Deployed Pekin soldier re-enlists with 38th Infantry Division

CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait -- Staff Sgt. Kelsey S. Collard, a 38th Infantry Division military police officer from Pekin, re-enlisted in the Indiana National Guard while deployed to the Middle East to support Task Force Spartan, on Saturday, July 6th.
Ohio National Guard Lt. Col. Robert M. Crawford, the division’s protection officer, administered the oath of enlistment.
The division’s mission while deployed is to provide leadership, command, control and in-depth staff analysis for Operation Spartan Shield.
“I re-enlisted because my ultimate goal is to hit 20 years or more and reach the rank of first sergeant or higher,” said Collard who now resides in Louisville, Kentucky. “I will stay in as long as my body will let me or until they kick me out.”
Collard will hit the 12-year mark in December and joined the National Guard to go to college and play sports.
“Joining the Guard was the only way for me to do both” she said. “Now looking back, joining the Guard was the best thing I have ever done with my life. Had I known I would have been as successful and fortunate enough to be where I am with my career today, I would have gone active.”
Collard also said that military service enriched her life beyond what she initially imagined.
“The biggest impact it has had on my life is how much I have grown as a person. I will forever be grateful for the opportunities, benefits, travel and more-so the family and friends that I have made over the years. Those relationships will last a lifetime and you do not find that kind of camaraderie just anywhere. It is something very few will ever understand.”

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