A Project for Better Journalism chapter
Showcase, Student Life

Honor and pride

Shawano Community High School is proud to have students every year who choose to go into the military and serve the country.

The U.S. military consists of 12 service branches, five active duty and seven part-time duty. The five active duty branches are the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and the Coast Guard. The seven part time duty branches are the Army Reserve, Army National Guard, Marine Corps Reserve, Navy Reserve, Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard, and Coast Guard Reserve. Each branch is different from one another, but the main purpose for all 12 branches is to serve and protect America, which is why the people that chose to be in the military are valued so much.

Senior Jarrett Laatsch will be going into the Army for eight years, six years active and two inactive. The main reason he choose to be a part of  the military is because he wanted to feel the pride of serving the country.

“There is a pride you can see with people who did serve in the military, and I wanted to have that too,” stated Laatsch.

In July, Laatsch will be starting his basic training in Georgia for nine weeks and four days. Then, when he finishes he will be going to Virginia to do individual training for 14 weeks.

Laatsch stated he is looking forward to “meeting new people, getting to travel and experiencing new things.”

Senior Chase Schmidt, who knew he wanted to be in the military ever since the third grade, will be going into the Army for three years active at first and plans to continue serving until he retires.

Schmidt said that he is looking forward to traveling and “going to basic just because it’s not going to be easy, and it’s going to challenge me.”

Schmidt explained that he believes he will be a good addition to the Army.

“I know how to listen. I never really talk back to my parents or my boss. I [ have ] always been respectful to the person in charge, and I feel like as long as I listen I will be fine.”

Schmidt also mentioned, “I always thought that the hardest part would be having to tell my mom, but that is not what happened at all. She fully supported it.”

The only thing Schmidt thinks he would struggle with is his bad eyesight. He explained how he has pondered the thought of LASIK eye surgery, but for now he is fine.

He added, “I will just figure out what I need to do when it comes.”

Schmidt explained his main purpose for joining the military: “I’m not going into the Army to prove anything or just to do it. [ I want] to be able to be a part of something as amazing as serving America’s finest.”

Senior Gage Pillsbury will be going to college to train to be in either the Navy or the Air Force, but he does not need to sign a contract until his junior year of college. So, he has a while before he has to pick which branch he wants to go into. He then will be enlisted for eight years but plans to continue on with it for 20 plus years.

Pillsbury explained his schedule in college will be different than the traditional student’s schedule.

“You work out 5 a.m. to 7 a.m., then you go to class at 8 o’clock. So pretty much every morning it is a two hour workout and kind of gets you prepared for military life,” explained Pillsbury.

Pillsbury was inspired by his grandpa who was in the Army to be in the military. His grandpa told Pillsbury stories about what he experienced while serving, which influenced Pillsbury to join.

Joining the military is a big decision that does not just affect that person but their friends and family as well. That is why it is such an honor to have students here at SCHS who carry so much pride in committing themselves to the military and serving our country.