2018-11-07 / Front Page

Locals enjoy serving their country

By Debbie Lowe
Staff writer


Drills and fun at the National Guard Armory The Comet was invited to attend drills and meet Carroll County veterans, and perhaps a future veteran, at the Lafayette National Guard Armory Saturday. Drills were being held outside while other activities, such as a gathering of a unit returning from active duty in the gymnasium, were held elsewhere. Pictured above, from left to right, are Carroll Jr.-Sr. High School student Private Chase Hart, Sgt. Daniel Laney (who was part of a group who brought a Black Hawk Helicopter to the Delphi Municipal Airport last summer) and CCHS graduates SFC Jeffery Lauderdale and recruiter Zac Marchand. Comet photo by Debbie Lowe Drills and fun at the National Guard Armory The Comet was invited to attend drills and meet Carroll County veterans, and perhaps a future veteran, at the Lafayette National Guard Armory Saturday. Drills were being held outside while other activities, such as a gathering of a unit returning from active duty in the gymnasium, were held elsewhere. Pictured above, from left to right, are Carroll Jr.-Sr. High School student Private Chase Hart, Sgt. Daniel Laney (who was part of a group who brought a Black Hawk Helicopter to the Delphi Municipal Airport last summer) and CCHS graduates SFC Jeffery Lauderdale and recruiter Zac Marchand. Comet photo by Debbie Lowe Carroll County was well represented at the National Guard Armory in Lafayette Saturday when the Comet was invited to observe drills and other activities at the facility in honor of the upcoming Veterans’ Day holiday. Statistically speaking, only one percent of the population of the United States serves in the military. Several locals believe serving in the Army National Guard provides not only the opportunity to serve their country, but also substantial educational benefits.

According to Recruitment and Retention NCO Sgt. Daniel Laney, any member of the National Guard has the opportunity to attend a state university, such as Purdue, Indiana or Ball State, free of charge for their Bachelor’s degree.

The Guard also offers different

“contracting” options as well, which includes a six-year commitment or a lesser number of years. For instance, SFC Jeffery Lauderdale hails from Flora and graduated from Carroll Jr.- Sr. High School. He is the son of Terry and Martha Lauderdale and has been in the military for 18 years. Lauderdale refers to himself as a “lifer.”

“Everyone should serve a hitch in the military,” Lauderdale told the Comet last Saturday. “It changes how you view life and your expectations.”

Lauderdale serves as a “Readiness NCO (non-commissioned officer) at the Lafayette National Guard Armory. He describes his job as a “jack of all trades” and is in charge of trainees, operations, logistics and administrative duties – “until the big guns come in.”

Sgt. Zac Marchand is a 2007 CJSHS graduate. His parents are Stephanie Roberston, Dustin Noonkester and Barbara and Ron Marchand. Marchand enlisted in the Army in active duty in 2010 and became a member of the Army National Guard in 2014. He currently serves as a full-time recruiter in the Kokomo area. Marchand said at least half of his recruits are women, a statistic shared by other recruiters.

Marchand said he was restless in high school and was unclear about what he wanted his future to be.

“I like serving my country and I like the structure that the National Guard provides me,” he said. “The National Guard has something for everyone.”

Both Marchand and Lauderdale served in Iraq.

Private Chase Hart, currently a CJSHS student, enlisted in the Guard on Sept. 21 of this year. Hart said he wants to be an officer in the field of aviation. His mother is Chanda Hart of Flora. Hart serves one weekend a month to train and perform drills.

“This is a great way to start a military career,” Hart told the Comet. “If anyone wants to join the military, joining while in high school gives them a head start.”

Those who are interested in learning more about the Army National Guard can contact Sgt. Laney at (765) 316-1643, on the group’s Facebook page or their website, located at www.in.ng.mil or www.nationalguard.com.

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