Culver graduation celebrated with help from the National Guard

NOW: Culver graduation celebrated with help from the National Guard

CULVER, Ind. --- The National Guard welcomes the addition of seven new recruits - all graduates from Culver High School.

“Life is before them, and they’ve taken a great opportunity to kind of build out and really serve their community," said Andy Zartman, Recruiting and Retention Batallion Commander for the Indiana Army National Guard.

Surrounded by friends and family the boys got to celebrate their new roles taking photos in front of a Blackhawk helicopter.

“They’ve got their future at their fingertips and I’m just excited that they took the opportunity to join the guard and take on the unique experiences," said Zartman.

Zartman is originally from the Michiana area and enlisted when he was seventeen — almost twenty-five years ago.

He was grateful to bring this experience to the younger generation like Noah Pratt — who says it gave him some direction on how to build his future.

“I didn’t really have a future and now I have a big family that I can rely on apart from I have a family outside of my actual family," said Pratt, a recruit and graduating senior.

The family atmosphere is a big component for Pratt who has already bonded with his new colleagues throughout the recruitment process.

Despite this, he says he’ll never forget his blood family and the reaction they all had when he told them his decision.

“All my entire family they were mind boggled by the fact that you know me I had a mullet back then, long hair, and I was like yeah mom I’m gonna join the national guard," said Pratt.

The boys will participate in training camp in the next several weeks.

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