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Be All You Can Be: Van Buren Students and the Military

posted Dec 5, 2013, 4:23 AM by Unknown user   [ updated May 8, 2014, 8:44 AM by Unknown user ]

Matthew Bado

Photo courtesy of (fair use)
Semper Fidelis. Be all you can be. Honor, Commitment, Courage. Fly-Fight-Win. For most of us in the graduating class, these statements are nothing but catchy slogans and will have no relevance during life after graduation, which will consist of roughly four more years of school before we begin our future careers. But, for some, these slogans represent something different, and their lives after graduation are very different from that of most of us. They have chosen to join the military.

“Joining the military was a good life choice for me,” said Joel Schumacker, senior. “I get a lot of financial aid for college. Of course, it’s not without its disadvantages. I could be injured, or even killed in the line of duty.”

Joel’s decision to join the Army or Marines is not without risk. Despite their relatively small size, the Marines are one of the most combat-heavy branches alongside the Army. Of the 6,717 American servicemen and women killed in the War on Terror*, the majority have been from the Army or Marines.

Although, Joel’s fear is not without cause, as he plans on going into the Marines or Army. “I have family in the Marines and with the Marines, they offer good options for me.”

Joel will, like a few other of his classmates such as Corey Spoon, be joining thousands of other new recruits next year from all walks of life. They will be, after training, be part of one of the world’s largest and strongest militaries.


As of January 31st, 2013 the US Military has 1,429,995 active-duty members with 850,880 in reserve making it the world’s second-largest army after the People’s Republic of China

The Branches by Personnel

















Air Force




Coast Guard




Despite the many dangers that come with serving in the military, it has many benefits for people who would not be able to normally pay for college. And, to bring us to our conclusion, I’ll leave you with a question: what would you do if given the choice to join the army? As some recruiters say, “How far would you go to defend your country?”

*The War on Terror has the 9th most total casualties of any war, and the 7th most combat deaths of any war. There has been, on average, 1.57 deaths per day among military personnel during the War on Terror.