Today’s Heroes: Young Veterans


Taj McKinney, Reporter

Jacob McKinney is a young veteran who has finished basic training and is now currently enlisted into the United States Air Force. Jacob stated, “I joined the military for all of the benefits including school and travel.” The amount that college costs todays has a huge effect on peoples’ lives and is a large reason some people join the military, due to them paying for all all tuition after members have enlisted and completed training. Jacob moved away from home to enlist into the military.

Although it was not too far, he still had to leave his home, family, and friends. When asked how his family took the big news, he responded, “Most of my family was supportive and excited for me, although some of my family thought I was going to die fighting in war.” The military, along with all of its benefits, also has a large fear factor involved. Individuals must be very brave to enlist in the military. The thought of actually having to go into a war, in your own country or in another one, is always in the back of your mind.

Jacob enlisted into the military in the military Feb. 2017, but had to wait until Sept. 2017 to go into actual boot-camp. Military training, as known by most, can be very stressful and challenging to even the most fit of people. When asked if it was ever too much or too challenging that he thought he might just have to quit, Jacob stated, “BMT had some hard spots, but never anything that made me want to give up. The hardest part was being away from my family and friends.” After training was completed, Jacob returned home to go to technical school and start a college degree. With his strong sense of achievement from completing some of the hardest training around, his main focus when he arrived home was to complete his schooling, which was now paid for by the United States military. Jacob is currently enlisted, and when asked if he is considering re-enlisting he said, ” I am contemplating re-enlisting/commissioning or just getting out completely.” The military can be some of the most exciting, while also challenging, years of your life. For many people, it is the best direction to go and they wouldn’t go back and change a thing. The veterans today, young and old, deserve the most credit that they can be given.