Graduate takes the road less traveled
May 26, 2014
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Ranked as one of the top high school’s in the state and country, the school places a large emphasis on student’s continuing their education after graduation. However, the college life isn’t for everyone as some student’s choose to pursue other career paths.
For 2012 graduate Jonah Barth, it was the military.
“I’ve known I want to be in the Marine Corps for about five years,” Barth said. “When I was younger I felt like other people fought for your life for you to be free. It’s really hard to get into the Marine Corp and to pass boot camp. Once you’re coming out it you get an appreciation of freedom. You realize how good you have it.”
His family was extremely supportive of him and stood behind his decision.
“I felt proud and excited for him because that’s what he wanted to do,” sister Jaelyn Barth said. “I will support him 110 percent and do whatever my family and I can do to keep them encouraged and get through it.”
Leaving straight for boot camp in California after graduating early, Barth finished boot camp then headed to a navy training base in Florida where he learned the fundamentals of airframe mechanics. He then continued on to North Carolina where he was able to continue learning about aircraft at a more advanced level.
“It’s all been a year so far of training,” Barth said.
He’s not finished, though. He will return to his unit in California for the next four years.
There are two ways to join the military: enlist straight out of high school or join after going to college for four years and enter as an officer. Officers are immediately given more status and responsibility than those with only a high school education.
“If you want to make a career out of it I’d go officer,” Barth said. “You get paid two times more a month.”
Movies and TV shows have made joining and going through boot camp seem immensely difficult and trying and it isn’t any easier in reality.
“It’s actually probably worse,” Barth said. “The worst part was probably later on in training, towards the end, we had to do what was called the gas chamber. You know when you get your license to carry, it’s kind of like that. You have to go through what it’s like.”
In the eyes of some people it may appear to be a huge sacrifice to join the military, but for Barth, it was the right thing to do.
“I chose to serve because I feel like everyone should, but not everyone can,” Barth said. “So I did it to fight for other people and because I felt like morally I had an obligation to do time for this country.”