Local military recruiters looking potential reservists

Wednesday, September 26th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Since the September 11th terrorist attacks, the Pentagon has called up nearly 12,000 reservists.

Local recruiting is in full swing for the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine and National Guard reserves. News on Six reporter Tami Marler has been talking with recruiters about their efforts and says there are plenty of perks to joining the military, like education, training, retirement and other benefits.

But there are also plenty of responsibilities. Why, especially in this time of war, are civilians willing to make such a commitment? Reservists leave their normal lives as students, business people, teachers and other occupations, to become "weekend warriors.” They train two days a month; and commit two consecutive weekends in the summer. Just like full-time branches of the armed forces, reservists are on-call to go anywhere in the world, at any time.

First Sergeant David West: "Almost 100% of our guys that come in and serve as reservists, when the final roll call goes - they'll be there. I mean, that's what they train to do.” In exchange for their service to the country, reservists receive: scholarship money for college or trade schools, payment for the hours they serve - plus any extra time they choose to put in, and some retirement benefits.

David West says the number of new recruits is pretty much "on par." Many of the people who have called to inquire about enlisting are older men who have already served their country in some branch of the military.