Ten years of war

Generation surrounded by war reacts patriotically; military families exhibit passion, patriotism for armed forces enlistment…

Megan McCormack | Staff Writer

U.S. involvement in the War in Iraq for ten years now immersed current teenagers in war which makes them more passionate about the military, according to junior Annie Clark.

“There’s definitely more passion [for the military],” Clark said. “You…realize how many people…do care and I think a lot of people are going to want to go [into the military] just because of this war. …They’ve grown up with it and it’s what they know.”

Interest in enlistment

Social studies teacher Darin Little said after 9/11, he saw an increase in student interest about the military.

“After 9/11…a larger percentage of our kids…starting to be interested in getting involved in the service,” Little said. “[At] Mason, …most of our students have intentions [of]…going to college; compared to…other schools you [won’t] see a large percent of our population go towards the military. But I did see, because of 9/11, a heightened interest in going into [the military].”

Little said that more students decided to go into the service because of the threat to American security.

“After 9/11, …people realized an increased threat to our way of life,” Little said. “And one of the ways in which to protect…that was through increasing our military involvement overseas.”

A military family

Senior Maria Rodriguez, whose mother, father, brother and herself are in the Army, said that less high school students want to enlist because of fear. However, Rodriguez also said that younger kids say they want to go into the military.

“Younger generations…are saying they want to [enlist],” Rodriguez said. “[My younger siblings] say that [they want to] and I think that’s because they’ve grown up with it. We don’t know anything else but military. I’m also in Teacher Academy and [the kids] will read books about Iraq and say that they’re interested in joining the Army.”

According to junior Maggie West, having a sibling in the military has made her think more about enlisting.

“I can see how people would try to get more involved in [the military],” West said.

According to Clark, this war has made people more aware of war in general, but some people are still ignorant.

“I wasn’t even sure [about what the war was about] until my brother told me,” Clark said. “[The War in Iraq has] made us realize more, …we’re smarter about [wars]. But there are people who are [still] naïve to what’s going on [overseas]. People think [it’s about] specifically 9/11, but there are so many other things that are going on over there.”

An increased awareness

According to Little, this war has made our country realize that it needs a stronger defense system.

“You have to realize that our country needs to have a strong defense system,” Little said. “Our government [needs to] play a positive role around the world.”

Clark said that the war has made her family rely on each other more.

“I was always the kind of person when everyone was upset about it, I…was perfectly fine,” Clark said. “So, I was the person that everyone relied on…and then one day I just broke down and…we all realized that we were all really upset.”