Champions of Character: Alyssa Kresge - News, Sports and Weather

Champions of Character: Alyssa Kresge

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She's got the spirit and smile down to a routine.

She supports the football team and her flyer at the same time.

But when 20-year-old Alyssa Kresge is not rooting for the Carroll College Saints, she flips the script and trades in her pom poms for a 3-round burst M-16.

As well as the ability to assemble a 249 light machine gun.

Alyssa serves as an E-4 for the Montana National Guard. And oftentimes people are surprised to find out she plays for team USA.

"Kinda like a shock," describes Alyssa Kresge. "They're like, 'woah that's crazy. I can't believe you do both.' you just normally don't see cheerleaders that are in the military."

She fell in love with cheer leading first when she was in high school.

"Me and my friend and we were just like 'hey we should try out for cheer leading.' kind of just like a joke in a way. But then we both made the cheer team and that's when we were both like "yeah we kind of like this.'"

When she turned 18 she joined the national guard. Her older sister Erica played a part in helping her make the decision.

"When I saw that it worked out good for her, it helped her for schooling and she gets to serve the country," Said Kresge of her sister. "Just those different aspects of it. So I think that's the main reason. Just serving the country and I thought it would be like a cool experience to go do and help pay for college."

She's a cheerleader and solider but there's one more element to add to Alyssa: student. But that is actually the most expensive part of her life. A year's tuition at Carroll College could cost up $36,000 a year. So imagine how Alyssa felt when she almost couldn't return to Carroll due to financial limitations

She worked two jobs during the summer to be able to go to Carroll for at least for another year. But anyone that knows her is not surprised that she's able to maintain this juggling act.

"I think that out of anyone she's the one that could do it," says Alyssa's cheer teammate Erika Vosbeck. "She's really good at balancing everything that she does with school and work and cheer and the National Guard. She always puts time into both areas."

As of now she still doesn't know if she will graduate as a Saint.

She's hoping a scholarship can give her the boost she needs to finish her degree at Carroll while awaiting word on where she will be deployed.

"Afghanistan, Kuwait, North Korea." said Kresge. "Those are the main places that I know about."

Her routine beyond the 2013-14 school year is still up in the air. But regardless of the uncertainty there's one thing that does know. That it doesn't matter if she's wearing a skirt or fatigues.

Because she has friends and family on both sides that will continue to cheer for her no matter what uniform she decides to wear.

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