Juneau County's Teenagers of Today: Ian Donaldson makes time for family and friends while being in Army National Guard

by Becca Bruss - iLead Student and Teen Reporter for The Messenger

Ian Donaldson is a senior at Mauston High School and as graduation day approaches, plans for his life begin to feel more and more real. Besides finishing up his senior year and working, he is in the Army. He joined the Army National Guard in February of 2016 and his MOS is a 12N or horizontal construction engineer.

I asked him why he decided to join and he told me “I went into the military for a few reasons; to follow my Uncle Kory, to help me with my future and to set me up for a better life.” I then asked Ian what he liked and disliked most about joining and he said, “I like the feeling of doing something bigger than myself, not being selfish, and caring more about the people around me than myself. What I dislike about it is sometimes the hours of sleep get a little light.”

Since February of 2016, Ian has been balancing school, work, the army and making time for his friends and family. He told me, “On drill weekends things get a little difficult, but the other weekends are fine.” In his free time, he likes to go running, play video games and hang out with his best friends. Ian is the perfect example to other teenagers that may be considering the Army- it can be done, you can join and still attend school and be able to make time for your family and friends. “It's a great investment for your future,” is what he said he would tell a fellow teen who is considering joining.

After he graduates on June 4th, he will spend as much time as he can with friends and family before he ships on June 29th to AIT. After AIT he will then decide if he wants to go full military, or if he wants to attend college at the University of Platteville WI, for software engineering and a minor in computer science. Ian stated, “You form a real bond of brotherhood that can never be broken when you join the military and you grow with your battle buddies through basic.”