Wayne High School senior serves in National Guard while attending school

Camron Powell, a Wayne High School senior, poses in the Dayton International Airport after returning from basic training over the summer. Powell has enlisted in the Army National Guard. Contributed by Sherri Ladd.
Camron Powell, a Wayne High School senior, poses in the Dayton International Airport after returning from basic training over the summer. Powell has enlisted in the Army National Guard. Contributed by Sherri Ladd.

Cameron Powell, a Wayne High School senior, decided to join the Army National Guard during his junior year of high school.

Powell, who is set to graduate next summer, is taking the split option, meaning he completed basic training over the summer, will attend school his senior year and then leave for active duty next June after his graduation.

Powell said he was attracted to the Army National Guard because he had a good recruiter.

“He came to my school, he told me about all the benefits. He had – my teacher taught him about 15 years ago or something, so she put a good word in for him and then he got me interested in it," Powell said of the recruiter, Sgt. 1st Class Justin Ward.

Kristen Amburgey, a Wayne High School social studies teacher, said Ward was a former student of hers who spoke to her current students last year, when she had Powell for government.

Amburgey said Powell is a focused, determined person. He supports other students and shows up for his friends, she said.

“He’s just a nice kid who’s very intelligent,” she said.

Powell’s older brother, Jordan Brewer, is also in the U.S. Army, he said, and a friend of Powell’s also joined the Army who graduated a year ahead of him. That helped, too, Powell said.

“It was the only branch I could see myself in, the Army,” Powell said.

Powell went to South Carolina for training over the summer. He said it was hot and he had to wear a mask the whole time, but, “there weren’t too many bad things about it.”

Powell is now training in Kettering with the National Guard once a month and going to school the rest of the time.

Ladd said she worried about her son while he was in South Carolina, and she was disappointed she and her family weren’t able to go see him graduate. But she said there was a celebration of sorts for the enlisted coming back at the Dayton International Airport, with families cheering and welcoming their children back.

Ladd said she thinks her son made a good decision. She said she talked to Powell about why he wanted to do it, and felt good about his choices.

"I was happy he made that choice himself,” Ladd said. “He made a good choice for his future.”

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