By Staff Sgt. Vannessa L. JoseyOctober 30, 2015
ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. -- When Iowa high school students had the undivided attention of Lt. Gen. Michael S. Tucker, First Army commanding general, they asked about his experiences to see how their life would be impacted by joining the Army.
"What the general said was so positive and moving," said Kimberly Huerta, a senior at Easton Valley High School in Dubuque, Iowa. "It changed my outlook on the Army and life in general."
Tucker sat down with local area high school recruits inside First Army headquarters at Rock Island Arsenal on October 20 to give real world answers and share his past experiences about joining the Army.
Tucker joined the Army when the "Be all you can be" slogan was popular. And, that is what you should do, he says. "Take the opportunities and use them to the best of your ability so that you can be all you CAN be."
The advice Tucker gave was significant to several of the Army recruits who attended the brown bag lunch with the key leader.
Taylor Guthrie, a senior at Maquoketa High School, Maquoketa, Iowa, asked, "If the general didn't enlist as a Private first class long ago, who would he be today and would he be as or at all successful?
Tucker said that he cannot imagine that he would be as successful or happy if he had not seized the opportunities given to him because he joined the Army.
"Listening to the general's story was not only interesting but inspirational," said Clint Krapfl, a junior at Maquoketa Valley High School.
For one student, it was what she needed to know -- the truth about Army life and the possibilities of service to the nation.
Besides learning how joining the Army affected the commanding general, the students also learned how his decision impacted others.
Tucker said that his son decided to join the Army and follow in his footsteps as a Field Artillery officer, creating a multigenerational family focused on serving their country.
"It was very impressive to see a single man in uniform make such an impact on our future generation," said Spc. Adriana Nunez, a Dubuque, Iowa, area recruiter.
Not only were the recruits impacted by the visit, but also the recruiters who traveled with the students. The recruiters asked questions about the Army's potential prospects and were encouraged to work on their future, also.
One person is all it takes to make a difference, Staff Sgt. Nicolas Moulton, a Dubuque, Iowa, center leader said. "I am happy Lt. Gen. Tucker took the time to help the recruits and even all of us recruiters see the possibilities and what is truly being offered to be all we can be when we grab the opportunities out there."