Fleetwood Students Create Armed Forces Strong Club

Posted on January 29, 2019 by

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Recently, Fleetwood high schoolers Rachel Wagner, Michaela Ernst, and Sarah Reitnauer created the Armed Forces Strong Club at FAHS.

According to the trio, they created the club for Fleetwood students who have family in the military, so this way no one feels as if they’re alone in regards to having to deal with the struggles of their family members being overseas at war.

To give you a little background on me and why this club was created, this past August, my older brother left to join the Army infantry. Him leaving was one of the hardest things I went through. I felt alone, like I was going to die in high school, and that I had no one to talk to. I confronted Max [Michaela], and I told her about how I was feeling. She told me that there were more people that felt like I did than I thought, so one day we decided that we wanted to bring people together, and show them that they are not alone in this,” AFS President Rachel Wagner said.

All three of them have family overseas. Aside from her active duty brother, Wagner has retired family members in the military. Both her grandfathers (one in the Air Force, the other in Army Intelligence), two of her uncles (one in the Navy, the other Army Special Ops), and her great-grandfather was an Army Ranger.

AFS Treasurer Michaela Ernst’s father was in the Army in the field artillery.  He drove the MLRS (Multi Launch Rocket System) tank. Ernst’s grandfather was in the Army as a communications officer. Ernst also plans on going into the Air Force for engineering.

Vice President Reitnauer’s brother is currently stationed out west in the Army; her uncle is deployed (but while she does not know where, she said his brothers in arms call him “techie”). She also has friends who are in the military as well.

I admire them all so very much. Having family and friends in the military can be a great blessing. They are incredibly uplifting, and I hope they will inspire others to join the armed forces,” Reitnauer said.

On 7 December 2018, Jake Brader came to speak to the club, and according to Reitnauer, Brader discussed the ins and outs of his basic training; he was helpful and informative to everyone in the club.

“He is such an inspiration, and I am very thankful that he spent some time with us on Friday,” Reitnauer said.

Every Friday after school, for the entire month of January, AFS will be holding a letter drive in room 205 to write letters to the men and women in the armed forces. Everyone is welcome.

The girls also advise anyone interested in AFS to keep an eye out for flyers, as they are planning and hoping to have an event in spring.

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