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Always ready, always there: Nine LHS graduates commit to National Guard

Graduation has come and gone and the Lennox High School Class of 2015 begins a new chapter in their lives. While many of the classmates will be enjoying their summer before heading off to college or jobs, nine of them will face a tougher challenge—training with the National Guard.

Steven Cockerham, Chris Stokke and Lyndsey Kleinschmit have joined the Army National Guard and will begin Basic Training. Marissa Waldner and Jake Heisinger joined the Army National Guard last year. They have already completed Basic Training and will be heading for AIT (Advanced Individual Training).

Levi Buckneberg, Chris Oltmanns, Dylan Abraham and Creighton Raabe have all joined the Air National Guard based in Sioux Falls and will be leaving for training in San Antonio, TX in June. Air National Guard training includes Basic and AIT so these young men will be putting off college for at least a year.

These young people joined the National Guard for a variety of reasons. One, there is a strong recruitment program at LHS and well-respected recruiters. Rachel Hangman is the recruiter for the Army National Guard and Brian Johnson is the recruiter for the Air National Guard. Two, many joined for the educational benefits and the skills they would learn that they could use later in life. Some wanted to become stronger—physically and mentally. And nearly all were appreciative of the money they would make over the next six years.

They also liked the connection the Guardsmen have with each other.

“There are a lot of good people,” said Oltmanns.

“My mom was in the National Guard, so that was a big influence to why I joined,” said Abraham.

Raabe’s grandfather, Tim Raabe, was a member of the Army National Guard. He encouraged his grandson to join.

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