Local News

Military Works To Keep Veterans, Add New Recruits

Posted 2006-08-03T21:10:26+00:00 - Updated 2005-03-02T09:25:00+00:00

The military is fighting for veterans to re-enlist and for new recruits to sign up. But, long deployments and high death tolls are making the armed forces a hard sell.

Keith Dockery, who currently works on cars, said he wants a new career.

"My whole family has been in the military, so now, I'm just keeping on the tradition," he said.

Recruiters said numbers are down in North Carolina. Fewer people are enlisting because of deployments and casualties.

"Before it was easy for a young man or young woman to say, 'I want to enlist,' but now knowing that they may have to go to overseas, some places are a little bit tougher," recruiter Sgt. 1st Class Craig Nesmith said.

Recruiters offer incentives like as much as $20,000 in signing bonuses. They are also targeting certain groups. The Army has brochures aimed at people who speak Spanish.

Dockery said he plans to sign up because he is not worried about danger or about months away from home.

"The best thing to do is just go and hope for the best," he said.

The Army is also offering incentives for soldiers who re-enlist. Officials said some non-commissioned officers can earn thousands of dollars more for serving longer than 20 years.