Pvt. 2 Gavin M. Driskell of Sidney was one of more than 35 Iowa Army National Guard Soldiers recently recognized during a patching ceremony held at the Camp Dodge Joint Maneuver Training Center in Johnston, Iowa.
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.
It also marks completion of the Iowa National Guard Recruit Sustainment Program, a preparatory training program that provides new recruits the education and skills needed to excel during their Army Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training (military school).
These soldiers represent today’s Iowa Army National Guard, which consists of 7,000 Citizen-Soldiers based in more than 40 communities across the state. Driskell, currently a student of Business Administration at Iowa Western Community College, of Council Bluffs, now becomes a Health Care Specialist with the 134th Medical Company, of Johnston. He is a 2016 graduate of Sidney High School, of Sidney.
Health care specialists are primarily responsible for providing emergency medical treatment, limited primary care, and health protection and evacuation from a point of injury or illness.
“I joined the Iowa Army National Guard to serve my country and exceed being ‘normal,’” Driskell said. “I wanted to do something more and something great for our country.”
By completing Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training, Driskell is now eligible for the Iowa National Guard Educational Assistance Grant (NGEAP), 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.
Driskell, the son of Michael Driskell, of Farragut, Iowa, and Erin Sheldon, of Sidney, is also eligible for the Reserve Component GI Bill, which pays a Soldier $600 per month while attending college, technical or vocational trade schools. And he’ll also receive monthly drill pay and 15-days of paid duty each year for Annual Training.
Go to www.iowanationalguard.com and click on the Recruiting tab for more information. You can also find more information about the Iowa National Guard by following us at www.facebook.com/IowaNationalGuard .