Following up With the Yurek Family

by | Mar 2024

 Peyton Yurek

Peyton Yurek. Photos: Robyn Yurek

Follow up with the Yurek family six years later.

Welcome to Woodbury’s Yurek house, home to a former member of the Army and Air Force, a current member of the Army and the Navy, and a soon-to-be member of the Army.

Mike Yurek, patriarch of the family, enlisted in the Army out of high school and served three years as a member of the Military Police. Upon discharge, he attended college on the G.I. Bill. Mike’s father was in the military, and, on the flip side, his wife’s father served in the Korean War.

“[Mike only] has one regret,” says wife, Robyn Yurek. “He wishes he would have stayed in longer.”

Mike and Robyn’s eldest daughter, Haley (27), had plenty of options after graduating from East Ridge High School (ERHS). She enlisted in the Air Force. She worked in aviation, charged with tracking flight records. She finishes as a member of the prestigious Air Force Honor Guard.

Their twins, Peyton and Paige (23), chose similar but different paths. Peyton, a graduate from Cretin Durham Hall, graduated from St. John’s College prior to enlisting as a sailor in the Navy and now serves as an aviation rescue swimmer and airman. Paige, a graduate from ERHS, enrolled in the Army in 2017. She now works in supply chain and is in the Army Reserve. She is also a project manager for a construction company and plans to potentially commission as an officer in a few years.

Then there’s Faith (21), the baby of the family, who also graduated from ERHS and goes to Concordia University-St. Paul on an ROTC scholarship. The cadet attended a training program last summer at Fort Knox, Kentucky. She’ll transition to the Army as a commissioned officer.

Faith and Robyn Yurek on graduation day at military camp in Fort Knox, Kentucky, last summer.

Faith and Robyn Yurek on graduation day at military camp in Fort Knox, Kentucky, last summer.

While Faith was in middle school at Lake Middle School, her older siblings were training and traveling the world. “I [see] what the military does for their careers,” she says. “They’re set for life.”

Instead of attending the University of Minnesota and possibly cheerleading (She did so competitively at ERHS.), Faith, too, chose the military. She entered through ROTC, and she describes the training as difficult.

“We ran 12 miles carrying 35-pound ruck sacks,” Faith says. “We had to crawl, with a pack, the length of a football field. With shots flying over our heads, we crawled through sand pits.”

When she asked her friends what they thought of her training, Faith says, “They said, ‘Yeah, I could never do that.’” Faith didn’t think she could either, until she did.

“It’s an honor to serve your country,” Robyn says. “As parents, we couldn’t be prouder.”

But to have all four of your children choose the military, how does that happen? “It starts with Mike,” Robyn says. “He told the kids he’d like them to take a chunk of their lives and serve their country. That’s what they’re doing.

“I can’t say enough about what being in the miliary has done for our kids,” Robyn says. “They’re confident, they’re leaders and they’re great role models.”


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