Six American soldiers have been killed in Iraq in the last 2 days, bringing to total number of deaths since the start of the war to 3200.
Despite those numbers, recruitment rates in all four branches of the military are high. Each reached or surpassed their february goal to sign-up troops for service. Retention rates are also solid.
Newschannel 10's Marissa Bagg spoke with local Marine Corps recruits today to find out why they want to join the military, in a time of war. The recruits know what's on the line when they sign up to join the military. And for the ones we spoke with, that's why they enlist in the first place.
"I saw what could happen with terrorism affecting our homeland and our kids seeing the images, it's been a calling since I was a little kid, I've had the need to be a soldier," says Ryan Zink, a Borger High School Senior who plans to become a Marine.
Zink's dedication to the Marines has already begun. He comes to the recruitment office daily to see how he can help the officers out. He can't wait to put on a dress uniform like this one and be part of the corps. And he isn't the only one ready to take up arms.
"A sense of duty, honor, if someone doesn't stand up for us who will, we have to stand up for our rights, our freedom, that's what we're based on," says Becky McGlaughlin, who will leave for boot camp in June.
Mcglaughlin has already enlisted, she goes to boot camp in June. Both recruits look forward to the benefits that come with the job.
"Overtime the benefits have gone up, the GI bill has gone up, and tuition assistance 100% paid," says Kevin Rieken, a recruiting officer with the Air Force.
"For not having to pay for my education, that's a big deal for me, it's what I'm looking forward to," says Zink.
"I'm looking forward to my parents faces on graduation day, being able to look at them and say I am doing something with my life for my country," says Mcglaughlin.