Our Future Soldiers: Tyrone Seniors Speak on their Decision to Serve

TAHS Seniors weigh in on why they are choosing to serve.


On Veteran’s Day we honor United States Veterans, which includes any individual who has served or is currently serving in the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force, or Marines.  On Memorial Day, we honor those who have died in service.

It takes a great amount of strength, determination, and dedication to sacrifice your life to fight in the military. But what drives young men and women to join? What inspires them to take on such an assiduous task?

Tyrone students have a long history of service and this year’s graduating class is no exception.  Several seniors have already made the commitment to serve, and others are still considering the military as an opinion. We interviewed several members of the Tyrone High School Class of 2017 who have already made the decision to commit to military service.

My family has always served in the military, so I figured it was my turn”

— Austin Taylor

When asked what motivated him to join the military, Senior Austin Shuey said, “I want to better my life by providing college benefits. I am already enlisted into the Army National Guard, I joined because they pay 100% of my tuition at Clarion(or any state school) which is where I want to go and am accepted to.”

Though many young men and women choose to join the military in order to receive college benefits, others choose to join because they have family who have served or are currently serving.

“I am looking to go into the Navy because my grandpa was in it. My family members in the military influenced my decision to join because they are my role models,” said senior Jonathan Powell.

Senior Austin Taylor had a similar reason for wanting to join. “My family has always served in the military, so I figured it was my turn,” said Taylor.

It is no doubt that joining the military has numerous perks. Traveling the world, meeting new people, and learning countless lessons about your life and your character are just a few.

When asked what he was looking forward to most about joining the military, senior Austin Shuey said, “Becoming a better person by learning priceless skills and gaining a new sense of discipline, also, I am looking forward to making lifelong friends from all across the country.”

Others feel obligated to join the military because they feel it is something that they have to do. When asked what he wished to gain from the experience of serving in the military, senior Robby Hamp said, “Nothing specific. I just felt like it was something I needed to do.”

When thinking about the military, it is easy to immediately picture all of the hardships that those who serve may face. No matter the position, there are many fears that may come to mind.

Yes. I am nervous because it will be something new for me to be a part of”

— Alex Stehley

“Yes. I am nervous,” said Stehley,  “because it will be something new for me to be a part of.”

Any new experience can bring about a sense of fear or nervousness. There are some people who face new situations more confidently than others. “I am not really nervous. There’s no reason to be. If I die fighting for my country, then it was completely worth it,” said Taylor.

Despite the reasons for wanting to join the military, it is clear to see that those who enlist have a great amount of patriotism and will to fight for the country that they call home.

No matter where they are in the world, or what they are doing there, we can learn a lot from our soldiers about being brave and withstanding through the fight even when it gets tough.

There will be hard times, but the strength and determination of those who fight will always triumph in the end. But throughout the rough patches, they must know that they will always have people cheering them on.