Whether being inspired by family, seeking a career path, preparing for adulthood, or a combination of several reasons, these 2020 Burnet High School graduates are answering the call to serve their country in the military.
Here are their reasons:
“I feel like it’s the best way to start my life,” Tyler McMinn said.
He heads to the U.S. Army’s Fort Benning in Georgia on June 28 for basic training.
McMinn is at least the third generation from his family to serve in the military. His dad, Randall McMinn, was in the Navy on September 11, 2001, when terrorists attacked on U.S. soil. Grandfather Lloyd Williams was a Marine during the Vietnam War.
“I always wanted to serve my country,” Tyler said.
He wants to become a mechanic while in the Army.
Cristian Talamantes is taking his love of working on cars into the Army.
“I’ve always liked cars, and I’m intrigued by cars,” he said.
He is also following the advice of his dad, Ramon Talamantes, who told him to find a career that doesn’t require spending all day in the sun. His father is a landscaper.
Talamantes reports to the U.S. Army’s Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri for basic training, which starts June 15.
He is open to what his future may hold.
“I still don’t have the whole thing planned out yet,” he said. “If I like (the Army), I’ll stay in it until I retire.”
Sativa Yarbrough is from a family of service members. Her father, Quentin Yarbrough, was in the Army, and she has aunts, uncles, and cousins who also served in the military.
“It’s something that’s just in my family,” Yarbrough said. “It’s always been a matter of when and what branch, not an if. (I chose the Army because) they’re the ones I feel I can answer my calling to.”
Yarbrough, who reported to basic training at Fort Jackson in South Carolina in early June, plans to become a mechanic for the Army’s UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter. Her long-term goal is to become a pilot.
She hopes to have a career in the Army.
“I’ve always known I’ve wanted to serve in a branch of the military, ever since I was little,” Yarbrough said. “The thought of serving my country brings a sense of pride.”
Bryson Box is entering a military that relies more and more on technology. He wants to be an information technologies specialist in the Army.
“It was something I could see myself doing out of all the computer jobs the Army has,” Box said. “Now, I can continue my education.”
He leaves July 13 for basic training at Fort Jackson in South Carolina.
Justin Orosco researched every branch of the military. His parents, Violet and Alex Orosco, served in the Army; grandfathers Jose Padilla and Ignacio Orosco were in the Navy.
Orosco picked the Navy. He wants to become an aviation mechanic. He already works on trucks and finds a sense of peace in the process.
“What I enjoy about it is taking it apart and putting it back together,” Orosco said. “It’s something I enjoy. It calms me down when I’m not in a good frame of mind.”
Orosco reports for basic training August 26 at the U.S. Navy Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Illinois.