Cortland native shares National Guard experience

We recently caught up with Victoria Schmidtbonacker, a Cortland High School graduate, who is planning to apply to colleges and universities after completing basic training as part of her commitment to the National Guard.

Last time we spoke, you were about to start basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. How would you describe your overall experience there?

I had a lot of fun. There were multiple things that I learned. I learned how to handcuff detainees, patrol a base, and respond to calls like domestic disturbances, sexual assault, or a traffic stop. I did both basic and AIT (Advanced Individual Training). It was 19 weeks. It's normally always an option to do it all at once. I was ready to do everything.

How have you been adjusting to life back home?

My family lives in Homer now. It's been different. It feels different because civilian life is a lot different than being there, because they're so structured and everything's already set up for you. I really enjoyed the structure.

What are your plans now?

I am both looking for work and looking to enroll in schools. I have a deadline to apply for state tuition aid through the National Guard, but right now I'm really just applying to colleges and looking to enroll in spring 2019.

How would you describe your overall military experience thus far?

They were different than the people there, but it wasn't hard for me to get along. I made a few close friends. I would say I had a good overall experience.

What part of the military most interests you?

I don't have an interest in a specialty, but my higher ups have suggested I volunteer. You can put those things on your resume. I'm interested in doing National Guard work on the weekends while I am attending school.


More from New York National Guard:

Cincinnatus man finds purpose in National Guard (9/3/2018)

Cortland grads prepare for National Guard experience (7/1/2018)

Cortland native says military experience taught him to be a better person (6/1/2018)

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