Army National Guard Welcomes Specialist LaBrot

Woodshop teacher Mr. LaBrot will be sworn into the Army National Guard after previous denial

Mr.+LaBrot+teaches+senior+Belle+Maxwell+about+gluing+a+shelf+together.+LaBrot+has+recently+joined+the+Missouri+National+Guard.+

Sydney Davis

Mr. LaBrot teaches senior Belle Maxwell about gluing a shelf together. LaBrot has recently joined the Missouri National Guard.

By Sydney Davis, Wentzville Liberty High School

Mr. Michael LaBrot had a burning desire to do something for a cause bigger than him.

“You’re only on Earth once, and I want to do something as impactful as I can while I’m here,” he said. 

LaBrot officially joined the Army National Guard on May 9 at 9:30 a.m. At 40 years old, LaBrot had to receive special permission to join the National Guard.

“The age cutoff is like early 30s, you can get age waivers, but those age waivers only work up to 39 years old. I’m 40. So it took a while to get me through,” he said.  

He mentioned that his grandfather was a lieutenant colonel in WWII with the US Army and his father was a sergeant in the Missouri National Guard. Specialist LaBrot is both excited and nervous about training. 

“I would say right now I’m still more in the excited phase,” he said. “I’m not too nervous about being yelled at and screamed at, but the people doing that are going to be half my age. I’ll be the old man there.” 

He doesn’t like going into something not knowing the exact process or exactly how to do every little thing before he gets there, so this represents a challenge for him. He will have to be away for 17-18 weeks, leaving him nervous about his family at home. 

LaBrot’s wife, WSD assistant superintendent Dr. Jeri LaBrot, is proud of her husband’s decision to join the Guard.

“I’m incredibly proud of him for following his dream and achieving such an accomplishment at this stage in his life,” she said. “It’s exciting that he is able to meet a goal that’s always been in the back of his mind and admirable that he hasn’t let anything stand in his way.”

Specialist Connery met with Specialist LaBrot to welcome him into the Missouri National Guard. (From SFC_Connery Twitter)

Mr. LaBrot will be back at school in the middle of October if everything goes as planned. His service will call for him to go seven weeks to his Army job. He will spend two weeks in the summer doing it unless there’s a call that activates him and deploys him overseas. If that happens then he will be gone for about nine months. His army job as an 88 mike won’t interfere with his day-to-day job at Liberty teaching.  

Specialist LaBrot will ship out to go to basic training on June 13. He mentioned, “I will be in beautiful Fort Leonard Wood Missouri. It’s going to be great to be in the middle of Missouri through July and August, running outside in full gear, but that’s fine.”

Joining the National Guard means a lot to him. He stated, “Everything from the family legacy, being able to do that, to showing my kids at home that it doesn’t really matter how old you are, just to keep fighting for your dreams.”

To him, there was never a great time for him to join and it took a lot of effort for him to get in.

“We had to get letters from a couple of Congress-type people, and a couple of generals who are already in the Army, to get the okay,” LaBrot said. “So it means a lot to show the perseverance to just keep going for my kids to see, and for the kids that I have here at high school.”

LaBrot’s teaching career doesn’t necessarily connect to his National Guard duty.

“The job is called 88 mike and I’ll be driving semis (trucks),” he said. He chose that career because there is a transport company in his hometown where his parents and in-laws currently live. 

“What I’ll get to do on those weekends while I go work is being able to take my family back home with me,” he said. 

This way he can still be around his family and go back to his hometown. 

I’m not too nervous about being yelled at and screamed at, but the people doing that are going to be half my age. I’ll be the old man there.”

— Michael LaBrot

LaBrot happily stated, “I get to serve the people I grew up with and helped raise me.”

Principal Dr. Nelson, who is a military veteran himself, knew of LaBrot’s life-long desire to serve his country.

“I am super proud of him. Basic training and military service are not easy, but Mr. LaBrot is a smart man and a hard worker, he will do great and be an excellent soldier,” Dr. Nelson said.

LaBrot mentioned that if you join the Army, you don’t necessarily get to choose what job you receive. You can have an idea of what you want, but they will tell you what you were assigned. When you’re going into the Guard, you get to pick your job. It’s in your contract when you sign up. 

LaBrot had connections with the representatives and military members who recommended him. One of the recommendations was from a state representative from St. Charles County and a current Guard member. Charlie Kruse, who he’s known his whole life, is a one-star general in the Missouri Guard that also sent a letter recommending him. 

“Another one used to be my principal when I was in elementary school and that was in like the late 80s. He is now a state rep from back home, where I’ll go serve,” he said.

This story was originally published on LHStoday on May 19, 2022.