Med student volunteers for Nurse Corps
Fred Goodwin (left), pastor of Church of the Messiah, Canton, Ga., reads the Army's oath of enlistment to his son Kevin Goodwin during a swearing in ceremony held Nov. 26, 2008 at the church. Goodwin, who is currently a senior at Auburn University in Alabama, is a nursing candidate and was recruited into the Army through the Atlanta Medical Recruiting Company. Goodwin was commissioned as a second lieutenant and will begin training as a critical care nurse upon college graduation in May.

FORT MCPHERSON, Ga. -- The economy may be shrinking and unemployment growing, but for one Canton native, worries about finding a job are non-existent.

Kevin Goodwin, 22, became an Army second lieutenant Nov. 26, 2008 at the Church of the Messiah in Canton, Ga.

In front of friends, family and his recruiters, Goodwin, currently a senior at Auburn University in Alabama, was sworn in by his father, Rev. Fred Goodwin, a former naval officer.

"Nursing is heavily needed (in the military)," Goodwin said. "This is my chance to help my fellow Americans out."

The need for such specialists has caused the Army to create medical recruiting companies, recruiters who seek out professionals in the health care field to join the Army Medical Corps.

Sgt. 1st Class Jesus Rios, a health care recruiter for the Atlanta Medical Recruiting Company, met with Goodwin during a presentation at Auburn.

Rios, who visits universities to recruit professionals, said the program is meeting with a lot of success. With the high cost of medical school, Rios said many recruits are interested in how the Army can help offset debts created through student loans.

For Goodwin, this option will help pay back his $114,000 in loans.

While this benefit was a major selling point, Goodwin said there were other incentives that made him decide to raise his right hand and take the oath.

"I wanted to travel, get more training and go to grad school," Goodwin said, adding that working in state-of-the-art Army medical facilities as a critical care nurse will also give him great experience. The tradition of service in his family, including his grandfather, father and cousin, was also a factor.

Many of Goodwin's friends also enlisted in the service. Although many are not officers, their stories and advice not only helped Goodwin see the value of military service, but also know what to expect in his future Army career.

Goodwin will take his first steps when he graduates in May 2009 and will be sent to San Antonio for 14 weeks of Army training. From there, the future is less certain, but that hasn't caused any doubts or worry in his mind, even if it means serving in a combat zone.

"I'm not concerned. I'm going to be trained," Goodwin said. Goodwin said his confidence in his training will not only allow him to perform well in his military service, but also in his future plans, whether they mean staying in the service after his three-year contract is up or returning to the civilian world, Goodwin said.

"As an Army officer, I'll have management experience and be ready for positions others have to wait years for," Goodwin said.

Page last updated Thu December 4th, 2008 at 13:21