We’re celebrating a pair of students who serve in the Missouri Army National Guard. Meet James and Megan.
By James Gardner and Megan Popp
James “Kipper” Gardner
I’m a freshman. Springfield is my hometown. I am a criminology major, and hope to continue my service to others and my country through my civilian career after graduating from Missouri State.
My job field in the Missouri Army National Guard is 11B, infantryman. I love being able to serve our great state and country while also bettering myself and continuing my education.
Interesting facts about me: I’m a Pittsburgh Steelers fan and a bit of a country boy. It is my humble opinion that nothing beats a good bonfire with friends here in the beautiful state of Missouri.
I’m a senior wildlife conservation and management major from Fenton, Missouri. My job field in the Missouri Army National Guard is as a chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear specialist.
A cool fact about me would be that I used to be a Division I swimmer for Western Illinois University on swim scholarship. I joined the guard my sophomore year in college and transferred to Missouri State.
I won state in 2012 in the 500 freestyle as the first-ever state champ for my high school.
I’ve been on two state deployments to help with rioting in Ferguson and St. Louis. I plan to use my degree to work with animals, but should I not find a job I plan to join the police academy.