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Communication with family in Germany difficult for Georgia Military student

Contact: Steve Arel Public Affairs Officer (502) 624-1842 steve.arel@usacc.army.mil Communication with family in Germany difficult for Georgia Military student FORT KNOX, Ky. --- By the light of his red flashlight, Charlie Company Cadet Trenton Floyd uses the hour he has in the evening at the Leader’s Training Course to write a letter to his parents. “I haven’t gotten to talk to them on the phone since I’ve been here,” the Georgia Military College student said. “I’ve written two letters and gotten one letter back. That’s been my communication.” Floyd’s parents live in Germany, which is six hours ahead of Fort Knox, making communication difficult for the LTC Cadet. His father recently retired from the Army and is there as a contractor. Floyd was born in Virginia, moved to Germany for three years, moved back to the United States for about six years and then moved back to Germany for the last nine years. As he nears the end of LTC, he looks forward to reuniting with his family. “I just think about going back to see them again, and I just know there’s an end point to this,” said Floyd, whose company graduates Saturday. “It sort of feels like I’m distant because I don’t really know that many people, except for the people I met here.” The Leader’s Training Course is the premier leadership program of its kind in the United States. An intense four-weekintroduction to Army life and leadership training of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, the aim of the course is to motivate and qualify Cadets for entry into the Senior ROTC program. During in-processing, Floyd tried to set up a phone number and a phone but was not successful. When mail is passed out, Floyd watches as his fellow Cadets receive mail, but not him. The last letter he sent was July 4, and he still hasn’t gotten one back. “It makes me a little sad and that’s usually the time I take to think about what I’m going to write, asking people for stamps so I can send more letters out,” he said. Another Cadet in his platoon is quite the opposite when it comes to communication. “I get a lot of letters because my mom sends letters all the time,” said Charlie Company Cadet Aaron Gunn, of Wentworth Military College. “My girlfriend and her family, we are very close so they send letters. It’s the type of situation that even if I don’t write because I’m busy around here, I still get letters from them. They just want to make sure I’m still doing well and that I have something to look forward to.” Gunn, who has gotten more than 20 letters, said that when the Cadets get mail, it’s a big deal to them, especially because they didn’t have access to phones for a portion of LTC. “We all look forward to that time when we can call whoever we want, or just send a text,” he said. “For me, it is very helpful to communicate like that.” Any communication at all is key for these Cadets to stay motivated throughout their time at LTC. “You don’t have a lot of time here, but when you get the chance write a letter,” Gunn said. “Even if you don’t get one back, it’ll help you think that one of these days you’re going to get a letter back. You’re going to get that reply.” Although his communication isn’t as much as he would like, Floyd said his family motivates him to finish LTC strong. At the end of the summer, he will be going back to Germany for about a month before attending college — Georgia Military is a military junior college. Not being able to call his family has been more difficult than Floyd expected. “I thought I’d be able to contact my parents maybe once a week and get caught up on things, but it didn’t work out that way,” he said. “As long as I stay motivated and keep a good spirit about everything, I think that I can get through it.” Floyd said being away from his family will help prepare him for a military career. “I miss them, but I’m pushing through and I’m going to get some good training out of this,” he said. “I need to get ready for my life for when I am away from my family so it’s good practice.”