Economy raises Army recruitment numbers

November 13, 2008 5:30:08 PM PST
With the economic downturn and companies announcing more and more layoffs, people are heading to the Army recruitment office looking to enlist. Eyewitness News spoke with one recruit who says he's already spent eight years in one branch but plans to do another term after he couldn't find a job.

The motto is army strong, and in the weak economy more and more recruits are lining up and signing on.

"We're talking about close to 10,000 active soldiers and 3,000 give or take a few for reserves," said Sgt. 1st Class Kelvin Pleasant with the Army Raleigh Recruitment Company.

At the Army recruiting headquarters, Sergeant Kelvin Pleasent says the economy is playing a major role.

"You would be hard pressed to find a corporation that would offer you a $20,000 enlistment bonus, a college fund or pay back college up to 65,000," Pleasant said.

Air Force Veteran Steve Keener says he knows that all too well.

"It's kind of tough especially somebody like me, I figured being a veteran already it would be easy to find a job, but it's tough out there," he said.

After serving two terms in the Air Force, he was unable to find a job once he got out. Now his wife, a traveling nurse wants to go back to school, so he decided to take a second look at the military.

"It offers stability it offers better benefits if she's going to quit her job to go to school benefits aren't going to be there," Keener said. "It used to be completely full."

In the last month there have been more than a dozen recruits just look at some of the pictures on the wall, once they get inside the headquarters right here this is when they find out what it takes to get in the Army.

And for most it's not just about a paycheck, but being patriotic.


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