More young people are hesitant to join the military - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

More young people are hesitant to join the military

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August 20, 2004

Albany -"Good Morning. My name is Sergeant First Class Ganci. I'm a representative from the Army Reserves. I'm trying to get in touch with Jerome Lyles." Sergeant Ganci is having an especially difficult time getting in touch with young people, as most Military recruiters can relate.

Since the war in Iraq, they're not having much luck recruiting new members. Nineteen year old Angela Goza says "They just call my house and say they would like me to join the Army, Marines or the Air Force." Young people hear about soldiers dying overseas nearly everyday, and see images like a U.S. tank that exploded earlier this week. "It's a war, I mean you know, I don't personally want to go over somewhere and get killed, or held captive or even beheaded," explains Goza.

It's attitudes like Goza's that make military recruitment difficult these days. Sergeant First Class Evelyn Dorch said "Their main concern, of course is the war. They'll ask what are the chances of me going to war?"

Army recruiters say they are totally honest about the possibilities of new recruits going into combat. "There's always that possibility you will go to war," says Dorch, but there are other possibilities too, like the opportunity to get a college education.

For those impacted by the downsizing of the Air force and Navy, The new Blue to Green program allows people to finish their military careers. Dorch said "We're giving you the opportunity to cross over, and rather than serving in those other two services, we're going to give you the opportunity to serve in the Army."

For those who have already served, Dorch explains "We're trying to get them more involved in our reserve units."

These Army recruiters believe more involvement will keep this country safe. Dorch says "Safety and freedom comes with a price," and they hope more people will be willing to pay that price to defend our country.

Posted by jennifer.hulsey@walb.com at 4:39 PM.