Devin Paulson and Josh Von Gunten, 2014 graduates of Iola-Scandinavia High School, have enlisted in the United States Armed Forces.
“Enlisting in any of the military branches coming out of high school is a great option for many young adults,” said Robin Tomski, ISHS guidance counselor.
“Each branch offers different opportunities,” he said. “It is important that each individual gains a strong grasp of what these opportunities are. I feel Devin and Josh both have gone into great detail regarding the military branch of their choice with their recruiters.”
Paulson, the son of Tony and Holly Neumann, Iola, and Mike and Brenda Paulson, Milwaukee, will begin his four-year tour serving in the Air Force.
“The Air Force seemed to be a good fit for me,” he said. “I felt more at home there than other branches and I feel they have more to offer.”
Von Gunten, the son of Jeff Von Gunten, Iola, and Nalonnie Von Gunten, Waupaca, is looking forward to his four-year term in the Marines.
“A lot of my family has been in,” said Von Gunten. “I am excited to have new experiences in different places and different countries, all while getting the proper training necessary for my future career.”
“It’s a good feeling, knowing that I am going to serve our country,” he said. “I will help out in this world in some way. Not all people get to experience that or have the mind set to do it.”
“There is a sense of pride in giving back to my country,” said Paulson. “A lot of people’s first reaction is ‘why do you want to put your life on the line?’ My answer is, why not.”
“We have all these freedoms,” he said. “They are worth fighting for.”
“I believe that the voluntary commitment of these two young men to the defense and security of this great nation speaks volumes as to the impeccable character they possess,” said Darin Beschta, Captain, Wisconsin Army National Guard, and also a science instructor at I-S. “The self-sacrifice that this decision entails is beyond measure; and both Josh and Devin should be commended.”
“During their time in the service they will see and do things that will challenge them physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually,” said Beschta. “They will form bonds with fellow service members that will surpass anything they experienced in high school.”
“Making the decision to serve is answering a higher calling that puts others first,” he said. “Devin and Josh proved that they have the fortitude to do whatever it takes to be successful in the process demonstrating the ultimate love for country, community and family.”
Paulson and Von Gunten will both be seeking jobs in Security Forces during their service.
Both men agree that the military is a great way to start out life and the training and education they will receive will help them get their careers off the ground.
“With the support of their parents and others, these boys should experience a very successful career in the military,” said Tomski. “They may pursue other career options after they serve, or they may simply continue on to retirement as an enlisted person. Time will tell. Either way they will be off to a great start in life after high school.”
“I am very proud of both of them and wish them all the success in the world,” he said.