50 pledge to continue Army careers on battleship Missouri
October 19, 2009
PEARL HARBOR - Fifty Soldiers from the 8th Theater Sustainment Command (TSC) re-enlisted on the deck of the USS Missouri, Oct. 1.
The Soldiers stood at attention for their moment to raise their right hand and affirm their commitment to the defense of the nation as Brig. Gen. Michael J. Terry, 8th TSC commanding general, conducted the Oath of Enlistment.
Any day I re-enlist Soldiers is a good day in the Army, said Terry.
"It humbles me as an old Soldier to be a part of this organization during this time when so many of you are so focused on supporting our country," Terry said. "You re-enlisted knowing that you would have to go to war, and (knowing) many of you have gone already (is a humbling thing)."
Terry outlined the demographics of the Soldiers standing in formation for the hundreds of families and friends in attendance.
"They come from Hawaii and as far away as Puerto Rico and all in between," he said. "We have men, women, and (various) races, nationalities and backgrounds that represent America. We have 10 initial re-enlistments, 33 mid-term, and nine indefinite.
"As a group," he continued, "they represent 260 years of service and they signed up for another 180 (years) together."
Following the ceremony, Soldiers received embraces by families and loved ones and congratulations from their peers.
For one Soldier, Spc. William Fullagar, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 8th TSC, the opportunity to re-enlist on the USS Missouri offered the unique chance to bridge a connection with his family\'s military past.
"My uncle served on this ship in the Korean War," he said. "It's a real honor to come here and re-enlist on the ship ... that he retired from."
The USS Missouri was part of the force that carried out the bombing raids over Tokyo and provided firepower in the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. During the final month of World War II, the ship served as the flagship of the Pacific Third Fleet and was the site of the Japanese unconditional surrender.
Fullagar followed the footsteps of many young Americans when he enlisted six years ago.
"I joined the Army because I was a fireman during 9-11, so when we lost a lot of friends and comrades, I knew I could either sit home and watch, or I could be a part of the fight," he said.
Fullagar's choice to join the fight allows him to do what he now loves in life: Soldiering.
"I am re-enlisting in order to give my G.I. Bill to my son and for the sense of pride I have in what I do," Fullagar added. "I love waking up and putting on this uniform and calling myself an American."
As the Soldiers departed the USS Missouri, their moment left an impact on the historical place where one war ended, and a new crop of warriors reaffirmed their commitment to serve their country.