This story appears in the 2022 Southernaire Yearbook, purchase your copy for $75 at this link
While most seniors headed into their final year uncertain of what the future holds, Emmanuel Rocha went forward by spending the summer going back to basics. “The summer after junior year, I went to basic training for the Army in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri,” said senior Emmanuel Rocha. After spending two grueling months away from home undergoing things like physical training, ruck marches, and marksmanship, Emmanuel returned as a Private First Class in the U.S. Army.
“I had to overcome a lot during basic training. It was really hard being away from family for two months,” he added. Things like waking up extremely early became second nature for him. “I was really accustomed to doing things there, so it was hard for me to try to be normal again,” said Emmanuel.
While many seniors spend their time thinking about college, Emmanuel had to think about the decision that could change the course of his life. “It was a lot to think about at the time, but I thought about my future, and knowing I was going to be a step ahead of my peers, I took the leap and did it.”
After graduating on June 2nd, Emmanuel will be reporting to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri for advanced individual training (AIT) as a 31 Bravo (military police).