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Ceremony honors young military recruits

Updated: May. 8, 2021 at 11:19 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Young people going into the military were recognized at a ceremony in Fort Boreman Park Saturday afternoon.

Young recruits from different military branches gathered in what organizer LeeAnne Mason called a recruit appreciation event.

“I want these kids to know that what they are doing is very important and is very much appreciated,” she said.

A former navy command master chief served as the guest of honor, presenting the recruits with a certificate of appreciation as well as a speech.

Eric Clark said, “It’s nice for me to be able to give them a brief glimpse of what they’re going to experience but also thank them for doing what a lot of people are not willing to do.”

For recruit Seth Bryan, it’s all about giving back,

He said, “My dad is a big person in the community and I felt I wanted to be a big person in the community and I felt joining the marine core would be something I could do for the community to give back.”

Family ties were a common source of inspiration between all three recruits WTAP interviewed.

Recruit Cale said, “My grandpa used to talk about how he used to serve in Germany - this was right before Vietnam. He didn’t go but he got out right before that and he would always talk about it and it just - it really stuck in my head and it just sounded so cool and I really wanted to do it too.”

For recruit Jordan Hornbeck, it wasn’t just a military family that inspired her to join. It was the patriotism of the community too.

She said, “In my elementary school, we had a lot of like fourth well not Fourth of July - Memorial Day things and Independence Day things and it was like all red, white, and blue.”

These recruits are just a few months away from starting boot camp. Still, they have a long road ahead.

Clark said his best advice for the young recruits is to set small goals and make new ones once they are achieved. He also advises to pick friends wisely and to choose a mentor.

Hornbeck said, “It means everything. To serve the country is everything to me.”

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