GMC News

GMC Welcomes Recruits Ahead of 9/11 Anniversary Submitted by Candace Adorka Wednesday, September 7th, 2011, 9:43pm When the Twin Towers fell in 2001, Irwing Smith was in elementary school. 10 years later, he walks through the halls of Georgia Military College in Milledgeville on his orientation day, also called Super Wednesday. It’s the day he starts to follow in his father’s footsteps. “The real reason I wanna go into the military,” he said, ” is my dad is in the military, and I really look up to him. He’s a sergeant.” His dad is on his fourth deployment to Afghanistan since 9/11. “There’ll be certain periods of time where you don’t see him and you’re wondering if he’s ever gonna come home. I guess that’s hard to deal with, but I guess it makes me proud.” Sergeant Joseph Henao is in charge of all the cadets. He said Smith is part of a generation that is more motivated to serve because of 9/11 and its aftermath. “They saw it on TV as a little kid, I think they’re finally starting to get a grasp of what happened on that day of September 11th,” he said, “so I think it means more to them that all they’ve ever known is war on TV and they’ll have a chance to eventually go out and serve the country as a soldier.” 19-year-old Nichole Ferguson just wrapped up her first year as an early commission cadet, which makes her Lieutenant Ferguson. She said she comes from a military family and 9/11 strengthened her resolve to join their ranks. “Right now, my brother is in Afghanistan fighting the war,” she said, “and so I take it as if this is my calling, my duty, because I want to be able to protect the people that I care for. I want to be able to protect my family.” “The training they receive, they realize that it’s for a purpose and that there’s a reason.” Henao said. “It’s not all in theory as it was before 9/11” He said the number of cadets has at least doubled since 9-11, especially among the early commission cadets who will be second lieutenants in the Army in two years. “It was 12 in 1997-98 for our class, and now there’s over 40,” he said.