DOWNEY - While students graduate from high school with many very different goals in mind, one student hopes to not only position himself in a career that he'll love, but serve his country and make America safer.Ben Temple, 20, is a Downey High School graduate who is in the process of enlisting in the military. While Temple was highly involved in various music programs throughout his high school career and after, he feels passionately about his country, and wants to do his part in helping to protect it. Temple has a high respect for the armed forces and the veterans that have been involved in it, and looks forward to contributing himself. "I enlisted in the U.S. Army to serve my country, and for the benefits my future and current family will receive," said Temple. "Joining the Army for me is my way of helping us as Americans stay free, especially with everything happening in the world. The Army also has a lot of great benefits for me now, and one day for my family. It's definitely steady pay with free health care from great doctors, which is hard to find elsewhere right now." Along with the great benefits that Temple will reap, there are also some fears. Temple describes himself as a person who loves to take on a challenge, and this may be his biggest one yet. "My biggest fear about joining the Army is the time I will be spending away from my family and friends - that'll be a challenge," said Temple. "There will be a lot of family time lost by being deployed, but my family and friends definitely support me, so that will make the distance a little easier to deal with. It's going to be a huge challenge for me - but I'm highly looking forward to it." Fears are normal when facing any new challenge, but unfortunately, this challenge had to be postponed. Due to an accident, he suffered an injury that prevented him from leaving on his original ship date. "I was scheduled to leave May 3, but due to an ATV accident, I was delayed five months," said Temple. "While it is unfortunate, while my collar bone heals it gives me more time to spend with my family and friends. It's kind of helped me realize there are still a lot of things I want to do before I leave." Ben is scheduled to leave Oct. 17 for basic combat training, and is looking forward to this new adventure. Of course, Temple had a lot to say about his appreciation for veterans today, and hopes he can one day be recognized as one. "I respect veterans for what they endured to let us live the life we live today," said Temple. "I think their role after leaving the service should be to be a role model citizen - and all of the ones that I have encountered are. I hope to one day be one, and be able to talk to the youth and help them understand what the U.S. and the military is all about." Temple will be leaving to defend our country, and also represent the city of Downey. While he is of course somewhat nervous for the challenges that lay ahead, Temple is anxious to begin his training, and embark on this new adventure. "I am excited for this new chapter in my life," said Temple.
********** Published: May 19, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 5