All in the family
April 16, 2008
ALBANY, N.Y. (TRADOC News Service, April 16, 2008) -- Lindsay Hardin doesn't always follow her brothers' lead, but she knows when they have a good idea. So on March 19, the day her older brother, James, 20, shipped out for Basic Training at Fort Benning, Ga., 19-year old Lindsay enlisted as a military police officer. In doing so she not only followed James, but also her brother Jarrod, a 17-year old junior who last November enlisted in the Army Reserve as a combat engineer, using the Split-training Option. Lindsay shipped to Fort Leonard Wood in April; Jarrod will follow in June.
All three enlisted through Albany Recruiting Battalion's Newton, NJ, Station. Staff Sgt. Robert Butler enlisted the two brothers, beginning with Jarrod in November, 2007. "I had actually been working with James first," Butler relates, "but he was considering other options. He felt it would be a good deal for Jarrod, though, so one day he brought him along."
Jarrod liked what he heard and became the first Hardin to enlist. James was still on the fence when he brought Lindsay to an appointment. She, too, began considering enlisting. Shortly afterward James selected an active duty enlistment in the Infantry, leaving only Lindsay still undecided. She brought in her best friend, Kyla Richards and the pair talked it out with Sgt. 1st Class Victor Rivera, a detailed recruiter in his first month on production.
"She asked if they could go together," recalls Rivera. "I explained the Buddy Option. They liked that; it let them be each other's support system." And just like that the former telecommunications operations chief had his first two contracts.
Lindsay's enlistment completed the circle and made local headlines, with the Sussex Herald interviewing not only the Future Soldiers but their parents, Karen and Jim, on the day she enlisted and James shipped out. Although neither parent served in the military, both were proud. Mrs. Hardin told the Herald, "I'm happy they have the independence to go out there and live their lives the way they want to."
Butler, who knows the trio best, describes them as "a close-knit family but they still do their own thing." In this case, at least, serving their country and securing opportunities for their futures are things that all three can agree on.