Alabama Guard Recruitment Up After Years of Decline

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Governor Riley marked the anniversary of
the terrorist attacks by welcoming recruits to the Alabama Army
National Guard.

The ceremony at the Capitol was complete with a military band and honor guard.

Riley told the 27 recruits that their courage frightens those who attacked the U.S. on September 11, 2001.

Recruitment in Alabama's Guard fell below departures for a few years before and after the terrorist attacks.

But the numbers turned around last fiscal year.

And the Guard's recruitment commander, Colonel Glenn Cottles, says this year's recruitments will be about 200 above the departures when the fiscal years ends September 30.

Cottles says recruiting bonuses and educational benefits have improved the numbers.

One of the recruits today, 17-year-old Amanda Patterson of Hayneville, says she signed up because the Guard will pay her way to college.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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