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they toured the ship, they followed in the footsteps of Yorktown sailors and officers, from the flight deck down to the massive engine rooms that powered the ship. They viewed the radar as well as the steering area and slept in the former officers’ quarters, a huge room with 40 bunk beds. “It was neat seeing how they lived, what they needed to learn, what they wore and how they ate,” said Tori Patton, outgoing Junior Girls Department and Junior Girls Unit 5376 President. “I got to go there and see it, then go to school and learn more.” Patton also said she shared her experience and photos with her classmates at school. And she felt it was a great way to educate the


younger Junior Girls. “I thought it was wonderful because it’s teaching them where we come from, why we’re here and why we’re free, and what those fighting men had to go through,” she said. Two other living history experiences were part of the Junior Girls’ experience. One was a trip by boat to Fort Sumter, a nearby island where the first shots of the Civil War were fired. They saw canons as well as the holes in the fort walls where other canons had been situated. They learned about the then-American Flag which featured a circle of 13 stars representing the colonies. “They were just amazed,” Brake said. “They couldn’t get over it.” And that’s exactly what she was hoping for. “That’s what I wanted them to take away. We are there for our veterans. And we need to learn about every aspect of their service.” A true-to-scale exhibit of a


Opposite Page: The USS Yorktown is the focus of an exciting and educational field trip for the Department of Georgia Junior Girls.


Above: Georgia Junior Girls visit Fort Sumter, learning that the first shots of the Civil War were fired there.


Vietnam Naval Support Base Camp was another learning opportunity. The girls toured the operational and living areas of a U.S. Naval Advanced Tactical Support Base and saw many of the craft used to combat the dangers of patrolling the jungle and rivers throughout the Vietnam War. But they didn’t leave their enthusiasm for modern technology (cell phones) or spontaneous fun at home. With the help of their phones, Junior Girls Unit 5376 left their lively signature by dancing the Cupid Shuffle on the deck of the USS Yorktown, truly a one-of-a-kind moment in a once-in-a-lifetime living history experience. n MS


JULY 2013 15


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