TOPEKA (KSNT) — Eager eyes filled the Kansas State Capitol as Gov. Sam Brownback, along with army leaders, saluted around 75 high school graduates for joining the service.
“I believe that I was born in a generation of takers,” said Jake Tatge, future soldier. “We live off what they give us and I want to give back and earn the freedom for myself.”
The final countdown has begun as the graduates prepare to leave home and head to base. For some soldiers, they have waited their whole life for this moment.
“Ever since I was a kid, it was really the only thing I ever wanted to do,” said Nicholas Showalter, future soldier. “It just felt like since birth it was my calling.”
Showalter graduated from Valley Center, a town just north of Wichita and 2 hours away from Topeka.
“I’m glad I made the drive up here and I’m glad that everyone came out to watch it,” Showalter said. “I’m glad there’s family out here supporting and they made the drive too.”
Showalter is part of a prestigious class that is qualified to serve in the army, which is a group that is hard to get into
“Only three in ten are qualified for military service, to serve in the United States Army now,” said Chip Mezzaline, Command Sgt. Maj. “They’re from a very select few in the community.”
Showalter plans to leave for boot camp in June before going into the infantry, in the meantime, he has a message for everyone that is considering serving their country.
“It’s been the best decision I’v ever made in my life so far,” Showalter said. “There’s not a downside to it, it only has perks.”
As one chapter comes to an end for these graduates, the next starts with a salute.
If you are interested in joining the U.S. Army, click here.