In 2010, defensive tackle Ben Garland signed with the Denver Broncos as an undrafted free agent out of the Air Force Academy. For the past two years, Garland has been on the Broncos' military reserve list and was recently released from his five-year military commitment in order to pursue his professional football career. Now, however, Garland is able to realize both of his lifelong dreams.
The Associated Press reports that on Wednesday, Garland was sworn in as a member of the Colorado Air National Guard.
"I've wanted to be a part of the military and be a player for the Denver Broncos ever since I was a little kid," Garland said. "It's always been my dream to come out here and do this. I love being out here, being able to practice. I got my practices in and I got to get the best uniform in the world."
There is a chance that, if Garland's unit is called up in the fall, he could return to active duty in the Middle East.
"I'll be ready to go," Garland said. "Chances are slim, and obviously I wouldn't want to spend anytime away from this facility if I don't have to, but if they're called up, I'd be happy to go."
Garland now has an opportunity to pursue both of his life passions for the next few years.