Kyland Van Dyk of Boyden began basic training Jan. 18 and graduated at Fort Leonard Wood in St. Robert, Missouri, March 30. Following basic training, he took advanced individual training, also at Fort Leonard Wood and graduated May 16 as a private.
During the six-week advanced individual training, recruits are trained in the specifics of their chosen field, which for Van Dyk was in the motor transport operators course.
Van Dyk is a 2013 graduate of Boyden-Hull. He had talked about joining the National Guard several times throughout high school but did not make an effort to do so after graduation. He thought about it a lot but felt there were too many distractions at the time. But now the timing is better and he knows he can perform to his, “full potential in the army,” he explained.
Although his mother, Jasmine Van Dyk of Boyden, was slightly surprised about his decision to join the National Guard, she knew he was somewhat influenced by the fact that his grandfather Henry Van Dyk, and his own father, Daryl Van Dyk of Hull, had both served in the military.
The private has a lot of friends in the National Guard who impacted his decision too. “Riley De Weerd was the one who convinced me to join and I’m glad that he did,” he said. Van Dyk felt joining the National Guard was a wise choice because he wanted to make a beneficial change in his life.
Prior to basic training, Van Dyk worked at Agropur Inc. in Hull. “My bosses were fine with me leaving and joining the National Guard. I plan on going back to them,” he explained. He will return to work June 1. “They were very supportive at work,” he said. Two brothers and one sister also support his National Guard career.
As a member of the National Guard, Van Dyk belongs to the 2168th Transportation Co. headquartered in Sheldon, Iowa. He’s looking forward to continuing his work in the military and will attend drill two days a month. “In the summer we go to advanced training that lasts two weeks. It’s where we do more tactical training,” he explained.
The 22-year-old encourages others to join the National Guard. “To everyone thinking about joining the National Guard, I suggest going through with it. It’s not as hard as one thinks. Put your mind to it and you’ll be able to push through it in no time,” he said.