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May 1st marks the first day of Military Appreciation Month. In honor of this month, I have chosen to interview Glorie Pegel, a member of the Minnesota Army National Guard. Glorie has been one of my closest friends since middle school and I thought that for the month of May, I should interview her as a way to honor her and other service members. 

How long have you been in the military?

“I have been in the Minnesota Army National Guard for four years as of February.”

What made you want to join the National Guard?

“Honestly, I hadn’t really been doing well in school and I was skipping classes, so when the National Guard reached out to me, I saw that I could have a purpose, I didn’t have a vision on what I wanted to do when all of my friends did. I saw something that could make my family and friends proud; it gave me goals and something I could do in my life that was important.”

Who else in your family has served?

“My grandfather served for around 35 years; he served some active duty and some in the National Guard. He served in Vietnam and received several medals for his service. Both of my parents also served. Other than them, there are many more members of my family that have served or are serving now.”

Is there anything that surprised you about being in the military?

“Comradery is a big thing; you go through so many stressful and scary situations and you get close to people really fast and you get very comfortable. You hear of military members calling other members their brothers and sisters, and it really does feel like that. We would do anything for eachother. At the end of the day we are a family.”

What would you tell someone who is looking into going into the Minnesota National Guard?

“Don’t quit and don’t get scared. There were a lot of points I wanted to quit because I questioned why I was doing this. Because who would want to get screamed at and forced to exercise as much as you do in Basic Training? But there are golden roads on the other side and it ends up being so worth it in the end.”

Any final notes?“One thing I would like to mention is that there are a lot of really good full-time job opportunities. I have been working at a base for two years and the job opportunities are great. There are so many paths that you can take, a doctor, work in recycling, or an HR rep, the opportunities are pretty endless.”

Thank you to Glorie Pegel and all of our active military members, remember to have a good Military Appreciation Month this May!

(Some wording has been changed for clarity and the interviewee has given permission for her name to be in this article.)

Hi! My name is Calista Smude and I am a Communication and Literature teaching major with a creative writing minor at Winona State University. I am technically a sophomore but I already have my AA degree. After college, my plan is to teach highschool English and try to get some of the things I write published. In my free time, I am usually reading or writing something interesting, but I also spend a lot of time watching TV, playing video games and spending time with family, friends, and my six year old grey tabby named Ellie!
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