On Friday, November 11th, we went to the Veterans’ Day Parade and asked members of all five military branches, both past and present, the same question: Why did you join?
Colby Bosserman, Coast Guard: "I wanted to travel. I wanted to shake things up."
Jorbin Charles, Army, Marine Corps: "Hon...Yes, honor. And discipline."
Herbert Sweat, Army: "It was a legacy within my family roots. We all go airborne."
Bill Tyc, Army: "I had nowhere else to go."
Austin David, Army: "I got drafted."
Malachi Ross, Marines: "It gives me a sense of purpose." Daniel Green, Marines: "My dad said it was a bad idea."
William Denis, Marines: "I wanted to go to my high school prom in my Marine Corps uniform."
Jason Redman, Navy: "Because I believe in freedom."
David Shuey, reenactor.
Bill Toney, Navy: "For God and country."
Vicky Talens, Coast Guard: "Because I wanted to serve my country."
Steven Phakonkham, Navy: "I was raised in a refugee camp in Laos. My father served in Vietnam, and that's the reason we came to the United States."
Ryan Richards, Army: "To serve my country." Michael Falkenstein, Marines: "I got lost on the road of life."
Will Callazo, Marines: "I'm a third generation Marine. Grandfather, to father, to me."
Otto Waldmann, Navy: "I'm a Jew. I wasn't born here, so I volunteered so I could become American."
Dave Adams, Army: "I went to a military college, so..."
Wilton Sekzer, Army: "When the bugle blows, you go, and I heard it blowing." Terry McGhee, Army: "It was an obligation."
Jon Bremner, Navy: "Because the Towers came down."
Joe Lalley, Marines: "Somebody that I knew was killed in Vietnam."
David DeLucia, reenactor.
Pete Wenninger, Navy: "To kick some terrorist ass."
Gunther Lara-Nunez, Coast Guard: "I wanted to continue in law enforcement."
Mike Murphy, Army: "To do the right thing."
James Blaney, Navy: "I'd wanted to serve, as a little kid."
Angel Madera, Army: "For our freedom."
Alvin Rivera: "I didn't."
Frank Choloski, Coast Guard: "To learn something."
Louie Menchaca, Navy: "I love my country, though the Navy and I had our disagreements." Tom Crockett, Navy: "I come from a long line of volunteers and people who serve."
Herbert Nicholas, Marines: "For the challenge."
Harvell Ford, Army: "Because my father was strict."
Adam Williamson, Coast Guard: "Because I loved the country, and felt I'd love the Coast Guard."
Bill Dietrich, Army: "I was drafted, and they had good chow."
Marc Hermann, reenactor: "I serve as a surrogate for the four million men who went overseas a hundred years ago and can't speak for themselves."
Jonas Jerez: "I decided to go in after 9/11."
Richard Adams, Navy: "My grandfather taught me to love boats."
Aaron Knece, Air Force: "I love my country." Phillip Woodard: "The same, I guess."
Miguel Lorca, Army: "My sense of duty."
Lee Carter, Air Force: "Loyalty."