Young Coloradans Seem Eager To Join Fight In Iraq

Prospect Of Going To War Doesn't Deter Army Recruits In Colorado

While House members want U.S. troops out of Iraq, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have prompted the Bush administration to make plans to expand the U.S. military.

The Army intends to add more than 30,000 active duty soldiers over the next five years.

Local Army recruitment centers are using money and financial incentives to try to recruit young Coloradans to join.

Despite, and many because of, the wars in Iraq, many are taking the Army up on its offer.

"I've always thought the Army sounded fun, first of all," said 19-year-old Travis Young. "Also, there is a war going on, obviously, and there's no better time to join than when there's actually something to do."

Although the Army fell well short of its June recruiting goals nationally, Colorado's 27 sign-up stations are holding their own with the help of healthy bonuses and an offer to pay off college loans.

"The benefits are tremendous," said Capt. Chris Williams of the Arapahoe Recruiting Company Command. "It's a great way for a young man or woman to get started in life."

Recruits like Julianne Bugg have considered the dangers of deployment.

"Absolutely. I'd be naive not to," she said. "But that also includes excitement and, I mean, that's how you are serving your country so you are protecting the people of America, and that's very appropriate for me to do."

"Every young man and woman who joins -- they're all joining to serve," Williams said.

Young said he wants to be an Army ranger and Bugg said she plans to go to officer school after basic training.

The Pentagon said the War in Iraq and a flourishing economy may be to blame for low recruitments nationally.