CORNING, N.Y. (18 NEWS) - Dozens of local U.S. Army recruits from the Horseheads and Binghamton areas received a special recognition just months before they begin basic training.
"Essentially we wanted to give our appreciation back to the future soldiers and their family members," Sgt. 1st Class Chris Cansdale said.
The inaugural 'Future Soldier Recognition Dinner' held at the Crystal City VFW in Corning formally recognized the future soldiers on Thursday. However, it was much more than just a dinner thanking recruits for their commitment to the country.
"The dinner here tonight is all about the future soldiers, saying 'thank you,' and let them know the decision they made is a good decision and we're here to support them, their families are here to support them, as well as their community, and educators," Sgt. 1st Class Cansdale said.
Many of the recruits 18 News spoke to had yet to graduate high school, but were able to find what they wanted to do with the next chapter of their lives.
"I decided to join because I feel like I could get a really good trade out of it," U.S. Army Recruit and future U.S. Army Horizontal Construction Engineer Trevor Felenchak said. "And after I'm done with the military, for however long I want to be in for, I can get a get a good career in the civilian world."
However, other recruits recognized had already graduated high school, and found college just wasn't for them.
"It (school) wasn't really for me, so I chose the military as my route and I got the job I wanted, so I'm excited," U.S. Army Recruit and future UAV (drone) operator Aric Brown said.
The recruits who spoke with 18 News added they didn't feel the need to join due to the current political climate in the U.S., and that it hasn't phased them yet.
They're just eager to get started serving their country.
"I just wanted to give back and I thought it'd be a good thing to do after high school," U.S. Army Recruit and future U.S. Army Food Specialist Kelsey Laurey said. "I'm excited to go to basic (training) actually."
"I'm just excited to be a part of what's going on, we're kind of the first to know, so that's pretty exciting," Brown said.
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A special dedication took place Sunday at the Fulton Street Cemetery.