Wiesbaden JROTC cadets take on trash cleanup project
A. J. Enriquez (from left), Bradley Merkley and Jamie Hayes, freshmen at Wiesbaden High School and members of the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps, clean up trash in Hainerberg Housing Jan. 11.

WIESBADEN, Germany - After several people complained about the amount of trash between Wiesbaden High School and the Post Exchange, members of the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps decided to clean it up.
"I think it's a great way to get service hours to get promoted and clean up the community at the same time," said A.J. Enriquez, a freshman who has helped with the cleanup twice. "It's a little bit of selfishness and a little bit of generosity at the same time."
About 15 members of the corps met after school Jan. 11 to clean the areas around the roadways near Wiesbaden High School.
Although people are used to seeing corps members in Army Combat Uniforms or Class A uniforms with white gloves, for this project they wore work clothes, neon vests and blue work gloves.
They picked up trash from the corner of Floridastrasse near the high school, down near the commissary and the skate park, and all the way down Washingtonstrasse to the corner near the Post Exchange and New York Strasse.
Along the way, cadets picked up pieces of trash small and large, including gum, which they said was the worst kind of litter. One cadet, however, found a Canadian quarter. Another cadet said he once found a hub cap.
The corps has cleaned up the area a few times since the start of school, but does not have a set time period for performing the service, said Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Rocky Foote, a JROTC instructor at the school.
"We wait until we notice it building up," said Foote, who organizes the cleanup.
Also, the corps waits until the weather is nice; they do not go out in the rain or snow, Foote said. On the day of their most recent cleanup it was cold, but sunny.
Not only to the cadets earn service hours for promotion, the senior cadets also receive leadership experience by supervising groups of junior cadets during the cleanup, Foote said. Cadets need five community hours in order to get promoted to the next rank.
Sometimes people stop and ask cadets what they did wrong to warrant cleanup duty, Foote said, and he wants everyone to know the cadets have not done anything wrong - exactly the contrary.
Bradley Merkley, a freshman who has also participated in the cleanup twice, said the service project is a great way to keep the community clean.
He already has his service hours for the month, Merkley said, but he wanted to help anyway.
Jamie Hayes, a freshman, said this was the first time he had participated in the activity. "It's a good way to clean up the community," he said.

Page last updated Wed January 16th, 2013 at 10:53