Posted by Rachel Leigh email
(WFLX) - Steady work and guaranteed money for college: Sounds like a secure deal in a sour economy. While many industries are cutting back, the military is hiring.
Teenagers - the clean cut kind, haling from a half dozen towns and twice as many high schools - seems counterintuitive to some. But they're all, voluntarily, conforming to the military way. While they don immaculate dress blue or crisp olive drab, truth is most will never serve the nation.
Too many options beckoning from the civilian world or at least there used to be.
"People gettin' cut from jobs left and right. This would be the most stable way to keep a job and maintain money for college." That's the assessment of high school senior Richard McClellan. He's headed for the Marine Corps.
Huynh said, "The economy is going down, and college prices are going up."
"He didn't want to put me in a financial burden, and, we said, 'No, we'll work out'. And, he said, 'No, mom, the military can offer me anything and everything,'" said his mom, N. Alavarez.
Kubacki said, "I think, for a lot of kids, it's going to be their only option. A lot of kids aren't ready for college, and even if they are, parents may not have the money."
For much of the last four years, recruiters have had a tough time filling the ranks. That's thanks, in part, to the violent fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. But, in recent months, a drastic decline in casualties and the nation's sharp economic decline have ignited fresh interest in the merit of serving in the military.
Hamil said, "Let's face it, there are very few professions that you can go in, they give you place to live, food to eat, and clothes you wear everyday, and a paycheck on top of that, so there's good security there for them, and they kinda get established in life."
The uninviting job market has aided the Corp's cause in finding "a few good men".
Recuriter J. Alvarez said, "We tell them the jobs skills we have, and some take a second and third look. Some just take the first look and say, 'This is what I want'".
And it's not just those with very little life-under-their belt looking to sign-up, many who've left the security of the service are now seeking to get it back.
Farmer said, "Lot of 'em come back, and say, 'Man, I should of never gotten out. I'm having a hard time now trying to get a job or trying making ends meet."