Pvt. Christopher A. Langner, of Alta, and Pvt. Alberto Garcia, of Storm Lake, were both part of approximately 80 Iowa Army National Guard Soldiers recently recognized during a patching ceremony held at the Camp Dodge Joint Maneuver Training Center in Johnston. This ceremony represents a time-honored tradition, where Iowa Citizen-Soldiers officially receive the left-shoulder military patch representing their unit of assignment in the Iowa Army National Guard.
Langner said he joined to, “get a better start to (his) life.”
“(I joined) to better myself and gain leadership skills,” Garcia said.
By completing basic training and advanced individual training, Langner and Garcia are now eligible for the Iowa National Guard Educational Assistance Program, a state-funded tuition assistance program for Iowa National Guard members who attend Iowa community colleges and four-year colleges and universities, both public and private. Under this program, Iowa National Guard members will receive tuition payment up to 100 percent of the State Regents’ rate, an amount up to $7,108 per academic year.
Langner is the son of Eric Langner and Jami Pyle of Alta.
Garcia, a 2017 graduate of Storm Lake High School, now becomes an infantryman with Company A, 1st Battalion, 168th Infantry of Carroll. He is the son of Martin Garcia and Rosa Rubio of Storm Lake.
Both are also eligible for the Reserve Component GI Bill, which pays a soldier $600 per month while attending college, technical or vocational trade schools. And they’ll also receive monthly drill pay and 15 days of paid duty each year for annual training.