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thedrifter
01-25-08, 08:20 AM
Marines invade Milton Middle School

By Jeff Shaffer
Standard-Journal
Thu Jan 24, 2008, 12:00 PM EST

MILTON — “A-ten-hut!”
Becoming something of an annual event, the U.S. Marines visited the Milton Middle School on Wednesday to expose eighth graders to the military way of life.
As usual, the students were at attention as they climbed into the cab of a 7-ton transportation truck or piled into the back of a Humvee. They also tried on gear, bearing just some of the weight soldiers must shoulder. The students were also treated to some close combat demonstrations.
The students also got another taste of military life — quite literally.
The little soldiers sampled MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) with mixed results.
Hey, it isn’t for everybody, but it’s the main reason why Jim Hostetter, an eighth-grade science teacher, invites Wyoming Valley Marine Reservists to the school.
In order to heat the MREs, soldiers use an FRH (flameless ration heater). When mixed with water, an exothermic reaction occurs and warms up food in a short amount of time.
“It shows the students chemistry is a major factor in life, like in the military,” Hostetter said. “They learn a ton (when the Marines visit).”
He added some students show an interest in joining the military after their school days, but almost all of them would at least agree that it looks intriguing.
“The presentations are amazingly cool,” said eighth-grader Nikita Bastian of Milton.
Fellow student Jevin Tryon of West Milton said he wouldn’t mind being in the driver’s seat, more than just the parking lot, of one of the massive trucks.
Wednesday proved the Goliaths of the road aren’t indestructible, however. The 7-ton truck got a flat tire somehow and required one of the Marines to go for a tow truck of equal size.
Another student, Cody Shaffer of Milton, showed more interest in being in the battlefield than behind the steering wheel.
Jeff Stahl of Milton said it was “pretty cool” being loaded down with all the military gear, but he doesn’t think he’d last too long.
“I’d get tired after 10 minutes carrying all that gear,” he said.
If the kids are serious about enlisting down the road, the Marines on Wednesday said it would be worth their while.
“It’s a great experience for everyone, if you go to college or not,” said Lance Cpl. Greg Bogaczyk. “You get to go all over the world.”
Cpl. Michael Mizner added, “It’s more than about personal success. It’s good to honor your country.”

Jeff Shaffer: 570-742-9671
jeff@standard-journal.com

Ellie