Staff Sgt. Bill Wells of the Ohio National Guard recruiting office in Marysville wants you to know where his office is.

Staff Sgt. Bill Wells of the Ohio National Guard recruiting office in Marysville wants you to know where his office is.

"We've had a recruiting office in Marysville since 2007 but a lot of people don't know we're here," he said of his digs in the armory attached to the Union County Family YMCA at 200 Coleman's Crossing Blvd.

"Part of that is on us because we haven't had the money yet to put up a sign outside," he said. "We share the facility with Battery C, 1st Battalion, the 174th Air Defense Artillery Regiment and the 585th Military Police Company."

Until he can requisition a sign, Wells said he will trumpet the recruiting center - which serves Union, Logan and Harden counties - in other ways, including an open house this May.

"We'll have some grub here for people, a vehicle display, a weapons display," Wells said. "People will have an opportunity to come in and talk to unit members."

Despite his office's low profile, Wells said recruiting efforts have been successful because the National Guard offers potential recruits a chance to subsidize their college education.

"The kids who come in here understand that we'll take care of 100 percent of their college tuition with our assistance program," he said. "They can concentrate on getting their degree while training with us one weekend a month and two weeks during the summer."

An additional benefit that recruits aren't always aware of is the potential for earning college credits while training for the National Guard.

"At the very least, they'll get phys ed credit for going through basic training," Wells said. "But say someone is training to become a combat medic; well, he or she is likely to get college credit for the anatomy and physiology classes taken with the Guard. Not to mention that you'll be a certified EMT by the time you're done."

Wells knows of which he speaks. He was a combat medic from 1987 to 1992 and served in the Gulf War.

"When I was finished with all my training, I was able to transfer 33 credit hours towards my college degree," he said. "With that sort of head start, it didn't take me long to finish."

Wells re-entered the National Guard in 2002 and became a recruiting officer in Marysville - where's he has lived for 20 years - in 2009.

"The community is very supportive of the units station here in Union County," Wells said. "They've given us strong send-offs when we've been deployed and welcomed us back when our deployment ended. We have strong ties to the VFW and Amvets as well."

Wells is interested in further community outreach. This summer, his recruiting office is going to "start up a program with the city's juvenile detention, kids with minor violations who need a little direction.

"We'll teach them a range of things, from map-reading and first-aid to how to dress for a job interview and how to conduct yourself during a job interview," he said.

The Ohio National Guard recruiting office in Marysville is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and weekends and after business hours by appointment. For information, phone Staff Sgt. Wells at (614) 376-5176.