SERVING HEORES: Military presents path of sacrifice for others

Those who risk their lives for others by enlisting in the military have heroic roots. 

  Senior Josh Woody has been debating joining the air force.

  “I’m not sure if I am going to join, but if I do it will be the air force,” Woody said. “I love all things flying, so being in the air force would give me the chance to do that. My family has also inspired me to join because [my family has] been in the air force and other military bases for generations. I wanted to get in it, too.”

  The decision to join the marines was a leap of faith for senior Callie Spencer.

  “I want to join the Marine Corps, mainly because that is what I feel God has chosen for me,” Spencer said. “My dad also inspired me to join. I see his bravery and the family he has gained from his time in the marines. Before I join, I plan to get my bachelor’s degree. Then I will go to officer candidate school, which means when I join, I will be an officer instead of an enlisted.”

  Science teacher and army veteran Suzanne Overton was not as sure as Spencer of a plan in high school. 

  “After going to college for a year, I knew I wasn’t mature enough to do what I needed to do and be successful at the collegiate level,” Overton said, “so, I joined the service in order to gain independence, maturity and to serve my country.”

  The choice to serve can be scary, according to senior Casey Vela.

  “At first, I was pretty scared to join, but after I went up there a couple months ago, they really made me feel like family,” Vela said. “I know everything is going to be good, and they are going to take care of me. My mom is still the most worried about me joining because I am her baby. It is going to be tough on her when I leave, but I know she can get through it.”

  Spencer has seen how military service has affected her father.

  “My dad left the Marine Corps before I was born; I never had to worry about him,” Spencer said. “He is 100% disabled, meaning he won’t go back. He did get really bad post traumatic stress disorder from his experience, and sometimes that affects his daily life, so I worry about that. Because my dad has gone through his service, I am not too worried about my boyfriend Jake joining. However, I do worry that he will face the same conditions my dad did and get a mental disability.”

  Senior Cassandra Fuentes has a brother in the navy, and while he hasn’t deployed yet, she still worries.

  “My brother is in the Navy, but he is currently in dry dock meaning he is not sailing,” Fuentes said. “Although, when he does get shipped out, his being at sea is scary.”  

  Enlisting in the military can be a life-changing experience, and heroes can be forged through the challenges of service.

  “I loved serving,” Overton said. “It was the best thing I have ever done. It gave me a sense of unity and independence. It showed me what it truly means to be an American and why we are able to have the freedom of speech, religion, etc., and who had to stand on that line to make sure those freedoms are preserved and sustained.”