By Autumn Copeland
As we celebrate our Nation’s Independence Day, we’d like to honor these local Medina County graduates who have made the decision to serve our country.
As most of the local 2023 graduates enjoy their summer breaks before college or entering the workforce, these young men and women are getting ready to leave for basic training.
In Devine, a total of 10 graduates are planning to enter the military. Jordan Erxleben and Juan Hernandez will be joining the Navy. Theodore Hinkle and Zachery Martinez will be going into the Army. Entering the Air Force are Owen Fowler, Joselyn Guajardo, Noah Macias, and Kristina Moralez. Ryan Mclain Connor, Carlo Rivera, and Aaron Salazar will be joining the Marines.
In Lytle, graduates Nivea Sanchez, George Hernandez, and Mackenzie Sessom have committed to serving in the military.
Natalia’s graduating class consisted of two military commitments. Joshua San Miguel will be joining the Air Force and Austin Sutton will be joining the Navy.
Hondo had seven graduates going into the military. Marco Aguilar Rios and Paul Ramirez will be going into the Army. Benjamin Cardenas, Eric Camjo, Avery Ortiz, and Devin Velasquez are entering the Air Force. Going into the Marines is Hayven Villareal.
In Sabinal, there are three graduates entering the service. Jacob Flores and Ryan Wells will be going into the Navy while Jesus Gonzales will be going into the Marine Corps Reserves.
Medina Valley’s graduating class consisted of a total of 20 students enlisting in the military. Angel Mariscal, Miranda Salas Perez, and Cristobal Gil will be joining the Army. Garrett Edwards, Sharlotte Sarro, Zachary Guinn, Gavin Guerrero, Alan Segura, and Emiano Rodriguez will be joining the Marine Corps. Rene Contreras, Madaly Gaultier-Soliz, and Clayton “CJ” McCulloch will be joining the Navy. Anberlin MacCauley, Kason Saulter, Natalie Perez, Elisa Simmons, Jaiden Gonzalez, Eric Barrentes, Jacob Lascano, and Cristian Zarazua will be joining the Air Force.
The young people of Medina County entering the military have expressed their joy about entering the service and sorrow about leaving the community. Jordan Erxleben will be attending the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
“I’m very excited for the next chapter of my life,” said Erxleben. “I’m sad about leaving my friends, family, and home in Texas, but my time in Annapolis and the assignments beyond inspire great excitement for what is to come.”
Erxleben’s mother Lacey Erxleben also had some sentiments to share about the bittersweet feeling of her daughter leaving.
“It’s the best of both worlds- getting an education and serving our country,” said Erxleben. “I’m sad but happy for the opportunity for her and I know that, like all of my children before her, I need to let her go in order for her to accomplish great things.”
Juan Hernandez expressed how he is happy to be joining the military because he believes it is a great option right out of high school.
“I wanted to enlist because I want to travel the world and work out as much as possible, so what better way to do it than to join the Navy,” said Hernandez.
Kristina Moralez shared her nervousness and hopefulness in regards to joining the military.
“I have always loved challenges, being pushed past my limits, and staying active which is why I think I will love serving my country,” said Moralez. “I’ve always thought of myself as a leader so I would like to show those qualities of myself in the service as well.”
We thank the brave young men and women who have made the decision to serve their country, dedicating themselves to the nation’s independence.
Please note, unfortunately not all pictures were made available to us as of press time, but we are happy to feature any student who was left out in future weeks.
By Autumn Copeland