07. October 2005 · Comments Off on Sgt. Mom Country Good Recruiting Grounds · Categories: Military

This from Damien Cave at the NYTimes:

SAN ANTONIO – This city has its critics of the war in Iraq and its angry mothers who try to shame recruiters into going home. More than anything, though, it has a powerful patriotism and a deep respect for the military life.

At a time when the divide is widening between the cities and regions that send their children to war and those that do not, San Antonio remains a ready source of what the military needs most: people.

This metropolis – the home of the Alamo and the site of an Army presence since 1845 – is a top recruiting market for every branch of the military. The Army, in particular, which has struggled to sign up new soldiers during the continuing violence in Iraq and Afghanistan, has found the San Antonio area to be a reliable and steady source of recruits.

Nationwide, every one of the Army’s 41 recruiting battalions failed to meet its recruiting goal in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, falling 7,000 soldiers short of the goal needed to refill the ranks, according to Army figures. Not since 1979 has the Army missed its annual quota by so many recruits. And yet San Antonio’s recruiters, covering the city of 1.2 million people as well as the area stretching north to Austin and south to the Mexican border, ranked first among battalions by signing up 2,118 people for active duty, 86 percent of its goal.

The story goes on to credit the city’s high proportion of active duty and veteran population, particularly among school teachers.

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