Military Bound: Holly Pond, Vinemont and Cullman Christian School

Rylan Griffin (Amber Black photographer)  

Rylan Griffin- Holly Pond High School- Army 

 Rylan Griffin recently graduated from Holly Pond High School and was a member of the JROTC program. He will soon be leaving for the United States Army. Griffin said of his decision, “It’s something I have always wanted to do. It’s just a calling.” Griffin chose the Army for the chance to become an Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operator. He will report to basic training on July 20, 2021 at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina.  

He wanted to thank his parents, Kalina Black and Scott Griffin, for always helping him to achieve his goals.  

Lizzie Anders (Lisa Wilhite photographer)  

Lizzie Anders- Cullman Christian School – Air Force 

Lizzie Anders graduated from Cullman Christian School this May. Knowing she had no interest in attending college after graduation, Anders joined the United States Air Force in July of 2020, prior to the start of her senior year. She said, “I chose the Air Force because it has the best reputation out of all the branches, including nicer living conditions and better facilities in general.”  

Anders will ship out on July 20, 2021 for Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. She is currently booked in Communication Signals Intelligence.  

“I would like to thank my parents for being very supportive and pushing me to do the things that needed to be done to get where I’m at in my Air Force journey,” Anders said. She is the daughter of Bobby and Dana Anders.  

Jose Perales with his family at graduation.(Photo courtesy of parents, Solomon Parales and Guadalupe Martinez) 

Jose Perales- Vinemont High School- Marines 

Jose Perales is a 2021 graduate of Vinemont High School. Perales said that he always knew he would join the military. During a trip to Panama City Beach in 2020, a situation at an ice cream parlor would be the final motivation he would need. Parales recalled, “Me and my friends went to this ice cream shop and we must have waited 45 minutes to an hour in line. I looked up and saw a separate line for those with a military idea. There was only one person in that line. That’s when I knew. I said ‘yep, I want to be up front.’”  

Perales soon joined the United States Marine Corp. He explained, “I didn’t want it to be easy and I did it for me. I want to have a happy life, a successful life and a good life, and the Marines is a good starting point. I just want to be the best version of me I can possibly be.”  

Perales will report to Marine Boot Camp at Parris Island, South Carolina on September 27, 2021. He thanked the ice cream parlor in Panama City Beach for motivating him to join.  

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