn on it.
The majority of the 12th CAB was deployed to Afghanistan while the colors traveled there, which gave the deployed parents of the students an opportunity to be a part of a community project with their children.
Being able to take a part of the Ansbach community with his brigade to travel across Afghanistan made every place a special place. I am very proud of the JROTC program and the students of the high school. They are both extremely important to all the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade does, said Voorhees.