CA student becomes National Guard Private over summer break

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CA student becomes National Guard Private over summer break

Carter Martin, Staff Writer

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Canton Academy student becomes National Guard Private over summer break

Lane Martin is now “always ready, always there” as he became an Army National Guard Private over the summer. Martin attended basic training at Fort Benning in Fort Benning, GA for seventy-two days.

“It was definitely an experience. I feel like it changed my life forever. I learned so many new skills and have so much more pride in my country,” said Martin.

 Martin, a senior this year, has been at Canton since four year old kindergarten. His career plan is to attend Mississippi State University and “get a degree in something to do with aeronautical engineering and then eventually be trained to fly the Black Hawk.” Going through basic training and leaving the state was a big step for Martin. Fort Benning is the second largest military training base in the United States. “This experience led to me being way more disciplined overall,” said Martin.

Many know Martin is a very energetic person and a leader at CA. He made friends at basic training; two of the best friends he made were Gregory Mojica and Johnny Jungles. Martin said, “I meshed with them because Gregory was twenty-eight years old, and he was very mature. So he knew when it was time to have fun and when it was time to get work done, and the same thing with Johnny Jungles.”

For Martin, mail call was one of his favorite times because he got to be informed on things that were going on back at home in Canton. It was also one of the very few times that the drill sergeant was not yelling at them and mad. “The drill sergeant enjoyed tossing out the mail. By far my mom wrote me the most,” Martin said.

Alison Martin, the yearbook teacher and math teacher at Canton Academy, wrote her eldest son a letter almost every day. Before the 2018-2019 school year was over, Mrs. Martin took up letters from most of the senior class to mail throughout the summer to Martin. “Every time we got letters, I had two or three from one of my classmates. That made me super happy because I couldn’t talk to them as much. While I was there, I got four phone calls. On the last phone call, no one at home picked up so I called Nick (Foreman) and got to talk to him for a bit,” said Martin.

Now back at school, Martin said he’s still adjusting to such a different environment.

School at CA starts at 8:15 a.m. At basic training there were three phases, red phase, white phase, and blue phase. Through the three phases, trainees had to wake up at different times: 3:45 a.m., 4:00 a.m., and during the last phase they got to sleep in until 4:15 a.m. “This early morning schedule was not at all like back home,” Martin said. Martin got home on a Thursday, and the next morning woke up at about 4:30 stammering around because he thought he was going to be late.

While away at basic training, Martin won the leadership award over his entire company. “I was in third platoon and their platoon leader. I had a really good platoon who listened to me and worked together. We won six of the nine streamers, which means we outperformed in six of the nine training events,” he explained.

For the first three weeks of basic training, there were two other platoon leaders, and after the third week, Martin was assigned to be the platoon leader. Maintaining a platoon that won banners in competitions within the company, Martin kept his job as platoon leader for the rest of the cycle.

At the end of the cycle, Martin was awarded with the company coin and named leader of the cycle.

Martin would agree with most everyone that says the food there is not the best. “The hot meals weren’t terrible. We ate very healthy meals but had to eat MREs for lunch during white phase. They were cold, and you don’t have time to heat them up. I was definitely missing a home cooked meal by the end of training. Actually by the end of day one,” he said with chuckle.

Now in his senior year, Martin is a member of the football, basketball, track, shooting clays, cross country, and golf teams at Canton Academy. Martin said, “I could not wait to get back playing football that Friday. I was looking forward to it for about eleven weeks.”

Martin’s favorite part of basic training was combatives where trainees got to fight and hit each other with sticks. They also got to throw a live hand grenade for the first time.

He said “I will always remember throwing the live hand grenade. They put it in my hand, and I immediately felt a rush of adrenaline because I had this tiny ball in my hands,” Martin gained strength both mentally and physically during his training. The most push ups he was ever assigned to do was eighty at one time. “A lot of the guys in the platoon, including myself, could not do eighty push-ups at one time, so we all got yelled at and had to run even more.”

Coach Trey Earnhart, the CA highschool principal said “I am very proud of his dedication not only to the school but to this country. This is wonderful, and I think every eighteen year old guy should have to go through it.”

Martin is now back from basic training and is proud to be among his CA family once again.