Hundreds Welcome “The Recruit” to Battleship Park

Mobile, AL — WKRG  The newest attraction at Battleship Park was officially dedicated this morning. Hundreds came out in the middle of their 4th of July weekend to celebrate a statue with a simple and profound tribute to American veterans. The staggeringly large turnout is a testament to what one simple statue can say and show to America’s veterans. It was a ceremony where the greatest generation sits near the next generation. Some were taking the oath for the first time.

“I just wanted to serve my country and the air force seemed like the way to go so, America!” said Ryan Chamness with a smile. Some were taking the oath one more time.

“It’s the turning point from your transition as a young man to your life in the military and it changes your life,” said Sculptor Casey Downing Jr. Etched into the base of the monument is the oath of enlistment, anyone who went into the military took this oath no matter what the branch of service, and everyone who did knows where they were and what they were doing when they took it. Patrick Downing looked a lot different when he took the oath more than 50 years ago.

“With a ducktail haircut in 1960 at the induction station in Montgomery, raising my right hand and taking the oath with about 40 other people,” said Downing. The turnout was so large organizers had to delay the start of the ceremony this morning to accommodate a traffic jam that formed outside Battleship Park. The sculptor said this piece is more than a decade in the making.

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