Answering Uncle Sam's Call

With the economy down and patriotism up, the military is "in "

When Richard Gere, resplendent in his Navy whites, carried Debra Winger off into the celluloid sunset in An Officer and a Gentleman, audiences everywhere cheered and cried. If the 1940s-style sentiment was effective, the symbolism was apt: the military's "white knight" image, tainted for years by the stigma of the Viet Nam War, has been spit-and-polished. "Things have really changed," marvels Rick Field, a Navy recruiter in Longmont, Colo. "It's back to the days when the troopers are the good guys."

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