CARRIER MILLS -- While many of his peers enjoyed a summer off from school, Carrier Mills-Stonefort High School senior Cameron Owens got a jump on his post-high school career.
Namely, basic training.
"I went for basic training down to Fort Benning, Georgia," Owens said. "I left the day after school ended, and actually came back late to school. No break."
Owens was part of an Army National Guard program that allows some who are considering a military career to start basic training before they finish high school.
Owens, an athlete who plays baseball in the spring and runs cross country in the fall, said the physical rigors were not nearly as hard as being away from home.
"It really wasn't super hard for me," he said. "The hardest part was being away from everybody for so long, with no contact or anything. When I came back, I felt kind of weird, out of place."
Following graduation in spring 2019, Owens plans to go into infantry school. He is excited at the prospect.
"Just becoming a soldier, that's pretty awesome," he said.
CMSF Superintendent and Principal Bryce Jerrell said he's proud of Owens.
"I have been around Cameron for the past six years now, and I can honestly say he is one of the finest young men I have had the privilege to know," Jerrell said.
"Cameron is looked up to by his peers and well-respected by his teachers. It will be an honor for me to present him his diploma in May and shake his hand as a graduate of the Carrier Mills-Stonefort High School, but I am especially proud to know he will be serving his country in the National Guard."
Owens is the son of Justin Owens and Brandy Blackwell.