From Seniors to Soldiers


Kyler Lardieri, Tyson Miller, Matt McMillan, Jake Shade and Hannah Cherry are some of the seniors at Bellwood-Antis who have chosen to join the military upon graduation.

“What do you plan on doing after high school?” That’s the million dollar question. College? A trade school? The work force? Maybe you have no clue at all. If that’s the case, maybe you should think about military.

There’s more than one senior from B-A considering this option and a couple are already enlisted. But how do you choose? Which branch? How many years? Do you want to be reserved or make a career out of it? How do these seventeen and eighteen-year olds figure this out?

It’s simple. They want to serve their country and make their family proud.  The rest falls into place from there.

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Jake Shade is going to join the Navy. Kyler Lardieri is  already sworn into the Marines. Hannah Cherry, Matt McMillan and Tyson Miller enlisted in the Army instead. And Jordan Harshberger is dead set on enlisting into the Army after school.

“When I was thirteen, I knew I wanted to be in the Navy. My family is military, every man on my mom’s side has enlisted. I still don’t know if I’m going to go to Officer schooling before or just enlisting right after school,” said Jake. He added he is excited to travel and serve his country though he is somewhat scared about not being in the US.


When asked, Kyler gave tons of information.

“I’ve wanted to join the army for years—I remember when I was little I would be watching shows with army components and just know I was going to do it. My mom would rather me do the Air Force but the Marines are more for me. I’m already enlisted and leave for Paris Island, South Carolina on June 15th. I am nervous, kind of scared but also excited. I mean, I’m going to be in the security forces, which means I can go to nu
ke sites—presidential events, travel all over. I’m not going to college, although I’m taking some courses while in. I’m going to make this into my career.”


The Army is where Hannah is going, leaving for training on the 23rd of June. “I’ve always had it in mind. My brother is in it, so since I don’t know what I want to do college-wise, I thought this would be a good path. My parents were supportive but my other family? They were shocked. I’m hoping to be stationed out of the U.S. I want to travel around and get the most out of this experience.”

Hannah plans on using the G.I. Bill a year or two into everything, hoping that she has an idea of what she wants with her future.

On the very same day as Hannah, Tyson is heading for the same place.

“I swore in this past summer but decided on it at the end of last school year. My mom is worried but she supports me and that’s all that matters,” he said.

Tyson plans on using the ROTC scholarships and the ROTC program to eventually become an Army engineer. “I’m excited for this, to get to travel out of the U.S. and get to see some crazy stuff.”

He has six years signed away but might make it into a career.


Jordan’s plans are similar to Jake’s. He is waiting until he graduates high school to make the final decision.

“Ever since sixth grade I’ve wanted to be in military. My parents were proud when I first brought it up but we are all kind of nervous. I want to be in the army, I’m curious to see what it’s going to be like.” Jordan wants to stay in the U.S. and at some point use the G.I. bill to pay for college. If he does join, he plans on making a career out of it.

The Army seems to be the popular destination for our Bellwood-Antis seniors since Matt is enlisted too. On July 7th he is leaving for Fort Lenordwood, Michigan.

“My family is really supportive and I’m excited.. This is going to be a fun experience. Plus I get to serve my country and benefits are good. Army life is going to be exciting.”

What do you think he will miss the most? Family? Yeah, of course. But one of the first things that came out of his mouth was “Foooood. I’m going to miss the food—Holidays with my family. Free time, I am really, really going to miss my free time.”

Matt plans on using the ROTC and attending college during his time served.

“I’m committed for eight years and I’m going to see how it goes. If I like it, I’m going to make it into a career.”

And these are only some of the seniors that plan on joining the military, the number currently resting at ten people. This is something we should be proud of.