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Military Recruiting on the Rise - 2003-03-31


Army recruiter Paul Rivera says he has seen a slight increase in new recruits since the war with Iraq began.

PAUL RIVERA, ARMY RECRUITER
“You do have those people that are hesitant now, because of what they see on TV. But you also have those people that feel that they have an obligation to serve and protect and defend their country.”

The nation’s busiest military processing center is in Los Angeles, California, where two hundred applicants are processed daily. For an entire day, enlistees endure a barrage of medical and psychological testing. Afterwards, the young men and women take part in a swearing-in ceremony, pledging their loyalty to the nation, the President and their future commanding officers.

Patrick Montoya said his love for the U.S. is the reason he joined the Army.

PATRICK MONTOYA, U.S. ARMY
“If you want to enjoy this freedom, you have got to stand up for it. You’ve got to say ‘Hey you know, I am willing to make the ultimate sacrifice’.”

Another enlistee Vennie Welch is proud, but concerned about his decision to join the Army.

VENNIE WELCH, U.S. ARMY
“Like mixed emotions, like I am proud to be here and do this, but like I know I am going to be going away and leaving my wife.”

Many recruits say while they are not afraid of what lies ahead--they have to deal with the fear, concern and even anger from friends and family who question the decision to enlist during wartime.

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