The Next Phase

A top pentagon leader was in the mid-Ohio Valley this weekend for the air show and to speak to the Parkersburg Rotary.

Brigadier General Ronald Rand will never forget Sept. 11. He witnessed the attacks on America from the Pentagon.

"It was a clear fall day, and now the sky was filled with acrid, black smoke and flames coming out of our building. I thought, 'holy mackerel, what has happened'?" said Brig. General Rand.

While General Rand questions whether the general public will remember the attacks as time goes by, he has no doubts as to its effects on recruiting for the military, as well as on those who already have joined up.

"We do a survey after they've been in basic training for a week. More of them are identifying patriotism as the reason they joined than in the last 10 years," Rand said.

While they've had most of the public's ire, General Rand says the War on Terror isn't just about Osama bin Laden or even Saddam Hussein.

Sixty nations are described as being involved in terrorism worldwide. One of them is Iraq. And with the military still in Afghanistan, there's been concern as to whether or not America can fight yet another war.

As the president says, Iraq poses the greatest threat, and I think all the armed forces will be ready, because we don't fight all these wars alone," said General Rand.

General Rand graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1971. He has been director of public affairs for the Air Force for nearly five years.


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