From challenges to commitment, students talk about the National Guard

Young tribal members joining National Guard

RAPID CITY, SD—Back in the days of the Viet Nam War, a kid who got into trouble could choose to go into the military or go to jail. Today that choice is no longer an option.

According to US Army National Guard Sergeant First Class Richard Kirkpatrick, “Today we want the better people. We want the people who are there because they want to be.”

Some of the youngest recruits join as a way to pay for college while learning a skill, and yet others are just looking to live a better life. The decision to join took some into active duty, where the National Guard became more than a leg up and is now th...