New military recruits inducted at Clermont County Fair

By Stefano DiPietrantonio – bio |email|Facebook

OWENSVILLE, OH (FOX19) - It was one of the largest military induction ceremonies in Clermont County since the Second World War.

There were yellow ribbons tied to the grandstands and red, white and blue all around. They marched single-file across the fairgrounds, about a hundred strong, taking their final steps before pledging to serve America, to put themselves in harm's way to protect our country.

"It's all about volunteering," said Marine Master Sergeant Ricky St. John. "The ones who come in, they would do it regardless."

St. John added he saw himself in the young recruits.

"It was a great feeling for me and I'm pretty sure the Marines, sailors soldiers-to-be felt the same way," said St. John.

"It's been pretty awesome experience to have everybody clapping for you and supporting me like that," said 18-year-old Jarod McCarty, who claimed this was just the start of a lifelong dream.

Each man raised their right hand and recited the oath after their commanding officer.

"I'll be living in Charleston, SC for a year and a half for the nuclear power school," said Navy recruit John McNally.

The 21-year-old has his military career sights set on engineering and like 18-year-old Cody Baldwin, the military is paying for his education. Baldwin's got a 4-year scholarship to Xavier University. Baldwin said he has mixed feelings about our country's role in the war.

"Good and bad," Army recruit Baldwin said. "Good in the sense that I'm proud to serve my country, bad in the sense that I wish that America wasn't fighting."

There were Vets from World War II, The Korean War, Vietnam, Desert Storm, The War On Terror and all of them, cheering for this new generation of soldiers.

The Marines were still looking for a few good men and women at their chin-up "test" bar.

A Marine named Ben showed us the "flexed arm hang". This is a test primarily for women to get into the Marines. You have to hang for 12 seconds, which they said is the same amount of time it will take to sign-up. For the men, it's three or more full-length pull-ups.

The Clermont County Fair runs through Saturday, July 31 and all military past and present get in free.

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