ANNAPOLIS, Md., May 28 (UPI) -- As 990 midshipmen graduate from the Naval Academy in Annapolis Friday, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan loom large in their thoughts.
Some 190 graduates are bound for the Marines, the largest number since Vietnam. Among them is Midshipman Quinn Rinehart, 22, wooed by several major colleges but who chose Navy because she didn't want a ticket out of war.
"I was being pulled in different directions," said Rinehart, who serves as brigade commander. "But in the end, my heart told me what to do. We're at war, and I just want to get out there."
The midshipmen know they are stepping into a war that has escalated significantly since May of last year, when President Bush declared an end to major combat in Iraq, the Baltimore Sun said.
"What these graduates now look to is a challenge and a dangerous environment," said retired Maj. Gen. Terry Murray, a 1968 grad.