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ECHS JROTC takes on new mission
Cadets taking part in Adopt-A-Soldier program
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Effingham County High School Air Force JROTC cadets Kendall Stephens, Olivia Lockard and Matthew Mizell put together care packages for soldiers deployed overseas as part of the unit’s Adopt-A-Soldier program. - photo by Photo provided
The Effingham County High School Air Force Junior ROTC has taken on a new mission this year: care packages for military members overseas.  
It started early in the school year when a cadet mentioned the Adopt-A-Soldier program in Savannah to Maj. Danny Burgstiner, an instructor at the school, and it took off from there. 
On initial contact the JROTC program was not only able to adopt four soldiers overseas, it turns out of them was one of their own, PFC Robert Purvis, a 2009 graduate of JROTC and ECHS. Purvis is currently serving in Afghanistan.  
The other three are Sgt. Danny Griffin from Lancaster, Calif., Maj. Mike Smith from Hinesville, and Spec. Burt from Michigan. The cadets then decided to support another one of their own, Marine Lance Cpl. Will Elmgren, another 2009 graduate and also serving in Afghanistan.  
Once word spread of the support for the military members and donations for them, the cadets were able to adopt a sixth member, Spec. Kyle Noyes, who happens to be the son-in-law of the head football coach at ECHS, Rick Tomberlin.  
To date, seven boxes weighing over 70 pounds have been delivered. Donations of money for mailing or merchandise in support for our military members serving overseas may be made to the AF JROTC at Effingham County High School.