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Meet the seniors leaving for the military!

PC_ Peter (Joey)

Joey Avila (12)

Where do you see yourself in one year?

“In one year, I see myself studying and training for a stable career in the military. I hope to cross-train between being a mechanical engineer to a pararescueman, which is more combat-oriented. [While] there is always the GI Bill, I [hope] I do not have to use that. While inside the military, I plan on taking college courses, which will [prepare me] for a job once I am out of the military. ”

What do you plan to do after your service in the military is over?

“I plan on retiring from the military after [at least] 20 years of service, because it will [allow] me to collect pension and start my life in a financially-safe [position]. After doing so, I hope to gain work experience in mechanical engineering through military-funded education. [According] to my family members in the military, life in the military is [almost] the same as civilian life, because it is just a job. [Perhaps] it is not the same for all branches and careers, but I hope my [path] in engineering will be like that.”

Which branch are you joining?

“I could see myself joining the Marines mostly because I can see myself  n infantry. [However], life after the Marines is difficult due to the lack of jobs and college opportunities while in the branch. [So], I chose to join the Air Force mostly because they have, in my opinion, more technical and mechanical job opportunities. They [also] have a better standard of living, like barracks and on-base housing for airmen with families.”

How did your family and friends react when they found out?

“When I [became] serious about joining the military, I told my parents first. They responded by telling me that they will stand by me in any decision I make. Then, I told my friends, who congratulated me and [asked] to catch up with me whenever I am free.”

What is going through your mind in these last few moments before you leave?

“For the last [few] months before I leave, I have been excited and ready to start this next part of my life. I have also been anxious about [figuring out] how to tell my boss [at work] that I will be leaving. [However], I was upset when I [found out] that I could not go on my family vacation, because my ship date is before the vacation. I have [mixed] emotions, but overall, I am [definitely] excited.”

What would you say to others who might want to join the military?

“I would tell them that there is something for everyone in the military. It gives you the ability to travel to places around the world at virtually no cost, and on [top] of that, you get a free education afterward.”

PC_ Vicky (Jean)

Jean Hu (12)

Why did you decide to join the military?

“I decided to join the military, because I know that I will become more mature by going to the military than by going to college. I have [many] bad habits that I do not want to carry with me when I [enter] college and the workforce. [For example], I always had trouble [dealing] with adversity, and I hope that by being in the military, I can learn how to face it head on. I really appreciate how diligent the [people] in the military are, and I hope to be a part of that. [Also], since none of my immediate family members or relatives are in the military, I would like to think of my service as giving back to my country on behalf of my family.”

How did your family and friends react when they found out?

“My parents were the first to know, and they were shocked to think that their tiny Asian daughter was going to join the military. They were concerned about how dangerous it would be and the kind of discrimination I could face because of my ethnicity. After getting past their fears, they were very supportive of my decision and would not stop telling all of their friends. Other than my family, I only told my closest and longest-lasting friends, who were surprised but supportive.”

How long do you plan on staying in the military?

“The contract I signed requires me to stay in the military for at least six years, [though] my current [intentions] are to stay for longer than six years.  The first two years will be for schooling. [Although] I am not entirely sure about what I will be doing in the [future], I just know that I do not want to go to school. [However], [since] I aspire to be a naval officer, I may have to go back to school anyway.”

Which branch are you joining?

“I am joining the U.S. Navy, because I cannot see myself joining any other branch. Personally, I do not think I am physically capable of joining the Marines or the Army. [However], I am not [depreciating] myself or my [abilities]. I just know that the Navy is the perfect place for me to be, [both] physically and mentally.”

How long have you been thinking about joining the military?

“At the beginning of this school year, I literally thought that I was going to go to college. But then, I randomly walked up to the Navy recruiting table and gave them my information at the college fair we had during the beginning of the year. As I learned more about the Navy, I felt like that was somewhere I wanted to be, and here I am now, signed up for six years.”

How do you feel about joining the Navy?

“I am honestly excited to join the Navy, because I am curious to see what my strengths are when I work in a completely different environment. Of course, I am sad that I have to leave so many people behind, but I will be back to visit from time to time, so I am not too worried.”

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