4-5-05 – Recruitment levels for the U.S. military are down. The Army finished the month of February 27% behind their goal. Officials say the draft is not an option, so some local veterans are stepping in to motive young people.
A local vet runs The Boys State leadership program in Sherman – sponsored by the American Legion. Jack Vandagriff served in the Navy and Air Force for 27 years. Now, he discusses the importance of service with young people.
“What the American Legion did in sending me to Boys State was sponsor those ideas and strengthen them. Ideas of strong citizenship, character, and the ability to go and lead your peers,” said Drew Dornstader – a 2nd Lt. in the U.S. Army and a Boys State graduate.
Lt. Dornstader struggled with the idea of joining the military, but says the Boys State program inspired him to go to West Point. He has recently returned from deployment in Iraq.
“There's no words can describe it, really. I feel so proud of that young man. For doing what he's doing, going to the military academy and now he is an officer in the United States Army,” said Vandagriff.