ROTC students in 2 states rebuild bridge used in skills test

October 17, 2021 GMT

LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) — ROTC students from three colleges along the Wisconsin and Minnesota border came together to rebuild a bridge that is part of a trail system used in an annual national competition.

The Eagle Battalion included about a dozen students from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and Viterbo University in Wisconsin and Winona State University in Minnesota. Last week they replaced an old bridge on the Oak Trail, part of the Lower Hixon Trail System in the city of La Crosse.

Students frequently use the trail system during the Northern Warfare Challenge, a yearly skill and endurance challenge involving ROTC programs from across the country.

The group loaded up power tools, hand tools and several hundred pounds of lumber and marched about three-quarters of a mile down the winding, hilly trail. On their way out of the forest, the group walked over not only their bridge, but also a bridge a different group of ROTC students had built a few years ago, the La Crosse Tribune reported.

“Being in ROTC, we wanted to do something hands-on that would help the community,” said University of Wisconsin-La Crosse student Isabella Rosa. “This is a nice way to give back.”