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BY JENNI CARLSON Modified: February 5, 2009 at 3:47 pm •  Published: February 5, 2009
signed with the Lions, but on the eve of training camp, the Army notified him that it had changed its policy to require two years of active duty.

‘A great future’
Neither Jackson nor Frantz is fazed by the military requirements.

"I know after I graduate, I’ll be guaranteed a job, which is more than most graduates can say,” Jackson said.

He smiled.

"Feels great because I know I’ve got a great future.”

Frantz said, "I get a chance to serve.”

Most teenagers have a difficult time deciding what to do with the next hour, much less the decade of their lives.

Jackson and Frantz had other options. Jackson considered TCU and Dartmouth while Frantz entertained offers from Drake and Harding (Ark.) University.

They could’ve just gone to college, played football and figured out later what they wanted to do with the rest of their lives.

Instead, they decided Wednesday.

Life for everyone at the Air Force Academy, the United States Military Academy and the Naval Academy is demanding. They must iron their clothes and shine their shoes, tidy their rooms and study their notes, and they must do that before class even starts.

Add football to the equation, and it makes for a lifestyle that isn’t for everyone.

"They said it will be hard,” Frantz said, "but everyone else is going through the same thing.”

It takes a special person to choose such a path, but doing so as an 18-year-old is even more impressive.

Growing up, Frantz never dreamed about going to West Point and playing for Army.

"But now that I am,” he said, "it’s like a dream come true.”