Slater had the chance to speak with SSG PJ Hunt on Tuesday morning.

Slater: What is the National Guard Public Service Career Expo?

PJ: This is a career fair for public service jobs... police, fire, corrections, all of these public service departments are hiring and we haven't been able to be around people and gather, so we decided that pretty much everyone is vaccinated in our fields and the governor allowed us to have more people inside. It was time to have a traditional career fair. (Note: masks are required).

Slater: Can you enlist in The National Guard on April 13th, and if so, who is eligible?

PJ: Yes you can. You can enlist anytime, you don't have to wait for the career fair. But, anyone who is between the ages of 17 and 34 and meets the physical (testing) requirements.

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Slater: Why would someone sign up for the National Guard and not the other branches of the U.S. military?

PJ: You would sign up for the National Guard because we are a part-time service that allows you to serve your country and stay close to home. You can attend college while pursuing a military career at the same time or you can serve your country and pursue your civilian career at the same time. It's a great option for those who wanna serve but still be close to home.

Slater: What benefits have you taken advantage of in the National Guard?

PJ: You can save a ton on health insurance for your family! But, in the National Guard, the biggest benefit is in education. I attend classes at MCLA and it costs me zero dollars.

Slater: Can you get called to war in the National Guard?

PJ: It is a possibility, it really depends on the career field you choose and the unit you're a part of, but, yes, the National Guard does deploy.

Slater: What is the best possible outcome from this expo?

PJ: The best possible outcome would be for the Pittsfield Police Department to recruit some people, they are really struggling enough officers to meet their goals. Other than that, we'd love to see a big turnout and have some people get gainfully employed here in The Berkshires.

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