- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 23, 2001

Local recruiting stations are reporting an increase in business in the wake of this month's terrorist attacks in New York and Northern Virginia, most coming from an older-than-usual crowd.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Kimberly Cochran, a recruiter at several Navy recruiting stations in Northern Virginia, was surprised to hear from professionals in their late 20s and early 30s.
"If they're stable and they're corporate America, they normally don't come in and ask for information on enlisting," said Petty Officer Cochran, who was recruiting in Alexandria on Friday. "That's certainly a change, way out of the norm. It's something that happens every blue moon."
Sgt. Robert Lopez, a recruiter at the Marine Recruiting Substation, has seen traffic steadily increase since Monday. "The ages have shifted to between 26 and 32," said Sgt. Lopez. "These older people want to give back and show their support."
For younger, potential recruits who have thought about joining the Marines in the past, Sgt. Lopez said, "It took a tragedy like this to push them to the point to come in and see us."
Sam Phiodenz, 19, is one of these recruit hopefuls. Mr. Phiodenz on Friday visited each of the four armed forces recruiting offices that share a building on Richmond Highway in Alexandria.
"I've been meaning to visit them earlier," said Mr. Phiodenz, who graduated last year from Mount Vernon High School and is a cook at two restaurants. "I didn't have any direction in my life. But with this potential war, I figured it was a good time to enlist."
Capt. Michael F. Kimble Sr., commander of the Army Potomac Recruiting Company, heads nine recruiting stations in 16 counties in Maryland. A day after the attacks, his companies received many calls from enlisted soldiers asking how they could help recruit. He also had inquiries from numerous ethnic groups, including blacks, Hispanics and a few Arabs.
Capt. Kimble said about 10 percent of his 45 recruits in the Delayed Enlistment Program, who are waiting to begin basic training, are requesting to expedite their ship-out date.
"They're ready to go," said Capt. Kimble. "Some of them have basic training in the next month or so, but they want to go now."

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