The Champions' Journal

Student pursues life long dream

Brittany Taylor, Writer

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 Ticking clock. Pen tapping. Wind rustling. Crumbling paper.  Most people take these things for granted; but for Savannah Staten, these noise are something new as she begins losing her hearing in the third grade.

  For most people, AR 601-210 has no significant meaning for those planning on joining the military. However, that is not the case for Savannah.

  AR 601-210 is the regulation that “governs eligibility criteria, policies, and procedures for enlistment and processing of persons into the Regular Army and the U.S. Army Reserve.”

  For as long as Savannah can remember, she has wanted to join the military. She has taken pride in her relatives who have served for our country. She dreams of being the very first female in her family to serve her country.

   “My great grandpa was in the army,” Savannah Staten said. “My grandpa and my dad’s brother, Jimmy, were also in the military. My uncle John was in the army and navy. My brother Jimmy is currently in the military, and I thought it would be pretty fun to be the first girl in my family to be in the military.”

  When most people think about the military, they think about fighting and war; however, for Savannah the military is an opportunity to combine her love of science with the pride of being able to say that she brought brighter smiles to the people who have made her future bright.

  “Military isn’t just about war. There is different options that you can do, like dentistry, or being a nurse, or someone that helps with mechanics, and I didn’t know about that,” Staten said. “So, I talked to an army recruiter and asked him if they have anything with dentistry. He said that you can be a dentist, but first you have to go through a program.”

  With such high hopes and dreams for a future, you could never imagine having your dreams shattered in a matter of seconds. But for Savannah, everything she has done to achieve her goal seems to be for nothing.

  “At first when I wanted to be a dentist, I talked to an army recruiter and told him that I have failed my hearing test multiple times before,” Staten said. “He said that could be a really big conflict with you being in the army. He even told me if I wanted to be a Marine they would automatically fail me because they will not take anybody who didn’t pass their hearing test. That was a real big issue. Then he told me about the waver, and I thought maybe I have a chance. Then I got my hearing aids and talked to another army recruiter on the phone. He said that even though you have hearing aids, you still have to take the test and pass it.”

  You can only imagine the devastation someone might feel when they are having their lifelong dream shattered before them.

  “ She came into coach Swenson’s class and said, ‘I have to get hearing aids,’ and I responded ‘well that’s not a big deal, like whatever helps you,’” Mackenzie Ansley said. “She responded by saying, ‘yeah but that means I can’t do military with them.’ Being a dentist for the military has been her dream forever.”

  However, there are ways to possibly improve your hearing, which would allow a little hope for Savannah to continue her pursuit of becoming a dentist in the military.

 “The way she would be able to join is by having  surgery on her ears or placing tubes in her ears to help her hear,” Micah Sparks, a 79 Romeo Army Recruiter said. “When she gets her tubes removed,  she would be able to join. It’s just a waiver where she would have to go see a doctor and get a hearing test and say, ‘yeah I had tubes and got them out and I’m good now’.’”   

  With that in mind, Savannah had tubes placed in her ears in an effort to improve her hearing.

  “ So, they put tubes in my ears, and once the tubes dissolved, they made me take another hearing test which I failed again,” Staten said. “So, the doctor said we are going to keep checking your hearing to see if it gets worse.”

  With the tubes failing, the doctors came to the conclusion that it is not an infection causing the loss of hearing. It had to be something passed down genetically.

 “My grandpa has hearing aids and my grandma needs them but no longer wears them,” Staten said. “My mom also has really bad hearing loss. She is getting hearing aids.”

  However, hearing aids haven’t been all that bad for Savannah.

  “It has actually helped me with my grades,” Staten said. “ I didn’t hear my parents asking me to do things  the first couple times because I didn’t have my hearing aids. This caused many arguments. Then when I could finally hear them. It was just  like, “Oh okay got it,” because I could hear and understand what they were saying. When they first put the hearing aids on me, I could hear the phone ringing or the radio playing for the first time in a long time.”

  With so much trial and error most people would just give up and turn to another career; however, Savannah won’t let this prevent her from a lifelong dream.

  “My dreams  really haven’t changed,” Staten said. “I still want to pursue an army dentist career and will never give up!”

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Student pursues life long dream