Continue Marching On

Watch as this high school senior marches from the field of Lebanon to the fields of battle


TJ Zinn stands in the urban operations room doing breaching and teamwork. TJ was wearing his dress blues standing tal.

Whisper Kane, Contributor

The army protects the United States of America. Most consider going into the military a great sacrifice. It doesn’t matter if they are thin or thick, tall or short; you can protect the U.S.A. Taylor “TJ” Zinn has chosen to protect his country in battle. He has chosen to enlist in the Army.

TJ Zinn is a senior who has chosen to go into the military. To him, this is a great honor. Everyone joins the military for their own reasons. For some, it’s to defend their country, their family’s military history, travel, job stability, or other opportunities.

“I decided to join the military because I want to be an American hero and do my part to protect my country,” said TJ.

Military life is hard because they are often away from their families on tours, a period of time spent in combat or in a hostile environment, and if their spouse, if they have one, is also in the military, they have the possibility of not seeing each other for months on end.

The military is difficult to join for many reasons, such as the emotional, the physical, and the mental toll it will put on you. The reasons that make the military hard are the reasons that most people who join change drastically. TJ has changed because of the decision to join, he has matured, he holds himself differently and is quieter, but still loves to laugh.

“One hundred percent; I have grown because being in the military forces you to grow up dramatically and make decisions to keep you and your squad alive, so you have to be mature,” said TJ.

TJ plays the tuba in marching band. He has an important part because he is a low voice. A low voice is any lower-pitched instrument in the band much like a tuba, any low reeds, trombones, and euphoniums. TJ is also going into the army and had basic training last summer before and during band Camp. He showed up to the band’s parent showcase in his uniform. Balance is something everyone struggles with, but TJ surprisingly balances his life well.

“I balance marching band and my military life pretty well because the drill is one weekend a month, but BCT and AIT are 9-10 week long for a 31B military police, ” said TJ.

Even though TJ is joining the military, he can never forget the moments that happened in the band. The marching band has changed everyone who has come through. Most have gained confidence, friends, and tough skin.  

“My favorite memory in marching band would have to be my 10th-grade year because of Kylee Roberts and Danielle Shumate wearing my jacket at the same time like a 2 headed person,” said TJ.

Everyone has favorite memories that changed their lives. But people notice if you change. Danielle Shumate, a junior, has known TJ for many years and is also a low voice. Danielle is currently dating TJ and has noticed a few things that have changed in TJ ever since his decision to join the military.

“I don’t know how to put it into words. Besides that, he is more alert with what’s going on around him, he is proud of being a soldier and serving for our country. Our relationship is stronger and we support each other. he also doesn’t take anything from people,” said Danielle.