A Two Way Life For Success

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Matt Moles, Reporter

Picture this. You are a high school junior struggling to get all As and Bs in your classes so you look good at colleges, getting ready for a driver’s test, or starting to plan your future and find yourself. The last thing you are probably thinking about is joining the military. Well after the journey that I have taken this past summer and last school year I have learned that joining your state national guard can help you a lot not just with college but your whole life in general.

First and foremost the biggest thing about the national guard is the free college tuition to all state schools in that state in which you are serving. 100% free all the way up to a phd in any subject of your choice. The price for this big prize is a 6 year contract with a mandatory 8 years in total with 2 years being optional ,but they can call you at any time. Last October I was a smart kid, I played sports, I knew what I wanted to do with my life, but I had one problem, money. I was raised in an environment where I was taught that to make money you have to earn it. So that meant that my parents were not going to pay for my college.

Later in that month I was at lunch going about my day when I looked at these tables at the front that always had people advertising stuff or their programs. This day; however, I saw something different: a big poster saying the whole tuition paid off for part time service. I went up to the man at the table and after that my journey had started. So far I have enlisted and gone through basic training. I also managed to get a promotion while I was doing that. In the end though it will be worth it.

My Recruiter Staff Sergeant Suplee told me that the guard had way more to offer than just a free college tuition He also told me that I can start my retirement plan, really low health and dental insurance he also taught me how I can take both my military career and my civilian career and make them benefit each other. For example, he told me that when I am in college I can do this program called ROTC and after I finish that 4 year program I can take those credits from the program and become an officer in the national guard rather than just a basic private or specialist.

While you are in your military career you can build a reputation for colleges you want to go to and companies you want to work for giving you a leg up rather than someone who is only living that one way civilian life. You can also gain experience from your job in the guard and input that into your life making you an expert in whatever path you choose.

Now this may seem like a good thing to join and you may wonder why everyone isn’t doing national guard. Its a big commitment serving your country no matter what job you do whether you are a plumber or an infantry man or whether you serve full time or only one weekend a month you will learn that if you decide to sign your name on that dotted line and make that life changing decision. It won’t be easy you will face many challenges during your guard career that you will have to face like basic or when you get called in for a natural disaster or riot control, but in the end your older selves will look back on that choice that you made at 17 or 18 and thank you that you gave him a chance at a not only a free college tuition and other benefits, but also that older person will thank you for the experience you got and the bonds that were made during your national guard career.