Recruiters see patriotism soar

By Catherine Dilworth
October 4, 2001

A call to arms is what the country cries. Will you take the call? Since the attack on America on Sept. 11,2001 there has been patriotism pouring out of Americans hearts. For some it goes much deeper than American flags on antennas and windows. Armed Forces Recruiting Stations have had a rush of men and women come into their offices and wanting to fight for their country.

Recruiters make telephone calls and go out into the local community to area canvas daily to ask Americans ages seventeen to twenty-eight if they would be interested in what the Armed forces could do for them. “In previous months it has been a mission accomplished task day in and day out. It is hard to talk to a kid who is fresh out of high school, 18 years old into committing his life for the next 4 years to his country,” Staff Sergeant Shipman from the United States Marine Corps recruit sub station in Whitehall, Pennsylvania, said. “However, since the tragedy, myself and my fellow recruiters have received phone calls and walk-ins from interested applicants”.

Since America’s tragedy the words of John F. Kennedy have come alive, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”. The rise of American patriotism has made the recruiter’s job a little bit easier. “Most of the walk-ins are former Marines wanting to get back in. Unfortunately they don’t qualify for re-enlistment because of dependents or age,” Sergeant James Hatchet from the United States Marine Corps recruit sub station in Whitehall, Pennsylvania said.

Our fearless leaders words “We are a country awakened to danger,” Bush said. Motivating many Americans he continued, “We will direct every resource at our command, every means of diplomacy, every tool of intelligence, every instrument of law, every financial influence and every necessary weapon of war to disruption and to the defeat of the global terror network.” “Be ready,” Bush told American’s service members in a television address to the nation Sept. 20. ” The hour is coming when America will act, and you will make us proud. Whether we bring our enemies to justice, or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done”.

Sergeant Hatchet said, “Many applicants want to know more about what is going to happen, as if all military personnel know anything more than what CNN has broadcasted”. Sgt Hatchet is motivated to see such patriotism but feels it should not take a tragedy to bring out appreciation in people. ” I signed up in peace time as have much of my recruits, and myself and my Marines felt that patriotism without tragedy. I have seen many small town people for years drive with American flags on their pick-ups, it is about time the rest of America caught up,” recruit Bailey said. SSgt Shipman feels honor he explained, “People will approach us more. Before they thought we were there to take military action. We got looks like we had the plague. Mothers and Fathers saw us as the evil men who called up their house; brain washed their sons and daughters and took them away from home. Now I hear cries of ” Go get’em” “You’re in our prayers” and “Good luck”. One day this little old lady came up to me, shook my hand and said “Thank you so much for all you have done and all that you will do. I lost a husband in WWII, and I know you will bring honor to his memory”.

The Army too has had a high amount of applicants walk in and call in to inquire about enlistment. However much like the Marines most are not qualified.

“We have had a much bigger interest from our target market, but some applicants do not meet the minimum requirements,” Specialist Thomas Bolin of Army National Guard recruiting sub station in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, said. ” We have had a great vibe from the community, and we see more of an interest of parents whose kids wish to join and whom have already joined.

I can’t walk through a mall or a store or even down the street without hearing horns honking and shaking hands. It is a great feeling and it gets our faces known in the community so that they know who to come to if they or someone they know wishes to enlist,” Specialist Bolin said.

Since the tragedy President Bush has sent out many aviation specialists. These would include air traffic control men, pilots, and ground crews for refueling and maintenance. Unfortunately the Air Force recruiter had no comment on this information or any information on recruiting status.

Recruit King attended Willow Grove Naval air show on September 8th, three days before the tragedy that would change her life. She lost a loved one on that fatal day. Recruit King explains her story. “When I attended the air show I saw protesters at the front gates of Willow Grove Naval air station. They held up sign that read `Don’t teach our kids about weapons of death and Peace not war.’ I was stunned to see such protest from people who sleep so well at night knowing that everything is going to be peaceful. But have the gull to protest the very people and weapons of death that give them that peaceful nights sleep. Not even to mention their first amendment right. I have often wondered why people whom speak so freely against the military but have never spent one day of their lives in the military to preserve their right to do so.”

Sgt Hatchet said, “Recruits are more supportive of their decision to sign on to America’s fighting force since the tragedy, these men and women were meant to be Marines. I am honored to know all of the Whitehall station recruits have shown an active support in their country.”

Military personnel on a tour of recruiting duty are not called upon in wartime. These men and women are more precious to their service as recruiters because their job is to bring in more men and women to serve their country. Sgt Hatchet who was in dessert storm, knows combat, and has the utmost respect for those continuing the tradition.

America our wake up call is upon us. It is sad that a tragedy like this became the fuel to the fire that sparks our want to unite. It is a good thing that such words as patriotism, loyalty, and teamwork are second nature, and tattooed onto the souls of our armed forces and has been in peacetime as well as war. We honor our armed forces by backing them in this precious time and to back them always as they have always backed us by giving their lives for our freedom.

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Catherine Dilworth

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