Pitching to the Parents

A Solider from the 58th Combat Engineer Company, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, observes a destroyed bridge Aug. 13. One of 58th Engineers missions is to guard important bridges to protect them from attacks from anti-Iraqi insurgents. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Matthew McLaughlin, 10th Mountain Division Public Affairs)
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The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are proving a real test for the all-volunteer U-S military. As the occupation has dragged on and casualties mount, some are leaving at the end of their enlistment and recruiters have been hard pressed to replace them. In February the Army missed its recruiting goal for the first time in nearly 5 years.
It missed it again last month...by 32 percent. Parents are often the recruiters biggest problem. A study done for the Army showed opposition to the military growing among moms and dads. Moms are the toughest sell. Sgt. First Class H.C. Hunt, Recuiting Station Commander in Reno says that's natural.
So, the Army and the Marine Corps is launching a new marketing campaign aimed at Mom, using testimonials from parents stressing the positive effect it's had on their sons and daughters.
Kim Peyton's son Marcus was at the recruiting center today. The 2003 Galena grad admits he still is not sure what he wants to do, but is ready for a change. He wouldn't be signing up he says if his parents weren't behind him.
Kim sounds a little less than...as Marcus put it...stoked. When he leaves, she'll be nervous, but she says she's trying to be positive.
None of this comes as a surprise to Sgt. Hunt and he says the marketing campaign won't be much of a change for the recruiting center in Reno. One of the first questions asked here...he says....is have you talked with your parents?