Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Nathan Zopoula is originally from Africa. Seven years ago he came to the United States and now he is ready to serve in the United States Army.

"I graduated from Northwest Missouri State University," said Zopoula. The 27-year-old specialist is one of the older ones going into basic training at Fort Jackson.

"My parents are not in the military, so I am just a first generation military person," according to Zopoula.

Zopoula hopes to be fit after basic training, but he knows it is much more that just physical strength. He said, "The military is not only about physical, but also about intellectualism and also professionalism."

Zopoula said he was going to miss his daily life, playing video games and talking with friends, but he is looking forward to the challenges.

"The US Army is one of the greatest military in the world, the greatest military in the world," said Zopoula.

He said, "I think I have a duty to be part of the great nation and to support freedom and liberty in the world."