Humans of Metea: Deysi Paniagua and Brian Casares enlist for National Guard

Seniors Deysi Paniagua and Brian Casares have been enlisted or beginning the process of enlisting into the United States National Guard, who train part-time, close to home, but are ready when they are needed.

What does the national guard do?

Deysi Paniagua: The national guard works from home so we actually deal with natural disaster. [An] example was when we had a really bad blizzard way back. So when you saw the army soldier pulling people out of cars that was us, not active duty soldier.

What made you want to join the national guard?

Brian Casares: The reason for joining the national guard is because I have always wanted to serve my country, that’s why I pursue the path of becoming a firefighter.

Deysi Paniagua: My parents often talked about their home and how things there are a lot more different from here. And I know it’s hard to believe but in the US you don’t hear about little girls getting shot for trying to stand up to get an education. You don’t hear about kids being forced into child labor because their family can’t afford to send them to school. Yes we have problems, and sometimes our right is a little abused but when we speak up for ourselves we’re heard. My parents have upheld values given by their parent given to me so this is my way of upholding them.

Has anyone influenced your decision to enlist?

Brian Casares: No one influenced me on my decision enlisting because I know my family will always support and be there for me, I already had the mentality on the enlisting.

Deysi Paniagua: My older siblings they’ve actually always told me that I was the black sheep in the family. And when I talked to them about it, they were really supportive and understanding. They actually said they weren’t surprised because I pretty much picked up the bad habit of always wanting to do more. My sister had told me that my brother had wanted to enlist but couldn’t because of his health problem. So my older brother was really enthusiastic when I told him talking about how he couldn’t imagine me not doing it since I seemed really adamant on joining.

What was the process during the enlisting of the national guard?

Brian Casares: First, one of the recruiters will contact you if sometime in your life you showed interest or personally you reached out to the national guard. You’ll come in for a meeting discussing what the national guard means and does. As well see how the national guard will benefit you, on your career choice or life choice. Followed by a practice ASVAB test, which has 8-9 categories but the practice test only quizzing you on 5; general science, word knowledge, paragraph comprehension, mathematical knowledge, and arithmetic reasoning. Once completed the ASVAB test, your score will determine the type of jobs will best suit you. After will be sent off the MEPS, Military Entrance Process Station.

Deysi Paniagua: When I was enlisting I actually had to get 5 references from neighbors that I new for the past 4 years along with 3 friends that I had known for 7 years. I had to go through a background check to make sure I hadn’t done anything illegal they made I didn’t even have a parking ticket. Many medical questions were asked making sure I didn’t have asthma or mental/emotional issues so I wasn’t putting myself or others in danger. Along with going to MEPS to complete it all and get physically checked by their doctors and let me tell they went through everything including the duck walk. And after all that I was finally able to enlist and make at the National Guard oath of enlistment.

What are you most looking forward to as you continue your journey?

Brian Casares: Being a part of something bigger than an image, the opportunity in being able to serve my country in the future will be forward-looking.

Deysi Paniagua: I want to be able to meet new people and see new places so basically travel. And I’ve already been to do that by going to BCT meeting people from all over the U.S., people from different backgrounds, and cultures. I was able to see how being the worst situations could bring people together especially when you have to make a whole new family with a bunch of strangers that at some point you’re going to literally put your life in their hands. I want to be able to help people and as cliche as that sounds I’ll be able to do it with the National Guard.