JOHNSON CITY (WBNG) -- Members of the Army National Guard were on hand at Johnson City High School to lead physical education classes and discuss the opportunities that joining the National Guard can provide.
When Sergeant First Class Marlana Watson walks into high schools like the one in Johnson City, she encounters a lot of misconceptions she says.
"I feel like there's so many stereotypes about the military so just getting out there and educating people who may not know is half the battle," she said.
Part of challenging that narrative is letting students know how the National Guard can help their future.
"I wouldn't be where I am if it weren't for the national guard," Watson said. that's why i'm motivated to get out into the high schools and let them know that there's more out there than what they think."
Educators say that includes broadening the options for students who may not be considering a four year degree.
"It does show that there is more than just a typical college degree," said Johnson City High School Physical Education teacher Eric Putman. "There's a big push for kids to go into trade schools and get into the service,"
Putman says it doesn't hurt to have former students on hand.
For Johnson City High School graduate Tim Reed, it was dissatisfaction with college that got him into the National Guard in the first place.
"When I was in college I kind of just got bored and I came back and a recruiter got me into basic training," he explained.
Watson says she is still surprised by how many students share that urge.
"I'm pretty surprised by how many students want to participate-- i mean it helps that we give out prizes at the end," she said.
Watson says the team will also be on hand to teach gym classes at the school tomorrow.