Moffat County Class of 2019 Graduation: Bulldogs ready to serve in armed forces | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County Class of 2019 Graduation: Bulldogs ready to serve in armed forces

Lauren Blair/For Craig Press
Moffat County High School graduates stand for their recognition of impending military service during Saturday's ceremony.
Andy Bockelman

The Craig Press caught up with six Moffat County High School grads who have enlisted in the military after graduation. We wanted to know a little more about their hopes and dreams, and what inspired them to serve their country. Here’s what they had to say: 

Logan Knez, U.S. Army 

What inspired you to enlist? 

It’s something I’ve always wanted to do since I was a little kid. My grandpa was in the Army and his dad was in the Army. 

What are your aspirations?  

I hope to make a career out of it, I look forward to seeing the world, having adventures that most people don’t have, and just kind of experience things as they come along.  

What job are you signed up for? 

Joint fire support specialist (MOS 13F). Basically what that means is I’m going to be a forward observer for the artillery… The big cannons, they can shoot like 30 miles but can’t see their targets where they’re shooting, so my job is to go out with a ground unit and call in the fire and tell them where to shoot, and whether they’re hitting (the target) or not. I’ll also have the ability to call in planes for airstrikes and naval fire off of gunships and tank fire. So I’ll be in an artillery unit but will probably be attached to an infantry unit to be able to provide the artillery support for them. It’s a combat job. 

What are you most excited about in joining the military? 

The adventure.

What are you most nervous about, if anything? 

I’m not nervous about anything, I’m more excited about it. It’s all going to be challenging. That’s a big thing for me: I like new challenges and facing them. I’m ready. 

When and where do you start basic training? 

I’ll leave June 3 for basic training in Fort Sill in Oklahoma. 

Colton Lodato, U.S. Army 

What inspired you to enlist? 

A lot of my family has been enlisted, so I figured why not, it’d be fun. My sister was in and she just got out. My aunt is still in and my grandpa was in, all of them in the Army. 

What are your aspirations?  

I’m hoping to make a career out of it but I will get a college degree in construction management for a backup plan. You can start a college degree right after you finish basic training. They have professors that come to the base and you go to class after 5:00. And you get paid while doing it.  

What job are you signed up for? Infantry for airborne rangers. Airborne means jumping out of planes and the Army Rangers is kind of like a special forces. They do a lot of traveling. 

What are you most excited about in joining the military? 

The travel and something new. 

What are you most nervous about, if anything? 

The running. For basic, (you have to run) two miles in under 13 minutes. And for the job I picked, it’s five miles in 45 minutes.  

When and where do you start basic training? 

I start July 22 at Fort Benning, Georgia.  

Connor Murphy, U.S. Air Force 

What inspired you to enlist?  

Both my great grandfathers fought in the world wars and Vietnam, so I just wanted to follow in their footsteps… (My parents) say I have the same smile as them.  

What are your aspirations?  

My ultimate goal is to make a career out of it. I’m going to start out with four years and maybe transfer to another field. I’m also going to get my associate’s degree done while I’m serving.  

What job are you signed up for?  

There was a lot of competition for the medical field jobs in the Air Force, so I’ll do security forces for four years.  

What are you most excited about?  

Meeting new people and seeing the world. I’ll get to go to some places I’ve never been before. 
What are you most nervous about, if anything?  

You’re on their time, you know, so you don’t really get much say about what you want to do. I’m just nervous about some of the things I might not be comfortable with, but it’s kind of your job to do that because it makes you strong and makes you prepared. 

When and where do you start basic training?  

August 12 at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. 

Anything else you want to add?  

I’ve always wanted to serve my country and have fun and figure out what I want to do with my life. Instead of going to college and being in debt, I’m going to go serve my country and get educated.  

Angel Rodriguez, U.S. Marine Corps 

What inspired you to enlist? 

When I was little, I used to play with little toy soldiers. I guess it was an interest of mine since I was a kid, and it was always the Marines because of the cool uniforms. By about my eighth-grade year, friends would ask, “What are your plans for the future?” and I said I’m going to join the Marines and I stuck with it through high school. 

What are your aspirations?  

I’m really interested in traveling and getting to know the world better, and I hope to get a career out of it. But I’m going to do my first four years and depending on how well that goes, (my decision) will be based off of that. 

What job are you signed up for? Either an accountant or an airplane mechanic. I’m really interested in looking into being a pilot but I know you have to (serve) eight years, so I want to start off from the bottom and go from there.  

What are you most excited about in joining the military? 

I’m really excited about getting to know people. Part of it is getting out of Craig and meeting new people and new places and just being a part of it.

What are you most nervous about, if anything? 

If anything I’m really nervous about the drill instructors. I’ve met a couple and they’re not as bad as I thought. But you definitely get screamed at. I’m kind of terrified of those guys, but we’ll see how it goes.  

When and where do you start basic training? I leave Aug. 19 for boot camp in Camp Pendleton near San Diego.  

Any family in the military?  

No, I’m the first one to join. My mom is very supportive. 

Carter Severson, U.S. Army 

What inspired you to enlist? 

I have a lot of family that’s been in the military and I guess I just always wanted to enlist. I’d say around middle school I knew for sure. 

What are your aspirations?  

If everything goes according to plan, I’d stay in for 20 years. It would be really cool to see the world too. 

What are you most excited about in joining the military?  

Probably the friendships I’ll make. 
What are you most nervous about, if anything? 

I’m not really nervous just more excited. Well, for basic, it will probably be the heat because it will be down in Georgia.  

When and where do you start basic training? 

I’ll leave June 3 for Fort Benning, Georgia. 

Any family in the military? 

I had an uncle, grandpa, great grandpa, and my cousin is in right now. My grandparents were Army and my cousin is a Marine.  

Rachel Witt, U.S. Navy 

What inspired you to enlist? 

Mostly my brother. He was in the Army and he went on a tour in Iraq. He left when I was pretty little, but it always struck me as something I wanted to do, to follow in his footsteps. 

What are your aspirations?  

I’m going in for five years and I’ll be an aviation structural mechanic. I’ll have the opportunity to fly if I want to, and that’s been a big dream of mine, to fly. And when I get out, I’ll be able to use the GI Bill to study nutrition. I think it would be a really cool career to get into and help people. 

What are you most excited about in joining the military? 

I think to travel and just see the world and be able to gain a lot of job experience.

What are you most nervous about, if anything? 

I think just not knowing how everything’s going to go. I think that’s pretty nerve-wracking but overall, I’m just super excited.  

When and where do you start basic training? 

I ship out July 15 and I’ll be in Chicago. 

Any other family in the military? 

My grandpa is an Army veteran and also my uncle as well.

Editor’s Note: MCHS graduates Wyatt Johnson and Greg Hixson will also be serving in the military but were unavailable to interview for this story.