SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Javon Secrest Merrill, son of Kenneth and Dianne Koch of West Lafayette, is currently undergoing United States Air Force basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas.

A 2017 Ridgewood graduate, Merrill enlisted in the Air Force Reserves in February before his 18th birthday. He is an E2 Airman with the 910th Airlift Wing based in Youngstown.

Merrill is scheduled to graduate basic training on July 28. He will then travel to Little Rock, Ark., for his specialty training as an Aircraft Special Mission Maintenance Lead.

Through the USAF Reserves, Merrill will return to Ohio in January 2018. He is enrolled for the spring semester at the Ohio University in Athens, and plans to major in aeronautical engineering.

A scholar athlete at Ridgewood High School, Merrill made state appearances in football, wrestling and track.