Local Teen Answers A Call To Duty

Isaac Miguel
Isaac Miguel
Staff Sergeant Neale Salvadore
Staff Sergeant Neale Salvadore

HONOLULU (KHNL) - After weeks of talk and speculation, President Bush will present a plan he calls "a new way forward" to the nation tomorrow night.

In a primetime address, he is expected to call for an increased number of U.S. troops in Iraq. Bush's plan will call for sending at least 20,000 additional U.S. troops to Baghdad and perhaps other areas in the region.

And as the president gets ready to make this major announcement, one local teenager is among the many answering the call to duty.

Isaac Miguel makes the biggest decision of his young life. The high school senior at Kamehameha Schools has joined the United States Marine Corps.

"It was basically the first grown up decision I had to make," said the 17-year-old Miguel. "I still needed my parents' permission, but I wanted to do something different, something bigger than myself."

Miguel says it all started when he joined the Junior R.O.T.C. program when he was a freshman at Saint Louis High School.

"I really liked what I was doing at Saint Louis, so the next thing to do was join the military," said Miguel.

So he walked into a recruiting station and talked to a Marine, who passed on his knowledge and experience.

"I can always say that the Marine Corps has always been there for me, helped me stay on the right path, helped me become the person I am today," said Staff Sergeant Neale Salvadore, a Marine Corps recruiter.

For Miguel, it was answering a patriotic call.

"I felt the sense that I needed to pay back my country," he said. "You know, the whole patriotic thing."

As the war rages on in Iraq, he thinks about the risks and about the possibility of death.

"It always crosses my mind," said Miguel. "It was the first thing I thought about when I signed the paper."

Despite that, Miguel said it's all about service, especially during war time.

"I'm scared. Everybody's scared but you got to think about the greater good," he said. "You're going over to a country that's been war-torn for many years and you're going over there and help them. That's the main thing you got to think about: helping people."

A young man committed to helping others through the Marine Corps.

From now until graduation, Miguel will study up on Marine Corps protocol and customs. He is scheduled to go to boot camp in July.