While many seniors are looking forward to their next educational endeavor, there are some students that are choosing a different route and enlisting to defend our nation.
Senior Hailee Smith has chosen to join the U.S. Army.
“I’ve been wanting to do this since I was really young,” said Smith. “My mind has been set since then.”
Smith’s father was a cook in the Army. This led to her being around the kitchen and helping there.
“I’m going into the Army because I don’t like the air and I don’t like water,” said Smith. “I just want to stay on the land.”
Smith has always known that she wanted to enlist rather than going to traditional college or tech school.
She will leave in summer to complete basic training in Virginia.
“I am most excited to travel and meet new people,” said Smith. “I am not excited for all the running.”
Half of her family was in the military so there was no question that she wanted to carry on the legacy.
Despite being a member of the cross country team, Smith is still preparing herself for the physical part of her basic training.
“It’s scary, like what if we go to war or something then I have to go,” said Smith. “I’m excited though because I don’t have to be here. I can go wherever.”
Among all of her family members who influenced her decision, she had one friend that made a major impact.
Shane Wolfe, someone she grew up with, entered the Army but did not make it home.
“If he could [serve in the Army], I can do it,” said Smith. “When he died, it set in stone what I wanted to do.”