Moffat County Locals: Tanner Hampton home for the holidays after army training
The call to serve one’s nation can be a powerful one, and it’s that sense of duty that Tanner Hampton felt strongly as he approached the edge of adulthood.
In November, Hampton completed basic training in the United States Army at Georgia’s Fort Benning.
One of several graduates of Moffat County High School’s Class of 2016 who enlisted in the military, Hampton shipped out to boot camp starting in August.
“First few weeks were pretty intense, takes a while to get used to a couple things,” he said. “Pretty physically demanding.”
Beyond the running, sit-ups and push-ups that keep soldiers-in-training at their peak, some of the other requirements of basic training were tougher to adjust to than others.
“I’ve been living in barracks with about 60 other guys,” he said.
After several months on the other side of the country, Hampton will be experiencing a holiday homecoming as he returns to Craig for Christmas, for which his mother, Lisa Rossi, has been anxiously awaiting.
“We just want to make the best of that time and spend as much time as we can with him,” she said.
His stepfather, Jimmy Rossi, noted Hampton’s resolve to make enlistment happen, such as testing in the ASVAB — Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery — his junior year of high school and making an official commitment before his 18th birthday.
“It’s a life-changing experience for him, teaches you skills like working as a team and gets you out of your comfort zone,” he said.
After the holidays, Hampton will head back for additional training, and he’s looking forward to what comes next.
“After February it’s wherever they send me,” he said.
Still contemplating what he’d most like to do as a career, whether within or outside the military, or what kind of education he’d like to pursue, the young man from Craig said his eyes have been opened by the experience.
Values, ideas and other things that were already important to him are even more so now.
“It changes how you look at things, the symbols of our nation, the American flag, it really stands out more,” he said.
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The Yampa Valley has been seeing some much needed rain to start the month of May, which is historically the wettest month of the year for the area.