Guard Recruits Training In Longview - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Guard Recruits Training In Longview

With the possibility that President Bush will propose an increase in troop levels in Iraq, more regular and reserve units could be called up for action, some in Longview. That could have a major impact on new reserve unit recruits being trained now with the Texas Guard 36th Infantry Division.

Already working on the building blocks of teamwork, new recruits for the Texas Army National Guard are preparing themselves for their turn on the line.  "Some of them want to do their part because they're Americans. Some after 911 felt the call to serve. Some it's the willingness to serve their country maybe because their family did it so long," said Texas Army National Guard staff sergeant Matt Rifley.

They're already marching and learning the basics of self defense and hand to hand fighting. Many are just out of high school, or ready to graduate and feel a sense of duty.  "I just want to defend my country, even if they were to offer me no money and said, 'Martin got to Iraq now'.  I would do it for my country and the people here," said Tyrell Martin, 18, a Lindale recruit.

They'll be members of the Texas Guards 36th Infantry Division,  the T-patch. Recruiters are seeing more and more young people wanting to contribute to the war effort.  "I believe there are always young men and women who want to go out and answer the call to serve," said Rifley.

With the real possibility that they could be the next troops on the line in Iraq, they give a unanimous response.  "I would do it no matter what.  I would do it no hesitation," said guard private Scott Smith.   

Some are legacies, with generations of family service to country.  "I also have several family members that's in the military.  It's just something I've wanted to do for a while," said Queen City recruit Robin Donley.

Seventy-five recruits were on hand today.  Many have already gone through boot camp. The 36 Infantry Division is the only guard division provided by and individual state:  Texas.

Bob Hallmark, Reporting.


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