Guilford High School seniors are walking across the stage for graduation Thursday night. While most are getting ready to get their diplomas and head off to school, a handful are training every day to make sure they’re ready for boot camp after their swearing in ceremony Wednesday.
“After I swore in, it’s like hitting me. Like I’m actually going into the Air Force,” said new Air Force recruit Katia Pena.
While most seniors at Guilford High School are prepping for graduation and starting college, six students decided to take a different route and joined the armed services.
The Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps all have new recruits that will be gearing up for basic training instead of freshmen orientations.
“Even with the ceremony and like my friends and family being here I’m kind of, it’s just settling in I guess,” Pena said.
Army recruit, Girana Worathepnuthas added, ”Right now, I kind of feel scared, but not scared just because it’s coming up, I’m leaving July 16th but at the same time I have a month and a half left to train. So I’m just feeling excited but nervous at the same time.“
During the ceremony parents watched as their daughters and sons pledged their lives to service, and all said they couldn’t be prouder.
”I call her that she’s my hero”, Katia Pena’s mother, Pilar Pena said.
Katia’s father, Richard Pena added, “Because it is a big commitment to actually leave your home, leave the country and serve your country, that’s a big honor.” He continued, “She got accepted to every college that she tried for. She told me that she just wanted to serve her country.”
While the new enlistee’s may not be joining most of their friends in the fall, they say they can’t wait to see where their new lives in the military leads them.
“I also joined for the chance to have more life experiences, more personal growth and more of an adventure.“ Worathepnuthas said. “So it’s coming up actually. I was hoping to leave in August, but the sooner I get out there, the sooner I can start my journey, and this new chapter in my life.” said Pena.
Of the six that took their oaths Wednesday, two recruits are headed to the Air Force, two to the Army, one to the National Guard and one to the Marines.