Aspiring service members were flying high Wednesday after U.S. soldiers pay them a special visit. As the CH-47 Chinook helicopter prepared to take off, so were the career goals of Taylor County High School students.
Shane Bailey, a JROTC senior, said, "After I get out of school I'll probably go to sniper school in the Army and do a field there, and hopefully jump out of one of these things."
These airmen flew from Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Georgia to show off the military's fastest helicopter, and to encourage these JROTC students to pursue their lofty goals.
1st LT Louis Williams, pilot with the Georgia Army National Guard, said, "If I would've thought that I was going to do something like this when I was in college, I would've said it wasn't possible. To be able to come out there and tell the ones who are probably in my situation in high school that it's very possible. It's an honor and don't give up on your dreams."
While students imagined flying the heavy lift aircraft, they were told of a real mission to Afghanistan.
Vernon Atkinson, Flight Facility Commander for the Georgia Army National Guard, said, "They flew approximately 7,500 hours. This unit was accident free, we brought everyone home. We set a lot of records as far as the internal loads that they carry. They did a super job."
Justin Mrotz, a JROTC sophomore, said, "Talking to a soldier, you can't, there's nothing like it. The pride that they have in their country is just amazing. Hopefully I can share that pride one day."
The students say this once in a lifetime experience will stay with them through the rest of their lives.