Walking Through Freedom's Front Door

Published 11/14 2012 10:58PM

Updated 11/15 2012 02:50PM

(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) The oath to protect home and country.
They are the final words spoken as a civilian before becoming a soldier.

"I've always wanted to do it," said SPC Charley Bailey. "It was something I always wanted to prove. I wasn't a big guy."

But before they raise their hands to swear in to the Army, they have to walk through freedom's front door.

"Very nerve wracking, very nervous to know what all is going on," said Bailey.

The Military Entrance Processing Station, or MEPS, is the last stop before boot camp.

Young recruits, ready to being their military career, first have to pass through medical exams.

"I've described it as one of the best feelings you'll ever have," said SFC Brian Link. "Knowing at that point you made a commitment to serve your country. Know it's a bigger thing than just doing something for yourself."

But not everyone makes the cut.

Recruiters say one out of every ten people looking to join could be turned away.

"There are several times that their not," said SFC Terry Turner. "Maybe their eyes are bad, maybe their color blind or things like that."

For those that pass, all that is left is to sign on the dotted line which is as simple as the touch of finger.

"It's a new step towards a different end and different life," said Bailey.

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