CAMP RIPLEY -- "I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life...I am an American Soldier."

For those in the National Guard the way of life is different then what you and I may see it as.

While a lot of people in the National Guard are full time soldiers, a majority of them have a civilian life outside that as a soldier.

"In my civilian life I am a dentist, so this is a little out of my normal comfort zone," says

Captain Hillary Hunter.

Soldiers in the National Guard are required to attend mandatory training throughout the year up at Camp Ripley, which lasts about two weeks.

During training they work on man things such as leadership drills, shooting drills, team building skills, and of course conditioning. Every drill and situation set up to be as realistic as they would see in real life.

"We just returned from Iraq and Kuwait in May 2012," says Sgt. Massmann of the Alpha Company 1st of the 194th Combined Arms Battalion. "Since then, we're working on any preparation for any state side missions that may come available."

But when soldiers are not training or on duty they are just continuing with life, which soldiers say people forget they are just regular people.

"We are just everyday people, you know? And we are just here to serve and protect," says Private First Class Scotty Morgan.

And as most soldiers will tell you it's the people they meet that keeps them coming back.

"I think if you ask people in the military in general that's what they will say -- it's the soldier on their left or the solider on their right that keeps them coming back," says Captain Hillary Hunter.


Soldiers practice shooting at Camp Ripley (Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON News)


“Everyday Heroes” is a weekly WJON News feature spotlighting those who put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe.