September 29, 2008
Kim Battig was on the verge of getting a job promotion. She decided to leave it all behind to chase her dream of serving.
Only recently did Battig learn she was still eligible to join the Army at age 35. It happened this summer while she inquired about career options for her son Tyler, a high school senior in Fond Du Lac.
"I was talking with a family member who is a Reservist and I mentioned how I would have liked to join when I was 18, but he said I wasn't too old," recounts Kim.
Kim and Tyler went to the U.S. Army recruiting station in Fond Du Lac to enlist.
Staff Sgt. Patrick Bibb, Fond Du Lac recruiting station, said he's used to seeing siblings join the Army, but it's less common to see a parent and child join together.
"Kim is one of those applicants who are established in their careers but they come to a point in their lives where they realize that if they are going to join the Army, they have to do it now," Bibb said.
Staff Sgt. Joseph Hohmann, Fond Du Lac RS, said he sees a lot of young people join the Army and it leaves him wondering if anyone else knows what it means to serve.
"Kim reminds me that people still believe in serving," Hohmann said.
Tyler said he had wanted to join the Army since he was in fifth grade. For him to walk into a recruiting station with his mom was no big deal. Now he realizes his mom will complete Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training by the time he graduates from high school.
"I'm just afraid she'll make it and I won't," Tyler said. "But I feel proud of her because she has the courage to join."
Kim is already making changes to ensure her success at BCT.
"I'm eating better, doing a lot of sit ups and lifting weights to work my way into push ups," she said.
Kim said her husband was uncomfortable with the idea of her joining the Army.
"He thought that I was too old for the Army, and that I should focus on our kids at home and that we were going to lose our house. But he's OK with it now, he just needed to know that there are plenty of people my age who join the Army," Kim said.
Kim leaves for BCT in mid-October. She'll then train to become an automated logistical specialist. Tyler will train to become a combat engineer when he leaves in Summer 2009.