Serving up a new chapter
By Steve Roth
Two years ago Jack Selbo came to Elon to begin his college career. But almost immediately his roommate introduced him to the Reserve Officer Training Course (ROTC).
“I had a roommate who was all about it and freshman year I just wanted to experience something new. He said, ‘try this out’ and I was like, ‘Umm… okay!’ and it kind of took me to where I am today.”
With this change came more excitement as Selbo joined the National Guard a few months later. More recently he left the ROTC due to a shoulder injury but that injury has not kept him from serving for the National Guard.
“Leaving ROTC was wonderful because then I could focus a lot more on school,” Selbo says. “Juniors have to travel to Greensboro so you’re traveling out there every day so that’s taking a solid hour just to commute. Then you got at least two hours over there so that’s four hours out of every day except weekends.”
The decision to leave the ROTC may have been an easier one but Selbo didn’t know exactly what he was getting himself into when he joined the National Guard.
“I didn’t know how big a commitment National Guard would be because I thought it would be very state-run but…we’re getting deployed!”
Selbo flys out to Afghanistan on June 11th. On that day he will begin his 9-month deployment.
In the meantime he has been packing and preparing for early finals. He begins “in-processing” on May 4 when he will go through army basic training that will prepare him for his journey. His dad was in town over the weekend to help him pack and mentally prepare for what lies ahead.
Selbo says he plans on being involved in explosives and ensuring that rooms are safe to enter by other members of the army while in Afghanistan.
As June 11th approaches more and more of Selbo’s friends have heard the news that he will be leaving for an extended period of time and many are having trouble dealing with it.
“The one thing that I’m kind of sad about is that I have to kind of call it quits at school a year early. I hate saying goodbye to friends. A few friends wanted to throw me a going away party and that’s where it sort of just hit that I’m going to be saying goodbye to them for who knows how long and that’s just really, really sad,” Selbo admits.
Despite the sadness at times, Selbo emphasizes, “I’m really excited to kind of move on with my life… whenever my life pushes me in a certain direction, you just find the positives and roll with it.”
As for graduating, Selbo isn’t sure at this point what he’ll do since he’ll be leaving after his junior year. “I have no idea. I’m going to figure it out as I go,” Selbo says. “If I had to make a decision today, I would probably finish my degree doing some online courses because what I really want to do with my life is start up my own company.”
With so much to look forward to, Selbo even suggests a goal he’d like to accomplish down the road. “I’ve just always got something going on. I might write a book so people should buy it.”Explore posts in the same categories: News, Shows comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.