Stillwater High School senior Dax Hughes is known for his toughness on the wrestling mat. After enlisting into the Oklahoma Army National Guard, Hughes can add soldier to his name as well.
Hughes said both of his grandfathers served during World War II and his uncle served in the U.S. Navy. All three served as inspiration for Hughes to join the military, but it was a book that really pushed him across the finish line.
“I read the book ‘American Sniper’ a few years ago and it sparked my interest in the military. I chose the National Guard because getting a college education is important to me, and the National Guard will allow me to pursue a college education and serve at the same time,” said Hughes.
The recruiting process for Hughes was an easy one thanks to the help of a close family friend.
“I thought the recruiting process was a good experience because my friend’s dad, Sergeant Major Matt Brown, is in the National Guard and helped me and my parents understand what the National Guard was and what I would be signing up for,” said Hughes.
Entering basic training can make even the toughest people nervous, but for Hughes, entering basic training in top physical condition should help him overcome some of the challenges he will face as a recruit.
“I will be going into basic training in good shape and prepared to stay tough during all mental and physical challenges that basic training possesses. I feel that wrestling will help with this because wrestling is a tough sport both mentally and physically,” said Hughes.
Upon graduating from basic training and AIT (Advanced Individual Training), Hughes will serve as an 11B or Infantryman.
Hughes is a member of National Honor Society and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. When he finds some down time, Hughes said he enjoys hunting and fishing and training his dog, Obi.
When asked why he joined the National Guard, Hughes had a simple yet inspiring answer.
“I love knowing that I will be serving people in need and protecting the freedom of United States,” said Hughes.
Hughes plans to attend Oklahoma State University where he will enter the ROTC program and upon graduation be eligible to commission as an officer.