For Pfc. Juan Manibusan of 2nd Battalion, 47th Infantry Regiment, joining the Army was now or never. Especially since his 19-year-old son, Pvt. Jeremy Manibusan of 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment, graduated Friday.
“My son beat me to the punch,” Juan said. “He enlisted before me. I looked at him and said wow, I’d been procrastinating for awhile.”
Juan said he’d been thinking about joining — it was just a matter of when. Enlisting at the age of 40 hasn’t deterred him from wanting to serve his native country of Guam, he said.
“A lot of the guys are half my age but I still try to do my best. It’s a good workout for me,” Juan said. Currently in Week 5 of basic training, he said when he first started his training he was a bit shocked at the new things he encountered as a Soldier, such as waking up early in the morning for physical fitness training and eating his meals faster than normal. Juan said the weather was also a factor.
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“You just have to endure it and drive on,” he said. Prior to his enlistment, Juan worked for 12 years as a police officer for Guam International Airport.
“When I went to the (police) academy, I went home after training. Here — we stay here, sleep here, and don’t go home,” Juan said. “But you get used to it.”
Both father and son were proud of each other.
“(Jeremy) seems more responsible now, more grown up,” Juan said. “A lot of the things he did on his own as far as enlisting. I’ve very proud of him.”
“I think that it’s pretty cool that he’s in the Army,” Jeremy said.
Their family traveled 17 hours from Guam to see Jeremy graduate. Jeremy hadn’t seen his mother and sisters since October.
Juan’s wife Vicki, described the experience of having both men in the Army as “hectic”, but good for them in the long run.
“It’s been really crazy, especially because of the time frame,” she said. “It was just one (enlisting) after the other. (But) I see it as a better thing for them, a bonding thing.”
She said the two joining the military around the same time would help them understand each other even more because of the military background they share.
Jeremy is on his way back home to serve in the Guam National Guard, and has beat his Dad to “the punch” once again. Upon completion of basic training and AIT, the two will be reunited in Guam when Juan returns home to serve in the Army Reserve.