Joining the military is a big responsibility that requires a lot of training and perseverance. According to the Poughkeepsie Journal, only 2% of high school students will serve in the United States Military.
Upon graduating from Ukiah High, 12th grader Willow Morrison will join the ranks of that 2% having committed to serve in the Army National Guard where she will work as a member of the military police. Her first deployment will be soon after Ukiah High’s graduation ceremony.
Morrison attended boot camp during the summer between her Junior and Senior year. She told us the training was very intense. She described being constantly surrounded by guns and grenades. She walked over 50 miles with 50 pounds on her back. By the end, Morrison lost 30 pounds. Upon returning to Ukiah for her Senior year, she told us it felt weird sitting in a classroom with the memories of the grueling training, the gunfire, and the explosions still so fresh in her mind.
Morrison sees the military as a path to serving in law enforcement. A military sergeant visited her auto shop class where she learned those who served in the military are competitive in the law enforcement field and decided to pursue the opportunity.
Morrison won’t know where she will be stationed until a week before her deployment. She thinks she will be somewhere in Europe, however, she can get stationed anywhere. Upon her return from her first deployment, Morrison plans to move to New Mexico. Her contract with the military will end in 2029 and she is unsure if she will be deployed again before the end of her contract.
Looking towards her future, Morrison believes the Army National Guard will provide an opportunity to better herself and the knowledge she is doing something important.