WJTV News Channel 12 - Rats to Cadets, the VMI journey for freshman

Rats to Cadets, the VMI journey for freshman

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The Virginia Military Institute is quiet right now as everyone enjoys their Thanksgiving but when they come back the freshman, or rats as they're called right now, will be gearing up for seven minutes of burpees. If you've never seen a burpee it's an exercise that takes a lot of strength and endurance especially if you're doing seven minutes.

The goal is to raise $30,000 dollars for the Military Warriors Support Foundation an organization that provides housing for wounded veterans.

This is just one of the many steps to becoming a unified class.

"I'm excited to be here right now. This is fun. We've been looking forward to this. We've been working hard for it," said Richard Bischoff who is from New York and has spent the past few months at VMI with more than 400 other "rats". "We've learned a lot of teamwork and how to trust each other and that they're going to be able to get their job done and not to have to worry about what everyone else is done."

Running, jumping and climbing is part of the journey on their way to becoming cadets.

There's an obstacle course, climbing ropes, crawling under barbed wire and carefully walking across beams.

"They should hopefully learn more about themselves, push their limits and learn ‘hey I was maybe scared of heights when I got to VMI but I'm no longer scared of heights' or ‘I wasn't probably in the best physical shape when I got to VMI but now I'm a machine after doing obstacles like this'," said Robert Macias who is from Santa Anna, California and helps lead the group exercise.

"Competitiveness it's always a factor but being a team player, we're not just out here cheering for own company but were cheering for other brother rats and their companies," said Benjamin Stewart from Leesburg, Virginia.

Teaching them you don't get thru VMI by yourself.

The Burpee Challenge is Wednesday, December 4th. All the "rats" will gather in the courtyard that night and do as many burpees as possible in seven minutes.

If you would like to donate to help them reach the $30,000 goal visit the website.

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