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Delora Wymer, 4, raises her hand along with Sgt. Fiona Cunningham, a soldier assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 39th Transportation Battalion, as 13 soldiers and one recruit take an oath of enlistment Thursday during a retreat ceremony at Panzer Kaserne. Delora's mom, Spc. Norica Wymer from the 147th Postal Company, and Cunningham were among those reenlisting in the ceremony.

Delora Wymer, 4, raises her hand along with Sgt. Fiona Cunningham, a soldier assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 39th Transportation Battalion, as 13 soldiers and one recruit take an oath of enlistment Thursday during a retreat ceremony at Panzer Kaserne. Delora's mom, Spc. Norica Wymer from the 147th Postal Company, and Cunningham were among those reenlisting in the ceremony. (Ben Bloker / S&S)

Delora Wymer, 4, raises her hand along with Sgt. Fiona Cunningham, a soldier assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 39th Transportation Battalion, as 13 soldiers and one recruit take an oath of enlistment Thursday during a retreat ceremony at Panzer Kaserne. Delora's mom, Spc. Norica Wymer from the 147th Postal Company, and Cunningham were among those reenlisting in the ceremony.

Delora Wymer, 4, raises her hand along with Sgt. Fiona Cunningham, a soldier assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 39th Transportation Battalion, as 13 soldiers and one recruit take an oath of enlistment Thursday during a retreat ceremony at Panzer Kaserne. Delora's mom, Spc. Norica Wymer from the 147th Postal Company, and Cunningham were among those reenlisting in the ceremony. (Ben Bloker / S&S)

Spc. Hongwei Zhang, of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, salutes as the U.S. flag is lowered during a retreat ceremony Thursday at Panzer Kaserne. Thirteen soldiers and one Army recruit took to the parade field and raised their right hands for the oath of office. Zhang, who recently became a U.S. citizen, spoke to those present about the value of his new citizenship in contrast to growing up in China.

Spc. Hongwei Zhang, of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command, salutes as the U.S. flag is lowered during a retreat ceremony Thursday at Panzer Kaserne. Thirteen soldiers and one Army recruit took to the parade field and raised their right hands for the oath of office. Zhang, who recently became a U.S. citizen, spoke to those present about the value of his new citizenship in contrast to growing up in China. (Ben Bloker / S&S)

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Thirteen soldiers and one Army recruit took to the parade field on Panzer Kaserne Thursday and raised their right hands.

On the eve of the Fourth of July, the soldiers with the 21st Theater Sustainment Command re-enlisted, and the 18-year-old recruit enlisted in the Army. Of the fourteen, five were women and nine were men.

With the U.S. fighting two wars, what motivated these soldiers to re-enlist and what prompted recent high-school graduate Robert McClintock to enlist?

Their answers covered a wide spectrum.

McClintock’s father inspired him to join up, he said.

"Ever since I can remember, I’ve always looked to my dad and always wanted to be like him," said McClintock, who will serve as a signal support systems specialist. "He’s in the Army so I decided that that was the best decision for me."

Standing next to McClintock after the ceremony was a soldier who has re-enlisted quite a few times. Sgt. 1st Class Danny Miles with the 7th Army Reserve Command has 34 years of experience as a soldier.

"Mine was positioning myself for retirement," Miles said. "I’m strategizing. This is a strategy to say good-bye."

Sgt. Rodney Tapp was motivated to re-enlist because of his family, he said.

"Of course, honor, country, all that stuff, but mostly for family," said Tapp, of the 5th Quartermaster Company. "It was a family decision. We all talked it over, and they said, ‘If this is what I wanted to do, then that would be the best for us.’ "

Spc. Mareo Allen re-enlisted for family reasons as well. "I did it to deploy with my twin brother," said Allen of the 9th Military Police Company. His twin is in another unit, and Allen re-enlisted Thursday so they could be deployed at the same time.

"I had to do it like this because it was going to be a little difficult if I didn’t do it like this," he said.

Sgt. Martha Deleon with the 147th Postal Company re-upped because of the duty station where she will be assigned.

"I got Fort Sam (Houston, Texas)," she said. "It’s close to home. It’s what I re-enlisted for."

One soldier’s unit had a lot to do with his decision to re-enlist.

"I work for 21st (Special Troops Battalion)," said Spc. Robert Daniels. "That’s enough for me. Seriously. I’m happy."

The soldier standing next to Daniels stayed on to serve the U.S. and to accomplish a goal in the Army.

"I did it for my country, and it’s the right thing to do and to become a Ranger," said Spc. Michael Domenici with the 66th Transportation Company. "That’s my goal."


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