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Pvt. Gleckler, Welcome Home

Posted on: December 14, 2018
Pvt Gleckler

Serving our Country is one of the most respected things a high school graduate can decide to do. The dedication has little, if any, comparisons and the physical and mental toll can be excruciating. For Taylor High School graduate, Kate Gleckler, it was worth the challenge. 
Gleckler, class of 2018, recently returned to her hometown (Cleves) in late November after graduating from Army Military Police training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Prior to this training, she completed Basic Training. 

We first asked Pvt Gleckler to reflect on how Taylor High School prepared her for Army Basic Training. She said it "helped me to learn how to accomplish goals, be more independent, and advocate for myself." 

While at training, Kate reflected on the most physically and emotionally challenging. Her most difficult physical challenge was the 'Wardog Challenge' that only a limited amount of people out of each platoon were selected. Pvt Gleckler happened to be one; she was challenged with crawling for 200 meters and sprinting for 400 meters all while carrying the weight of full water jugs. At the end of the challenge, the soldiers in training were exposed to tear gas. All of that and her response? "It was bad, but it wasn't that bad." She went on to reflect on the most significant emotional struggles during her training. She said that it boils down to her family; was used to seeing them every day. In addition to the emptiness of missing family, Kate also faced the emotional stress of overcoming difficult mental challenges. One instance, in particular, Kate said "we were out in the field, away from our regular training and sleeping areas. We were simulating guarding a base from terrorists. Many of us – including myself – ended up not sleeping one night on account of how cold it was… single digits." To add to the emotional challenge, she remembers her drill sergeant saying, "If you guys do anything stupid I promise you I will reach into your bodies and rip your little souls right out.” Despite the difficulty of the training, Pvt. Gleckler graduated.

While at Taylor High School, Kate played soccer and ran track. She believes the endurance of both helped her in the Army. 

Finally, she was asked to reflect on when she first knew she was interested in the military. Pvt. Gleckler responded, "I remember that around the beginning of my senior year I began talking with my dad about post-graduation options. Obviously, not everyone goes to college; some people go into the trades, the military, other full-time jobs. I was initially set on trying to get a scholarship to play college soccer and maybe going Army Reserve. I remember thinking that I did not want to rack up a lot of college debt. Probably around December of my senior year, I just kind of randomly decided I should go active duty. Dad and I checked out the local Army recruiting office and it all went from there. I chose active rather than reserves because I felt I would get so much more out of all of the training. The skills are good and the benefits both now and in the future are great. Since I signed on to the Army for a five-year commitment, I now know that this will be my job for the next five years."

Pvt. Gleckler, on behalf of Three Rivers Local School District, thank you and best of luck!