Poplar Bluff National Guard hosts Guard Day for southeast Mo. students

Event hopes students consider joining Missouri National Guard.
Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 11:57 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. (KFVS) - It’s an event two years in the making--aimed at getting more young people interested in the Missouri National Guard.

More than 300 high schoolers in the southeast Missouri region got an up-close view of military life at Guard Day on Wednesday, March 22.

At the Poplar Bluff Armory, the guard members spent time helping students explore educational and career benefits provided by the guard.

“We live here, we serve here,” said Sergeant Caleb Parkin.

And now, Missouri National Guard leaders want these students to consider joining that effort.

“It’s their neighbors, it’s their friends, it’s their co-workers that can be activated to help protect these communities and this state and this country,” Sgt. Parkin said.

He said their goal is showcase what being a member of the guard can mean for their future.

“We’re working hand in hand with the Jobs for America graduates in the local area here, to just kind of pull back the veil on what the National Guard is, what we do on a day-to-day basis and to just let them see that we do serve and live here in this community,” Sgt. Parkin said.

Students toured the armory and even got the chance to explore a variety of military vehicles. A few students said this was an eye-opening experience.

One student explained how the guard can work with your needs.

“This could be a full-time job, or a part time job...it can pay for your college, and you can be in, and you’re not really locked in for life you can just be in and out,” said senior Dylan Reed. “They get what they need from you, you can get what you need from them or it could be a full career out of it.”

Another student said the Missouri National Guard is a versatile opportunity.

“It’s a very intrusive thing to do--like it’s not only about the benefits, but it’s about you finding a family in the guard and there’s a lot of opportunities,” said senior Kayla Rodriguez.

Sgt. Parkin said he hopes student walked out of this event knowing more about the guard and what it means to join.

The guard will be hosting more events like this every year for students in the area.