For Josiah Reiner, serving in the military has been something he has always wanted to do. “Growing up, my dad was in the military, and that was a big influence for me. It motivated me,” says Josiah.
Armed with written parental permission, Josiah signed up for the army when he was 17 and went to Fort Knox in Kentucky for four months. After the first training, he returned home as part of the Army National Guard, with monthly drills and summer training.
Josiah was deployed for the first time to Afghanistan in February of 2008. Nine months later, he returned to the states safely.
“Being deployed was a huge learning experience for me,” he says. “There’s no way you can go to a third-world country for any length of time and not be affected.” Through his military experience, Josiah says, he has learned determination, patience and good listening skills. “It also gave me a drive and zeal to glorify God. There are lots of opportunities to witness in the military, although people aren’t always ready to be moved.”
After returning from active duty in December 2008, Josiah came to Geneva as a first semester freshmen in the spring of 2009. He was looking for a college with a Christian atmosphere, and several of his friends already attended Geneva. “Steve Bell, director of financial aid, was very helpful in accessing my veteran’s assistance.”
“Being a part of Geneva College has changed the way I see many things, it has helped me build a firmer foundation in the Lord and allowed me to exercise and hone my discipline and drive to do all for the glory of God.”
Although Josiah does not plan on pursuing a career in active duty, a job in public service, like becoming a state trooper, is not out of the question.
“It’s not for everyone, but I’d recommend military service,” explains Josiah. “It helps so much to be a strongly rooted Christian but despite the possibility of straying from your faith, you will grow so much and learn many things about yourself you didn’t know before. For me, I’ve made some life-long friends, grown closer to God and developed a stronger self discipline and work ethic.”
- Bonnie Smith ’12