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Frontier has large number of enlistees

NEW MATAMORAS — Nearly 10 percent of the Frontier High School class of 2021 have declared intent to enlist in a branch of the U.S. Armed Services after graduation.

Haley Bills and Austin Brooker are committed to the U.S. Army Reserves, while Braden McLeish and Owen Panozzo are committed to the U.S. Marine Corps.

“This is the highest percentage of any senior class to make such an honorable commitment and to take the steps to do so at this point in their lives,” said Holly Cunningham, school counselor. “We are extremely proud of these students and their willingness to serve our nation.”

Private Bills already completed basic training in Fort Jackson, S.C., last summer before returning home for her senior year at Washington County Career Center. She leaves June 10 for Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., for further training.

“I chose the military because I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself,” Bills said. “I have always seen myself joining the military since I was little; it’s always been a dream of mine.”

Bills is the daughter of Jamie Bills-Kahlig, Mike Kahlig, Aaron Bills and Nikki Tonnous.

While at Frontier, she has been a varsity athlete, member of both the float and prom committees and recipient of the Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Award. Bills also works for Colegate Woods Veterinary Hospital.

Brooker will report to Fort Leonard, Mo., on Aug. 17 to begin six years of reserve duty.

“I wanted to join the Army for college, and I have multiple family members who have served,” Brooker said.

He is the son of Liz and Anthony Brooker.

While at Frontier, he participated in the College Credit Plus Program; was enrolled in courses required for the Ohio Academic Diploma with Honors; and participated in FFA, football, and float and prom committees.

McLeish leaves June 1 for Parris Island, S.C., and plans to spend at least eight years serving.

“I chose the Marine Corps to better myself and be of service to my people,” he said.

McLeish is the son of Chad and Andrea McLeish.

While at Frontier and the Washington County Career Center, he was active in FFA, football, track, and a student ambassador.

Panozzo leaves Aug. 23 for Parris Island, S.C., and plans four years active duty followed by four years reserve duty.

“I chose the Marines because I wanted a challenge and for family competition with my cousin,” he said.

He is the son of Fonda and David Panozzo.

Panozzo participated in the College Credit Plus Program; varsity football, basketball and track; and was an active member of the student section.

“These students have been an active part of our school and community,” said Cunningham. “Now they are going on to be an active part of something much bigger than themselves, and we wish them the best.”

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