Tuesday, October 21, 2003


That's how the Jody call used to go. But these days there is more to it than a simple out of hand dismissal.

“While they’re there, times are hard [and] conditions aren’t very good. They’ll bitch about it, they’ll gripe,” Preston said.

“But when it comes down to it … they’re contributing to something that’s bigger than themselves. It’s not make-work mission, it’s a real-world mission.”

However, there are soldiers “with a 9-to-5 work ethic and they didn’t come into the Army to do that,” Preston said. When war came, “it was a reality they weren’t ready for.”

“Things like loyalty, duty, honor and country” became just abstractions, he said.

Others are using the chance to re-enlist to head back to the States or another unit, as well as cash in on their service to their country.

Re-enlistment bonuses earned under the military’s tax-free status while in Iraq provide a strong incentive to stay in the Army.

Just ask Sgt. Allen Samuel.

The UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crew chief just got an $11,000 signing bonus for re-upping.

And in at least this unit, a brutal deployment pace hasn't reduced the re-enslistment rates at all

It’s been a busy two years for the 101st Airborne Division’s 3rd Brigade.

Known as the Rakkasans, the brigade over the past three years has bounced from peacekeeping in Kosovo to terrorist hunting in Afghanistan to warfighting in Iraq. It has spent more than 16 of the past 24 months deployed — and faces a second Christmas away from home because it’s not due to rotate out of Iraq until spring.

Despite the brutal pace, troops within the brigade are re-enlisting in record numbers.

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