by Brian Damewood
Lynchburg, VA - Despite an increasingly violent war and Tuesday
night's announcement of more US forces heading to Afghanistan,
recruiters and ROTC leaders do not anticipate a drop-off in enlistment.
President Obama has announced 30,000 more Americans are going to
fight, but does this change the recruiting effort? An area Army
recruiting officer who says they're two years ahead of their
recruiting goals. And he says these days, combat is to be expected.
Lynchburg's Army recruiting office has been a pretty busy place ever
since the surge in Iraq.
U.S. Army Recruiter Sergeant 1st Class Leonard Haith said, "The
number of soldiers that's been walking through our doors has been a
And recruiting officers don't believe President Obama's troop surge
in Afghanistan will stop that trend.
"The individuals coming through these doors they know up front that
there's a chance that they'll get deployed one day," Haith said.
It's no different for Liberty University (web) 's Army ROTC cadets.
Cadet Daniel Trick signed up for the program with wars in both Iraq
"When I signed up, I signed up to serve, going wherever they needed
me, doing whatever they needed me to do," Trick said.
Trick also doesn't think the surge will keep others from joining the
program, and in a counter-insurgency fight, Major Michael Donahue,
Asst. Professor of Military Science, tells cadets each solider is critical.
"These cadets that want to be in our program, they want to serve
their country. They want to raise their right hand, and be a
commissioned officer and serve their country," he said.
Having served in both wars, Major Donahue hopes the president's new
Afghan strategy will have the same results as the surge in Iraq.
"I've seen great things in a short amount of time. So hopefully in
the next couple years, we'll see the ripple effect of the 30,000
troops going over there," Donahue said.
Major Donahue also says meeting President Obama's goal of
transferring troops out of Afghanistan by July 2011 will require a
very fast response from forces on the ground.