78 men and women now protect our state as the newest Michigan State Police Troopers, but the journey to wear the badge wasn't easy.
A call to service is a unique thing: it never demands; it beckons; it whispers; it tugs.
For 26-year-old Anthony Easlick, that call began on a farm in his hometown of north Branch. It led him to the Army National Guard in 2007, but after his service to our country, he felt compelled to give more.
“My wife and I discussed it for a good period of time. This has always been something that's been tugging at me,” said Trooper Easlick.
Thousands answered a similar call and applied to become MSP Troopers. 92 were invited to the 123rd Recruit School. They arrived in white dress shirts on a hot June day, unable to fully understand what the next 19 weeks would bring.
For Easlick and his family, it meant a temporary sacrifice. He and his wife are proud new parents to a beautiful baby girl and training only allowed weekends off.
“You know it's getting harder and harder every week to come back because as you see the progression of the child growing, you want to be there for those special moments,” said Trooper Easlick.
He and the other recruits stayed on campus overnight, Monday through Friday, for nearly five months.
From day one, Easlick discovered the trooper school, like the very call that brought him here, is unique. It's a place where credit was never sought and excuses were never offered. The tests came rapid fire, but each milestone achieved earned those who endured a place here at graduation.
On a chilly October afternoon, 78 men and women marched together, ending one journey and beginning another. A packed auditorium of family, friends and active and retired law enforcement, gathered to support the newest members of the state's most prestigious police force.