By SARAH BEACH
Trimble Banner Intern
Sgt. Maj. Pat Copas knows the importance of family.
As the first member of her family to join the Kentucky National Guard in 1981, she influenced her two sisters, Tammy Long and Edith Bledsoe, to join two weeks afterward.
Now, more than 31 years later, she has achieved the rank of sergeant major — one of the most elite positions in the Guard. Copas achieved this position Feb. 11, 2011.