Military provides opportunity


My'Kayla Moore

Senior Randy Brigance (right) attends physical training at the Marine Corps office twice a week. He is soon to be shipped off to basic training in South Carolina in August.

The college route isn’t always for everyone. Some students are moving to a different route, one that allows them to fight and defend their country.

The Army, Marines and Navy are very different from each other, but they have a common goal: to protect the United States of America from all threats foreign and domestic.

Celeste Barajas, a senior, wants to march to the beat of the Army where she will be a mechanic.

“I have little brothers that look up to me and I have to set a good example for them.”

She said that in the beginning that her parents didn’t support her decision because she is the only girl that they had. “They would hate to see me get hurt,” she said. But now they just want her to be happy.

She said that she thought of the Army because it was the branch that she liked the most that caught her attention.

“I was thinking of the Air Force before because that was where all the smart people went and I am smart. I also was interested in the new drones that they have,” she said. “The Army is like my family. They are always encouraging me to continue with my education.” She said that you get to learn a lot of cool stuff and have different experiences that you don’t get to live through as a civilian.

She wants to go to college as she is in the service.

“Then I am taking some time off to find myself and see what I want to do,” Barajas said. “For all I know I might do 20 years or I might get out after just my contract is up which is six years.” She was just thinking that to serve her country is an honor. “I feel that it will keep me out of trouble and improve my integrity.”

“I want to see war,” said Randy Brigance, a senior. “I want to see some of the stuff that other people would be scared of.”

He was raised with people that he called uncles, about 20 of them. They would ride motorcycles with his stepfather, but this was not the only brotherhood that bonded them.

They were also all U.S. Marine Corps veterans.

This experience had a strong influence on Brigance. His stepfather was an anti-tank artillery man and Brigance is hoping to follow the same path.

“It was always something that I wanted to do: to protect and serve,” Brigance said.

He wants to make it his career and then retire and become a mechanic. After a few years of that he wants to retire from that, too, and live off of his two retirements.

“I wouldn’t have to worry about money too much,” he said. “If we didn’t have the military we wouldn’t be how we are today.”

Breanna Joyner, a senior, is looking forward to the military, but in another branch. She is looking forward to the Navy, a choice that arose after her mother passed away two years ago.

“It just sparked something in me to see someone really close to me pass away. Not to be able to fight for herself anymore,” she said.

“It sparked in me that I want to be able to fight for my country. I want to give back. The Navy seemed to be the best option for me because when it came to benefits, they had more educational benefits whereas others were more physical based.” She wants to make a career out of it. “I just felt that that is where I belonged. I love the water. I love being a part of something bigger than just myself.” She wants to pass down her college tuition to her children using the GI Bill. This bill pays for her college if she decides to do it or pass it down if not.

“This is where not only I decided that I belong, but my family as well. They support me with it.”