WINTER SPRINGS, Fla. — The Winter Springs JROTC was the only school group in the entire state of Florida selected to march in a parade that will mark the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

But the group still needs some help to get there.

  • Winter Springs JROTC group needs help getting to Hawaii
  • They were chosen to march in Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade
  • Only school in Florida invited to march in parade

The group of cadets was chosen to march in the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade December 7 in Hawaii.

“I think it’s really special how we’re the only school in Florida to be invited to go, it’s just an honor,” said Andrew Totz, a JROTC Student.

Senior Luis Zayas says the sacrifice so many made on that fateful day in Hawaii inspired him to want to join the U.S. Coast Guard after high school.

“I felt like I should be out there doing the same thing. If they’re going to do it for us, I want to do something for my country as well,” said Zayas, a JROTC Student.

Zayas is now leading nearly 30 of the school’s cadets who will have a special role marking the honoring the sacrifice of those killed, as our country marks the anniversary of the attack that launched our country into World War II.

“I have a feeling it’s going to be very emotional considering everything that’s happened and all the lives that were lost,” said Zayas.

“To be able to honor the fallen Americans there, it’s a big deal to me,” said Joeli Hardiman, a JROTC Student.

The cadets are now working to get their form just right.

“They’re a little nervous, and I’m a little nervous, but I know we’re going to get through it, and we’ll be the sharpest out there,” said Zayas.

The trip will cost about $1,800 for each cadet. The students are now trying to raise as much money as they can.

“We would really appreciate any type of donations, anything to help us out, because this trip really means a lot to us, and we really want to go there to honor the veterans and the families that have gone through this,” said Zayas. “It would really mean a lot.”

If you’d like to help out, reach out to Winter Springs High School at 407-320-8750. You can also help by taking part in a Poker Run the Winter Springs VFW is hosting on Saturday, October 13 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

All funds from the event will go to helping the group pay for their trip.

Spectrum News is not associated with this fundraiser.