National Guard Impacts Kennedy Family

One family’s opinion on their teens experience with the National Guard.


Left to Right: Sarah Kircher, Micheal Kircher, and Mady Kircher at Mic’s graduation ceremony for Basic Training.

My brother, Michael Kircher is a senior at Kennedy High School and enrolled in the National Guards infantry program at just 17 years old with the signed consent of our parents.

The National Guard visits Kennedy and other schools around the Cedar Rapids Community School District to recruit new soldiers and members for other specialized units.

My dad had mixed emotions when his son, Mic told him about the opportunities the National Guard was offering, especially because he was going to be a part of the Armed Forces Division.

I too while naively being happy about being the only child for summer, had concerns of my own. Mine on the other hand were not very prevalent, and most of my thoughts had to do with the pride and admiration I held for Mic.

To me, he was making the ultimate sacrifice for our country and I could not imagine taking that responsibility under my wing.

To my surprise, most of my family did not feel the same way, and with good reason. After all some of my family had been in past wars and were very firm about not letting my dad join the armed forces when he was Mics age.

Ultimately that’s were my dad’s fear steamed from especially because like most parents, he was afraid of his son dying before him.

“You should never have to bury your own kids,” Chris Kircher said.

On the opposing side of his fears were feelings of immense pride that Michael wanted to stand up for our country’s freedom.

Mic’s first step in his career was basic training. This training course was preformed in Fort Benning Georgia over a 10-week period during the summer before his senior year. Not passing the course would have meant having to start all over again in order to make sure only the prepared defended our country.

He says most of his worries about basic training were taken care of at the orientation for parents of new soldiers. He says the Guard did a great job of making him feel comfortable and less fearful.

Sargent First Class, Jeremy Hoyt was Mic’s recruiter. He said is National Guard experience was just as advertised and only had positive things to say.

Mic said Hoyt was straightforward admitting that parts of the experience were going to be challenging but others would be extremely rewarding.

I missed my brother immensely. I am only slightly ashamed to admit that I cried when I saw him for the first time after 10 weeks at his graduation ceremony.

Overall, I think in my opinion that this was a good experience for him. Although, in natural sibling fashion, I was slightly annoyed when he came home, and had better manners than me as it meant everyone was fawning over him. He quickly reverted to his old ways much to my amusement.