Posted Wednesday, April 29, 2015
In the midst of the sirens, fires, frustration, and vandalism recently in Baltimore, the Maryland National Guard stepped in to help, becoming a part of history in the making.
As an infantryman with the historic 175th Infantry Regiment, Sgt. Seth Pettit also became a part of this history. Along with 2,000 other Citizen-Soldiers, the full-time high school history teacher answered Maryland’s call as a Soldier to keep Baltimore’s citizens safe.
Looking back on the past, frustration from civil injustices culminating with the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., sparked the Baltimore riots of 1968. The Maryland National Guard has not been used in this capacity since then, until now.
“One thing I try to do in my classes is to show students that history connects to what’s happening today,” Pettit said. “Now I’ll be able to give them that first-hand experience of being in the situation.”
This isn’t the first time Pettit has put down the textbook to give his students a first-hand perspective of the historic events taking place present-day.
“I share stories from Iraq and what motivated me to join the Guard,” said Pettit, who joined the Guard seven years ago. “One motivation I had was 9/11, and a lot of students that I have were two, three, four years old when that happened… so I am able to relate those experiences to them.”
Pettit said he is proud to be apart of the team patrolling in the heart of Baltimore, keeping his fellow citizens safe, and that he wishes his experiences will inspire his students.