Nearly 100 new military recruits were sworn in en masse Thursday night.
The 97 recruits from across the Victor Valley were sworn in to the Air Force, Army, Marines and Navy at Operation Recognition, a ceremony giving high school diplomas to veterans of World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War held at Oak Hills High School.
The new recruits were led in a ceremonial oath of enlistment by Lt. Col. Ted Alejandre:
"I," and then their name, "Do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God."
"This shows what's right in this country," local teacher and author Todd Anton told the audience. "Millions of dollars were spent" in 2010 "about [LeBron James'] decision to play basketball for the Miami Heat. ... Thousands and thousands of young men and women make a bigger decision each year to put their lives on the line to join the United States military."
The recruits will report to basic training in the coming weeks.
These mass inductions of new recruits are a periodic occurrence: Last July, 40 Army recruits were sworn in before a baseball game at Maverick Stadium in Adelanto.
Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 760-956-7108 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star.