Cadets raise money to attend D-Day anniversary in France

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The community enjoyed breakfast at VFW Post 2503 Sunday morning.

The Junior ROTC hosted a pancake breakfast to raise money for a trip to France on the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

"It's like anything, if you can see it, you can understand it more," veteran Rex Drucker said.

Drucker served in Vietnam, and said he is rooting for the high school kids to get the funds they need to get to Normandy.

"We get to learn a little bit about our past, and it's really cool to see what's out there and what you haven't learned in school, because it's the kind of stuff that text books can't teach you," JROTC Cadet Susie Valderrabano said.

The plan is for the students to march in the official D-Day parade on June 6, the and spend additional days in France talking with veterans and soaking up WWII history.

"Just the opportunity to see Omaha Beach, and Pointe du Hoc and visit Sainte-Mere-Eglise, the first town liberated by the allies. The students come back with a different realization of what WWII was all about," Michael Debolt, the Director of Army Instruction for OPS said.

In previous overseas trips, Debolt took about 30 students. This year they're trying to give 80 metro students the opportunity to go.

The trip costs roughly $3,000 per student. The group has been fundraising for two years.

Drucker said the effort is worth it.

"When they get over there, that's a whole different education. Rather than looking at a picture in a book, they can look out there and see where, and what happened," he said.

The cadets will hold another fundraiser on April 27. It will be a four mile D-Day run at Lake Zorinsky.

Donations can also be made to the Omaha Public Schools Foundation.