City policeman joins Army National Guard
By Jana E. Pye, Editor, email@example.com
What makes a person decide to join the military?
Anthony Boan, a police officer for the City of Darlington, is taking on a new direction in his life by joining the Army National Guard.
Boan, a native of Chesterfield County, graduated from McBee High School in 2007, and began his career in law enforcement six years ago in Hartsville. He has been with the Darlington Police Department for two years in August. “I’ve always had a sense to want to serve my community. I didn’t join earlier because I had children right out of high school, so now they are old enough to understand that I can do this to help us in the long run. I have a sense of duty to my community, and also to my country and want to serve them both.”
Boan met with the News and Press on Thursday, April 14; on Monday morning he will be at Fort Jackson and head to Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri for a 20 week training.
Boan has two children, a little girl age 6 and a son age 5. The children will travel to see his graduation ceremony with his two sisters, Lisa Carol and Amber Boan. “My kids are taking it really well.”
He will enter the military to serve as in the military police (MP). “I will be doing police on both runs.” Boan will head from Basic training to AIT for 20 weeks. After that, he will return to the Darlington Police Department for his regular employment, returning to Guard duty one weekend a month and two weeks a year.
”A big benefit is school,” he said. “They are going to pay off my student loans and help me finish my college degree. Not to mention, at the end of 20 years of service I will have two retirements. And I’ll get to tour the world. The company I am going into is a combat unit so I will actually get deployed, so I will get to travel and see the world. This also gives my children benefits. It’ll help us along financially.”
In addition, there are health insurance benefits. “If I get deployed one time, I’ll get VA benefits,” said Boan. “There are a lot of different benefits. And, Lord forbid anything happens to me, my children will be taken care of. So that is another long term benefit.”
He was inspired to join by some of the members of the Darlington Police Force, including the police Chief Danny Watson, who is retired from the U.S Marines. “Just in our police department, we have four National Guard members. Brandon Hale, Everett Clark, myself and Bradley Tarte.” “The Department was very supportive of the decision I am making to support myself and benefit my children.”
“Age is a factor,” said Boan. “I am 27, and the cut off is 35. So if anyone is thinking about it or is stuck in a rut, it’s a good thing and it’ll help you get your life on the right track, too.”
Boan shared that he has really enjoyed being on the Darlington police force. “I started out as an SRO (at Brunson Dargan Elementary School), then started working the streets on patrol.
As part of the military police , he will be working checkpoints and in a combat area. “I have people say, ‘why do you want to do this- it’s so dangerous’ – but every day that I am out here it’s a dangerous job. It’s one of those things. I just really enjoy it, and I don’t really think about the cons. Thinking about stuff like that is going to drive you insane. But I enjoy doing this, and I love to help people.”
With Chief Watson’s commitment to physical fitness in his police force, Boan will have no problem with the physical challenges that BASIC training will bring.
“We have a physical fitness test here at the police department, and last year I passed it with flying colors. I am excited to see what I am going to do. I am very competitive, I always have since high school. I just enjoy competition; I think this going to be fun.
“I try to stay active, that is the key to being a policeman. Danny excels on fitness. He offers incentives, and they pay for a membership to World Fitness Gyms for us. There is no reason why we can’t go to the gym and stay in shape. Darlington is a great place to work, I really enjoy it.”
Sgt. Phillip Cox with the S.C. National Guard has worked for a year and a half at the recruiting office across from the Mayflower Restaurant on Hwy 151 in Darlington. He said that anyone – male or female – ages 17 to 35 are eligible to apply to join the National Guard.
“Boan is really motivated; he loves his job. I think him going into that second profession into the Army National Guard he is more stoked about it because he can continue what he is doing, what loves to do.”
Upon his return from Basic Training, Boan will be out of the Timmonsville Armory, 31 Bravo, military policeman- a strictly MP (military police) unit. The Darlington Armory is a medical unit.
“There are a lot of opportunities with the Guard. You go to drill and go back to normal life. Active duty guys live it 24/7 and they burn out. 68% of people who join active duty get out in the first four years; they do one contract and get out. A lot- if not most- of our guys go the full 20 years. Boan picked the same profession he is in. A lot of them don’t, they pick a different profession from what they are already in. it gives them a break from their real job and the chance to do something different once a month. It’s a good experience.”
Drill schedules are given to soldiers and their employers in October next year to alert them for weekends and weeks of service.
“The Guard is designed to take care of the country in natural disasters, but units are deployed for active duty overseas. We are ready to rock and roll when needed.”
Residents wishing to learn more may contact Sgt. Philip Cox at 843-307-3436 or visit National Guard.com.