You Can Find Redemption
The Guard can turn your life around. Ask Staff Sergeant Aldo Reyes. A member of the Arkansas National Guard, Reyes, today, is a role model to younger Soldiers and a supportive father of five. But 16 years ago, he was a troublemaker and a high school dropout and, as he puts it, headed on a path that would have certainly led to prison. Growing up in a dangerous part of Little Rock, AR, Reyes was surrounded by bad influences. At 14, a court ordered him to attend the Arkansas National Guard's Civilian Student Training Program (CSTP) for at-risk teens. The experience helped, but he slipped back into old habits. At 16, he found himself in trouble again and entered the Guard's Youth ChalleNGe program. Sixteen weeks later, he had earned a GED and a full-time job at Taco Bell. But when Reyes found out he was going to be a father, he decided to make a change. "I knew I wanted to be a good father, and all I could think about was the Army National Guard," he says. "It let me know that there was a plan B. My plan A was to stay on the street, and plan B was to better myself." Reyes signed up for the Guard and took advantage of the GI Bill. In the last 13 years, he has received a technical certification from a technical college, earned two associate degrees, a bachelor's degree, and is now working toward a master's in leadership and management. Reyes is one of thousands of Soldiers who have transformed their lives thanks to the discipline, stability and guidance the Guard provides. It's never too late to be who you were meant to be. The Guard can get you there.