Okemah’s Will Copeland – Oklahoma Army National Guard Spotlight

Dates can be easy to remember. Significant ones stick out in the mind as time stamps on a special occasion or an event that left an impression. For Okemah High School football player Will Copeland, October 15th will always have a significant meaning. That is the day Copeland joined the Oklahoma Army National Guard.

Copeland attended basic training over the summer before his senior year of high school. As a football player, Copeland said he understand what it meant to be a team player and to work hard.

“Something I can take into the guard from playing football would be, that no matter how hard it gets, we all have one goal in common, and that goal is to succeed,” said Copeland.

In the Guard, Copeland will work as a medic.

“My job in the guard is called a 68 Whiskey. In civilian terms a combat medic,” said Copeland. “I joined the National Guard because I’ve always wanted to serve, this would also give me a chance of getting to go to college at the same time. I plan on staying in the guard a full 20 years and even possibly longer.”

Copeland has several family members who also served, most during a time of war.

“I would say my family has a pretty proud military background. During WWII and the Korean War, most of my great uncles on my dad’s side served in the National Guard, with my dad’s father being in the Air Force. And all my great uncles on my mom’s side served in Vietnam,” Copeland explained.

The starting defensive end and left tackle offers some friendly advice to other students considering the same path.

“Something I would tell another student who was thinking about joining the National Guard would be that literally whatever they wanted to be, the National Guard will have a job for them. This gives you a chance to be apart of something larger than yourself, while serving your country and going to college,” said Copeland.