GREEN BAY – Can you imagine having someone in your family serving in the military? Maybe someone already is. But for one family in Green Bay, the call to duty is truly a family affair.
Six members of the same family are certainly making a difference in the Wisconsin National Guard.
The stars and stripes are a call to duty for some. And for one Northeast Wisconsin family, almost every member has answered that call.
The latest is 18-year-old Antonia Shanle.
“Everyone thinks, wow! Something must be right with this branch. Somebody must be doing their job. They think it’s pretty cool,” she said.
Antonia is the last of her brothers and sisters to enlist in the Wisconsin Army National Guard. Five in all, and that could be some sort of a record.
“Five kids… all the kids… just the number five, the same family being in the same branch, nobody has any recollection of it ever being done,” said Staff Sgt. Ray Shanle, Wisconsin Army National Guard.
That number jumps to six when you include, dad.
Staff Sgt. Ray Shanle works as a recruiter for the National Guard.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine all of my kids would be in the military, let alone the same branch,” he said.
Staff Sgt. Ray Shanle was first a Marine and then enlisted in the National Guard.
The family knows first-hand what kind of sacrifice enlisting can require.
“I was in Iraq, my daughter was in Iraq and my son was in Afghanistan all at the same time,” said Staff Sgt. Ray Shanle.
“Yeah, having my sister and my brother and my dad gone at the same time… that was hard… I’m sorry,” said Antonia Shanle.
Last month, Antonia was sworn in to the Guard and all the entire Shanle family showed up.
“That was awesome to have my whole entire family there…like… I don’t know. How, I can’t even put it into words,” said Antonia Shanle.
The family is making a difference and becoming closer.
“But I think we all appreciate and understand each other a lot more, now that we’re all in. And I think my kids understand me a lot more,” Staff Sgt. Ray Shanle.